Pride Month Q&A: Juan Battle

June 23, 2016

The third in a series of profiles to celebrate Pride month at the Graduate Center.

Professor Juan Battle (Sociology/Public Health/Urban Education) is an expert on race, sexuality, and social justice. Battle, who is also the Coordinator of the GC's Africana Studies Certificate Program, recently spoke about Pride month and the perception of LGBT people of color.

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Could you discuss the importance of Pride month for the GC?

Pride month is important for the GC community and beyond. Similar to pride months recognizing racial minorities, pride months recognizing sexual minorities allow for members of multiple groups to celebrate and learn more about the multitude of communities within the Graduate Center.

How has the GC been a leader in LGBTQ studies?

Through venues like CLAGS, the Center for LGBTQ Studies at the GC, as well as the many scholars - both faculty and students - populating this institution and producing knowledge around LGBTQ populations, the GC continues to be a leader in LGBTQ studies.

You've conducted groundbreaking research on LGBT people of color. What drew you to the subject?

The main impetus was that I got tired of every time I heard LGBT and POC (people of color) mentioned in the same sentence, it was rooted in pathology. I, therefore, wanted to conduct research that didn't simply document how this population was dying, but celebrated how they were living.

Could you tell us a little about what you're working on now?

Currently, I'm mounting a project that will address LGBT poverty in New York City. If the project is successful, I would like to expand it to include other cities in the state of New York, and hopefully scale it up to include other key cities around the country.