LGBTQ Communities and Change in Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico

Next Offered
Summer 2016
Approximate Dates of Instruction
Application Deadline
Info Session: Thursday, January 14, 2016, 3:00-4:00 in Padelford C101

While there is still much work to be done, many LGBTQ activists and allies in the U.S. are celebrating the watershed year this country has experienced in terms of same-sex marriage, expanding legal protections, and greater recognition of trans people. Social changes like these represent hard-won victories, and can help us better understand the historical and cultural context in which change is imagined, created, and ultimately sustained.

This program asks the question: What do LGBTQ communities and organizations look like in another context, a context which is physically close to the U.S. but has a very different culture and history? To help answer this question, our program will be based in both Seattle and Mexico City to explore the links between queer movements in the U.S. and Mexico, and how they might influence each other.

Our hybrid program spends two intensive weeks in Seattle and two intensive weeks in Mexico City:

One-week pre-departure seminar in Seattle
Through an interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of literature, history, ethnography, and creative nonfiction, as well as site visits to local community organizations, students will develop a shared vocabulary around issues of power, privilege, identity, LGBTQ issues, travel, and global relations.

Two-week seminar in Mexico City
Our two weeks in Mexico City will introduce students to local LGBTQ activists, organizations, and change-makers. We will learn from our community partners about how a country’s history shapes its LGBTQ communities. Questions we will engage include: What can we learn from the challenges and successes of LGBTQ communities in Mexico’s capital as they work to mobilize and create change throughout the country? How do LGBTQ rights intersect with other areas of social justice in the country such as environmental justice, women’s rights, access to education, etc.? Coursework will consist of group projects, classroom lecture and discussion, field excursions, site visits, individual analysis, and creative writing assignments.

Students will have the opportunity to meet with various local LGBTQ agencies and activists to learn about topics such as:

• Mobilization in the trans community to end gender violence and criminalization of trans and gender non-conforming individuals
• Challenges and impact of forced migration (trans/national) within the LGBTQ community
• The use of art as a mode for the advancement of LGBTQ visibility and awareness

In addition, students will visit local LGBTQ community spaces, Mexico City's gay district, and museums.

One-week re-entry seminar in Seattle
The re-entry course offers a much-needed space for students to continue our discussion of transnationalism, movements for social justice, and international education’s possibilities and challenges.

All three components of the program are required, and build off and into each other.

  • CHID 498 A: LGBTQ Activism Here and There: Putting Ourselves in Context (3 credits I&S)
  • CHID 472 A: LGBTQ Activism, Mobilization, and Change in Mexico City (5 credits I&S)
  • CHID 470 A: General Orientation to Mexico (1 credit I&S)
  • CHID 498 B: Unpacking Our Learning: What Do We Do with What We’ve Brought Back? (3 credits I&S)
Fulfills Requirements
CHID Cultural and Historical Engagement
CHID Power & Difference
SSc Credit
Total Program Fees

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance (about $45/month), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.