Thursday, February 04, 2021 05:24 PM

Dear Consortium Membership,

The Consortium Executive Board is saddened to learn of the passing of a long-time Consortium member and friend, Dr. Andrew Dowe.  Andrew served as the Associate Director of the Office of LGBTQ Resources and Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. 

Many of you may know Andrew from Creating Change where, like many of us, he brought Yale students and attended many Consortium functions.  Andrew was deeply committed to the support, empowerment, and advancement of QTPOC communities, specifically Black folks, in research, teaching, programs, and his personal and professional practice.  This can be seen throughout his entire life’s work, including but not limited to, his recently completed dissertation, “Cruising Homophobias: Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Triangulations of Empire;” programs and events he organized through Yale University’s Office of LGBTQ Resources; and through all the students, faculty, staff, and alumni that Andrew served during his time at Yale.  You can learn more about Andrew and his impact on the Yale community in this recent article from Yale Daily News.

For members who did not have the opportunity to know Andrew, we wanted to highlight some testimonials from fellow members that speak to how special Andrew was and how dearly he will be missed:

Maria Trumpler, Director of LGBTQ Resources and Senior Lecturer in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University

“Andrew was cherished in so many ways—as a friend, a cousin, a first year roommate, a fellow grad student, a boss, a mentor and teacher—that the story of his work mentoring and supporting LGBTQ students, staff and faculty and working with me to create both the physical and community spaces of Yale's Office of LGBTQ Resources has not been told—and this group seems like the perfect audience for that.

Andrew came to Yale from a Catholic boy’s school in Florida.  He came out right away and took on leadership roles in PRISM (for queer POC) and the Coop (the umbrella LGBTQ group). He majored in African-American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  I met him in 2007 when I was teaching the WGSS junior seminar and he impressed me with his curiosity, willingness to question accepted practices, and his joy in living.

When he returned to Yale for graduate school in 2010, he worked with me in the newly founded Office of LGBTQ Resources which provided education, outreach and advocacy for students, faculty and staff (but had no space of its own).  Undaunted, he developed programming including Queer Yoga and brunches where he fried eggs to order on a two burner stove.  He created film series with directors in person afterwards. He developed a workshop “Creating Inclusive Events” and brought campus leaders together for the Queer Leadership Roundtable each semester.

In spring of 2017, he was the associate director of the Office (accompanying an appointment as lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in WGSS) and we were offered a beautiful new space—though it was dusty and unloved when we first saw it.  Andrew engaged deeply with all aspects of the design and finish process, able to imagine what would look both Yale and queer, and how our students might use the space.  I and many others treasure both the care and simple beauty of the interior design and the care and simple beauty of the community he nurtured. 

Some aspects of the way he stewarded the LGBTQ Community that were extraordinary: he knew everyone (and had patience for them all, too!), even though he faced many personal challenges at Yale, he loved the institution and wanted to work to make it better, his academic position and his student affairs position enhanced each other, his sense of color and visual style and graphic design.”


Angel Collie, Assistant Director at the Duke University Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

“It’s hard to imagine Yale or the world without Andrew. He was one of the first people I met when I set out to connect with the Office of LGBTQ Resources. His humor, his kindness, his deep passion for love and justice drew me and so many others to him. Seeing him every year at Creating Change or anytime I made it up to New Haven was always a highlight. He was a beacon for queer and trans students, especially queer and trans students of color. My heart is with the Yale LGBTQ community, all who worked with him, and all who love him.”


Dr. Zaneta Rago-Craft, Advisor to the President for Diversity and Inclusion and Director of the Intercultural Center at Monmouth University

“Dr. Andrew Dowe always made those around him feel loved, listened to, and uplifted. He was an exemplary advocate, scholar, and student affairs practitioner who always made sure to center the voices and needs of those who too often navigate institutions at the margins. He was a colleague and friend.  His legacy and contributions to Yale, and in the field more broadly, will be felt for generations to come.”


Travis Becker, Director of the UC Santa Cruz Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center

“The world is a better place because Andrew was here. Whenever we're all able to return to in-person conferences, I hope to find myself at Creating Change with friends and chosen family that I've come to look forward to spending precious time with; there may only be one or two nights a year where we can all actually get together like this... We'll be gathered around a bunch of tables near the bar at the hotel lobby, or dancing out at a local queer spot, and I know undoubtedly there will be a moment during that time that this loss will feel that much more profound for me, and for all of us who knew Andrew in these spaces. Andrew is sprinkled all over delightful memories like these for me over the past decade, and my life is better because of the conversations I had and memories I made with him annually. I will sincerely miss his radiant smile, warm hugs, joyous, amazing laughter, and most especially seeing those limbs waving about all over the place, dancing the night away, during our annual connections at CC. To a beautiful heart and a brilliant mind: may you rest in power, Andrew.”


Chris Woods, Director of the NYU LGBTQ+ Center and Outgoing Internal Coordinator

“Andrew’s bright smile, warm spirit, and joyous demeanor was infectious and drew in everyone around him.  In addition to the joy he brought to me personally, Andrew was also a deeply critical scholar and professional with a fierce commitment to centering queer and trans folks of color in all of what he was and did.  I wish we were together at Creating Change to have a drink and dance in your honor.  I will miss you, my friend, and it was an honor to know and learn from you.”


We send our deepest condolences to Andrew’s family and friends, as well as the students, faculty, staff, and alumni at Yale University who had the blessing to work with and know Andrew everyday.  Additionally, if you have the resources to give, there is a fundraiser by Yale community members to endow the LGBTQ Resource Center at Yale in Andrew’s name.

In Solidarity,

The Consortium Board