The LGBT Studies Program at UNT is designed to assist students who want to develop their understanding of a dimension of diversity that may be relevant to their careers. Students will explore the role of gender and sexual minorities - lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals - in modern society across diverse disciplines.
Sexual practices and attitudes historically are intertwined with politics, social arrangements, artistic creation and conceptions of the self. Human sexuality is shaped by medical and scientific discourse, economic imperatives, philosophy, religion, law, politics, art, visual culture, and literature. In this way, sexual and gender minorities are greatly affected by society’s perception of them.
Although most people consider sexuality a basic aspect of being human, perceptions vary historically, culturally, and geographically. During most of the 20th century, attempts to study sexuality encountered resistance. The civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s launched an effort against the subjugation of racial minorities and women. The confrontation against entrenched prejudices challenged sexual oppression as well. The Stonewall Riot of 1969 set in motion a national gay rights movement. During this era of social change, political activism and cultural shifts set the stage for gender and sexuality to emerge as a field of academic inquiry to enhance our understanding of human diversity.
The UNT LGBT Studies Program is the first university program in North Texas devoted specifically to this discipline.