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San Diego State University (SDSU) has a thriving community of LGBT students, faculty, staff, and alumni, all who have worked hard over the years to make the campus a safe, welcoming environment. In her undergraduate years, Ashley Boyd was one of the student leaders who helped the campus achieve its current designation as one of the top universities in the nation for LGBT students. Now pursuing graduate studies, Boyd also continues to dedicate time to the campus in other ways.

Boyd is 23-years old, single, and hails from Antioch, California. She moved to San Diego 5 1/2 years ago for school.

What do you do for work?

I work as a graduate student assistant at SDSU in the Office of Intercultural Relations/Cross Cultural Center, LGBTQ Resource Area, where I assist and support the various LGBTQ student and faculty organizations on campus, such as Safe Zones, LGBT Student Union, and queer fraternities and sororities (Gamma Rho Lambda and Delta Lambda Phi), as well.

I also coordinate the LGBTQI Speakers Bureau program, where LGBTQI-identified students visit classrooms and campus organizations to share their experiences as queer students. We like to work collaboratively with student organizations and provide a supportive faculty to foster a strong LGBTQ presence on campus.

What do you love most about the work you do?

I enjoy working with students. I am a student myself, but what I’m seeing is that being a graduate student is vastly different from being an undergraduate. They have so much energy and are so excited about their projects and activism. Their enthusiasm and determination motivate me to do the work that I do.

What organizations are you involved in, or have been involved in outside of work?

I came to SDSU when I was just beginning to feel comfortable with my sexuality. Not knowing any queer people, I decided to join the LGBT Student Union in an effort to be a part of a community.

After being involved in the student organization for four years, I started to grow into myself as an activist, a queer woman of color, and a leader. I don’t know if I would be the same person I am today if I didn’t have this community.

I think working at LGBTQ Resource Area is my way to give back to the community that has supported me throughout my formative years. Words cannot express my gratitude, so I hope my blood, sweat and tears will suffice.

What is something that many people do not know about you?

I love science fiction. I’ve tried to keep it “in the closet” for awhile, but I’ve recently decided to let my nerd flag fly.

What would you like to see change in the LGBT community?

I think we need to have more difficult conversations. As a Women’s Studies student, difficult dialogues are what I live for.

I think there needs to be an understanding that progress and change cannot come without getting to the root of our problems. This exercise requires openness, honesty, and trust, which are three things we still need to work on as a community.

What do you like most about the local LGBT community?

We are a prideful bunch. I like walking through Hillcrest and feeling a sense of community with the people around me.

What sorts of things do you do to enrich your social life?

Graduate school does not leave much time to socialize, but when I do get a free moment, I like to dance. All I need is a cute outfit, a dance floor, good music, and I’m ready to go!

SDSU students and faculty/staff who wish to learn more about the services available for the LGBTQ community on campus should contact the LGBTQ Resource Area at (619) 594-7057 or by clicking HERE.

If you or someone you know should be featured in an upcoming community profile, e-mail Ben Cartwright at ben@sdgln.com.