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Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Programming Records

Identifier: UA 0013
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Programming Records, 1984-2019, document the LGBTQ student group at JMU under its various organizational names including Lambda Gamma Lambda (LGL); Harmony; LGBT & Ally Education Program; and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Programming. Records include newsletters, photographs, resources and brochures produced by SOGIE and allied groups, outreach and promotional materials, and newspaper clippings.

Issues of "That Thing," the newsletter of Lambda Gamma Lambda and Harmony, span 1985 to 1988, with gaps. Duplicate copies were retained, but a full run of the publication is not extant. Per the publication's first issue, "That Thing" "will provide a means of communicating with as much of JMU's gay population as bringing you the latest happenings in the gay community." Usual content included editorials, announcements, news items, and "Miss Thing," an advice and etiquette column. Many of the newsletters are proofs of issues prior to being printed for distribution. The October 1987 issue is not titled "That Thing," but instead "LGL-Harmony."

Newspaper clippings are largely from The Breeze and include letters to the editor, opinion pieces both in support and opposition of LGBTQ issues and students, and "The Real World" comic strip. Additional clippings on LGBTQ issues from were collected from national newspapers.

Photographs document social events and programs facilitated by Lambda Gamma Lambda and LGBT & Ally Education Program and include LGL's 1987 talent show, the spring 2005 "Gay? Fine by me" t-shirt event, and the inaugural Too Fabulous fundraiser. Along with newspaper clippings, the disbound scrapbook also contains photographs from the LGL-Harmony Farm Party and a Christmas party.

Outreach and programming materials produced by LGL, Harmony, and the LGBT & Ally Education Program include informational brochures, event fliers and programs, and invitations. Specific events include Harmony Week, James M. Holobaugh lecture, Lavender Graduation, Too Fabulous, Intersex Awareness Day, and LGBT Open Houses. The disbound scrapbook also includes outreach materials. A typescript version of Mariah Burton Nelson's one-act play "Out of Bounds" is included. Its connection to SOGIE is unclear.

The collection also comprises resource material and brochures on LGBTQ issues and advocacy produced by allied groups not directly affiliated with JMU. These groups include the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and The Standing Committee for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Awareness (SCBLBA) of the American College Personnel Association. Relatedly, the collection includes newsletters from the Alexandria Gay Community Association (AGCA), Arlington Virginia Gay Alliance (AVGA), Roanoke AIDS Project, Roanoke Valley Gay Alliance, and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Histories and timelines are included that document LGL and Harmony's mission and aims as well as the creation of the LGBT & Ally Education Program. Documentation related to the LGBT Resource Center and a review of policies regarding JMU's LGBT communities complement these timelines. Researchers should be aware that the timelines are not exhaustive and do not provide a comprehensive history of LGBTQ advocacy at JMU.

Researchers should note that examples of hate speech targeted at LGBTQ students at JMU are included in this collection. The hate speech was written on promotional materials created by Harmony that were distributed on campus. Two examples were written on the back of an election poster for a candidate running for SGA treasurer.


  • 1984-2019


Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection (

Use Restrictions

Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of James Madison University is retained by James Madison University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information, contact the Special Collections Reference Desk (

Administrative History

The first formal LGBT student organization at JMU was founded in the 1980s. Lambda Gamma Lambda (LGL) created its original charter in the summer of 1983 and became officially recognized by university administration as a human rights organization in the fall of 1984. Their budget was approved at the February 14, 1985 SGA meeting which included a reimbursement for travel expenses to conferences at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University from the previous semester. In the spring of 1985, Harmony was formed as a subgroup of LGL for straight allies.

As part of their activities, LGL and Harmony published a newsletter, "That Thing," to communicate with LGBTQ students. The first issue was published on February 17, 1985, running through at least February 1988. Additionally, they sponsored social and educational events including but not limited to Harmony Week, talent shows, social get-togethers, participation in the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and generally advocated for the rights of LGBTQ students and promoted awareness of LGBTQ issues.

On February 19, 2003, prompted by student work to establish a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender resource center, SGA submitted Bill of Opinion #1, which called for the creation of a university funded LGBT resource center at JMU with a part-time staff member to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students of the LGBT community. The proposed resource center would offer library materials for research and educational purposes including books, videos, pamphlets, articles, a computer, and a space for group discussion. An advisory committee was subsequently created to research and present a proposal to Dr. Mark Warner, Vice President of Student Affairs, with suggestions on how JMU could address LGBT resource needs. During the 2005-2006 academic year, the program was officially named LGBT & Ally Education Program. The program changed its name in February 2019 to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Programming. SOGIE works toward promoting JMU's commitment to diversity through education, support, advocacy and the fostering of equity for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The collection is titled according to this most recent name of JMU's student LGBTQ and ally organization.

Researchers should refer to the collection itself for a more comprehensive (but not exhaustive) history of JMU's LGBTQ student organizations.


0.33 cubic feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Programming Records, 1984-2019, document the LGBTQ student group at JMU under its various organizational names incuding Lambda Gamma Lambda (LGL); Harmony; LGBT & Ally Education Program; and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Programming. Records include newsletters, photographs, resources and brochures produced by SOGIE and allied groups, outreach and promotional materials, and newspaper clippings.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to Special Collections by Jennifer Iwerks, Assistant Director of SOGIE, in March 2019 with a second accrual in February 2021.


Complete issues of university or local newspapers that are otherwise held by Special Collections were not retained.


  • "About Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE) Programming," (accessed April 4, 2019).

Processing Information

A scrapbook of magnetic photo pages comprising newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera was disbound. The three-ring binder that originally housed the scrapbook pages was discarded due to its poor condition. Each loose magnetic photo page is numbered according to its original order when bound. Blank pages located at the end of the scrapbook were discarded. A selection of of newspaper clippings that exhibited significant wear were photocopied and the originals discarded. The bulk of the clippings were kept intact in the condition in which they were transferred.

Some of the pages of the That Thing newsletter were loose and not otherwise arranged according to their specific issue. Where this was the case, the archivist made her best attempt at marrying pages together to make newsletter issues whole.

A Guide to the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Programming Records, 1984-2019
Tiffany Cole
April 2019, February 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021-02-04: A January 2021 addition comprising one folder of materials was interfiled into existing folders.

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612