About Lavender Community

Student holding a Progress Pride Flag and surrounded in text reading, "Lavender Community."
Lilyanna (First Year Student, Resident of Ordal Hall - Lavender Community) “At PLU, the Lavender wing has allowed me to open up and express myself in ways I’ve never been able to before, I can finally talk openly about my experiences as a queer mixed-race woman without facing ridicule. I feel like I’ve really found a community here and am excited to see what opportunities and experiences await me in the future.”

For Students Who Are Interested in LGBTQ+ Histories, Communities, and Activism

The Lavender Community seeks to honor, celebrate, and uplift the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ students. The community seeks to bring LGBTQ+ identified students and allies together in community to share their hopes, dreams, and challenges. Through programming, the Lavender Community invites participants to learn more about how social identities intersect here at PLU and beyond. Through volunteer opportunities participants are encouraged to connect with LGBTQ+ communities in the broader Tacoma area.

The significance of “Lavender”
Lavender Graduation Ceremonies are held across the country every year. The origin of the term “lavender” has many variations. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), lavender is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBTQ civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community. To learn more about Lavender Graduation, please visit: Lavender Graduation.

There are other narratives that speak to the importance of the color lavender. One such narrative is that lavender is a blend of the traditionally gender-identified colors pink and blue. Lavender blurs these two lines and subverts and challenges gender norms. For more information, please see the following student article from the Dallas News: www.dallasnews.com/news/lgbt/2014/10/29/lgbtq-lexicon-whats-the-significance-of-the-color-lavender

Great For Students Who ...

  • who are interested in gender equity and gender-spectrum inclusion
  • who are interested in talking about gender and sexual identities
  • for whom their sex assigned at birth does not match their gender identity

Program + Learning Outcomes

By participating in the Lavender Community, students will:

  • explore linkages across personal lived experiences and theoretical concepts of gender and sexuality
  • increase their knowledge and awareness of topics from evolving language to bias incidents to current events
  • have increased access to peers and faculty outside of the classroom to support their learning about social justice and identity development

Linked Residence Hall(s)

Ordal Hall

Example Programs

Below are a few examples of programs that have occurred in the Lavender Community in the past! If you have an idea for a wing or hall program, contact your Resident Assistant or Community Advocate to see about planning it!

  • Queer Student Retreat | sponsored by the Center for Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability
  • Volunteering with Rainbow Center & Oasis (in Tacoma)
  • Celebration of Queer Cinema
  • Tunnel of Oppression


For more information about this Learning Community option you may contact:

Dream Gonzales, Community Director for Ordal and Stuen Halls | dgonzales@plu.edudpatel@plu.edu