Local News


UNLV trying gender-inclusive LGBTQ-friendly housing

Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 23:29:05-04

UNLV is trying something new this semester in the name of inclusion, and it's working better than anyone had hoped.

School officials say an LGBTQ-friendly residence hall on campus has been so popular it has a waiting list.

The rooms are called Stonewall Suites, after the Stonewall riots of the 1960s.

35 students signed up to live there, filling an entire floor.

It's become a gender-inclusive place for LGBTQ+ students and their allies.

"You can be a suitemate or roommate with anybody that can be of different gender or someone who doesn't identify as a traditional gender at all," said Sawyer Spackman, Stonewall's resident advisor.

Spackman also had the idea for Stonewall.

Robert Otto, a freshman who identifies as a homosexual male, walks the halls in high heels.

He says he had reservations before moving in.

"I didn't want to come into college with a label already on me and people thinking they already know who I am because of what I identify as, but the community here is amazing," Otto said.

About half the students in Stonewall are freshmen like Otto.

AG Butler, who identifies as a gender-fluid pansexual, says living in Stonewall has made the transition to college life easier.

"I don't have to come through the whole 'coming out' process," she said. "I'm just like, 'I'm here and I exist and I'm queer. Get over it.'"

UNLV has other themed housing options including dorms for international students, healthy living, honors students and business school students.

Andrew Lignelli, UNLV residence life coordinator, says none of the others have been in as high demand as Stonewall.