March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the contributions of the many women who have shaped our culture and society. It is also a time to reflect on the sacrifice and struggle to achieve women’s rights; a recognition of the barriers to opportunity that women still face; and a reminder that the fight continues.
Women’s History Month is especially significant to me, because it is when I draw inspiration from the brilliance and strength of the giants on whose shoulders we all stand—inspiration made possible through visibility.
As a Latina lesbian who grew up in a small town not knowing anyone who shared my identity, I know just how important visibility is. It wasn’t until I was an adult, living in Los Angeles and attending graduate school at USC, that I found the visibility that affirmed my identity, and gave me the courage to be my authentic, and best, self.
Promoting the visibility of incredible women not only inspires women of all ages and backgrounds to be bold and follow their dreams, but also underscores the invaluable contributions women make to advancing our society. It reminds us of how capable and powerful women have been throughout history.
In addition, promoting visibility is one of the core elements of the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association, which is why I am proud to serve on the USC Lambda Board of Directors. I am also enormously proud that year’s scholarship gala is honoring Kristen Kavanaugh MSW ’12, Bridgette Austin MBV ’19, and Lindsey (Lawrence) Morrison MHA ’16, three women who are championing LGBTQ+ affirmation and inclusion.
Women’s history is also LGBTQ+ history—so this year, let’s all take part in this monthlong celebration of past, present and future trailblazers. Let’s come together to amplify the impact of the many women who are making the world a better place for all!
Erika Hartman MFTH ’09
Vice President, USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association Board of Directors