At reunion in June, the newest Wellesley special interest group (SIG) threw a party in Billings—and President Paula Johnson stopped by. Organizers of the Wellesley Alum Pride Alliance (WAPA) hope it’s the first of many events, says Malinda Lo ’96, who has been deeply involved in getting the SIG going and is serving as its acting president.
WAPA seeks to connect with as many LGBTQ+ alums as possible, and asks those interested to register on its website at wapa.alum.wellesley.edu. For 2017–18, WAPA will be led by a temporary governing board while building a membership base to elect a governing board in 2018.
Reaching out directly to all LGBTQ+ alums is difficult, because the College does not collect data on sexual orientation. “There are 300-plus people in a secret Facebook group,” says Lo. “We’re hoping to connect with people who aren’t on Facebook.” Since WAPA launched in May, about 100 people have signed up on the website. Organizers are hoping for many more.
“The Alumnae Office has been very, very enthusiastic about launching this group,” says Lo. In late June, the WCAA provided hats and buttons to alums marching in the New York City Pride March.
“We have plans to do many things,” says Lo. These include local outreach and networking and connecting with LGBTQ+ students on campus. “We want to show support for students and support for alums out in the world,” says Lo. She would like to see the creation of an oral history to “reclaim our history. It’s time to celebrate the fact that we exist, finally. It has been so long.”
WAPA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.