On January 31, 2021, the Office of LGBTQ Resources suffered an immeasurable loss with the unexpected death of our Associate Director Andrew Dowe. His untimely passing is felt deeply by so many of us at Yale and beyond. Andrew played many roles at the University during his time here, and throughout them all we remember him fondly for his illuminating smile, his warm presence, and his unwavering support for the growth of our community. Andrew was truly one-of-a-kind. He had a way of making everyone he met feel seen, valued and loved. We were constantly inspired by his wit, warmth and charm, and we know that his love will continue to be felt by so many. He believed strongly in the mission of the Office, and in the limitless potential of our community members. He was our mentor, colleague, professor, student and friend and it has been a gift to hear about how he impacted so many in our community.
In the days and weeks ahead, we are posed with the difficult tasks of sitting with our deep grief and of considering ways to support our community moving forward. For now, we would like to invite you to any of the following opportunities to connect and celebrate Andrew’s life.
Upcoming and Ongoing Events:
Grief Circles Based in Restorative Justice practices, we will be offering many of these over the next several weeks.
Weekly Sewing Circle: Michelle Morgan will lead a weekly sewing/weaving/knitting circle to process our loss and to create pieces she will unite into a wall-hanging for the Office of LGBTQ Resources. Organizational meeting Feb. 12, 2 pm or email Michelle.
Remembering Andrew in Words & Photos:
Where to give:
Many friends of Andrew Dowe have reached out asking how they can give financially in Andrew’s honor. We are grateful to receive donations in Andrew’s honor to help support our work, which Andrew championed. The University and the Office is in the process of considering next steps in best honoring Andrew’s legacy.
A Note from Our Director, Dr. Maria Trumpler, about Andrew:
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.