Dartmouth College Approves Plan For $3.6 Million LGBTQIA ‘Triangle’ House


Dartmouth College, an Ivy League institution in Hanover, NH, has approved plans for a multi-million dollar housing complex created specifically for the school's LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendre, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Allied) community. The project, referred to as the "triangle" house, will house twenty-seven students and host a variety of college-wide events and activities. Just two years ago, Towleroad reported on a less-than-exciting gay development at the school: homophobic graffiti. Perhaps the "triangle" house will encourage and support more conversation and understanding around campus. 

Campus Reform reports:

The ‘triangle’ house is named after the triangle symbol gay men in Nazi concentration camps were forced to wear during World War II, LGBTQIA adviser Reese Kelley told Dartmouth Now, a school publication.

According to Reese, the three points of the triangle also symbolize “community, knowledge, and action.”

The triangle house will function as a living space and will also host programs on “sex, gender, identity and expression, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships.”

JohnsonThe Dartmouth board of trustees made the official decision, but others are just as excited about what the new housing project could offer the school.

Dartmouth College Dean Charlotte Johnson, told Dartmouth Now she is in full support of the measure.

“By engaging our students outside of the classroom, Living Learning communities such as affinity houses further enhance the core mission of the institution by tying what we learn in the classroom to who we are, what we do, and how we live,”” she said.

The triangle home will be part of Dartmouth’s affinity housing option, which provides students communal living spaces with peers who share a common language, culture, or religion.  Other affinity housing options include a sustainable living center and a gender neutral program.

What do you think of the new "triangle" house? Do you wish you had had a similar housing option in college? And what about the name; is appropriating the pink triangle a meaningful or divisive idea? Share your thoughts below.

Photo via Dartmouth College Offices of Planning and Design and Project Management.


  1. anon says

    how can a building that big only house 27 students? are they each getting a suite of rooms?

  2. Markt says

    I found it hard to transition at college where I came out. It would have been good for me to know I had that option. Sometimes young people need support from people who actually understand them. It’s not like you’re forced to live there if you’re gay. Presumably it has a community center, meeting rooms, etc.
    Anyway, people self-segregate – they do – and it’s not all for negative reasons.

  3. ratbastard says

    Ridiculous. And speaking for me, I’m homosexual. I’m sexually attracted primarily to my gender, although not exclusively, so I suppose I’m bisexual….but mostly homo. I’m not ‘trans’, or ‘inter’ sexual (WTF). I don’t get my kicks pretending I’m a girl, or dressing up like one. Neither do I have a stereotypical gay ‘lifestyle’, don’t care about musicals, old female (or male) movie stars, lady gaga, Madonna, Katey Perry, cheesy dance or pop ‘music’. I don’t speak with any gay affectation. I actually enjoy contact team sports. I’m politically neither far left progressive nor fat right ‘neocon’. Why would I isolate myself at a prestigious college in a dorm like this?

    And millions of dollars seems like a terrible misplacement of resources for 27 max students.

  4. RJP says

    Oh Rat, with hard work from a good therapist or encounter group, you can work through your internalized homophobia. I’m sure you will be a happier person in the long run.

  5. anon says

    why is it that anytime anyone identifies as gay without having any stereotypical gay traits they are automatically accused of having internalized homophobia?

    How gay do you have to be and what stereotypical traits must you posses before you are considered “gay enough” to not have internalized homophobia?

  6. Robbie Horn says

    I wouldn’t live there. Why miss out on all the
    naked jocks running down the hall on a Saturday night?

  7. mid city architect says

    …and why did they seemingly unearth 100 year old renderings for a building being constructed in 2013?

  8. Steve A T says

    Good for Dartmouth. The gay students that Laura Ingraham harassed during her time at Dartmouth would probably have appreciated a safe oasis like that.

  9. anon says

    @Mid City Architect…. Many colleges and universities build new structures in the same style as the other existing original buildings on campus to keep a consistent look and feel.

  10. AngelaChanning says

    This a great move by Dartmouth. Most Universities do not have any programs, let alone an affinity housing choice. (Emphasis on choice) Some readers seem to be forgetting that 1/4 of the students are arriving from High School, and this support is needed.

  11. alex says

    Just to clarify, this is not a new building. They are renovating and expanding an existing structure.

    It will also contain a 2-bedroom apartment for a faculty member/adviser. That apartment plus the “space to accommodate academic programs and social activities” is why this large building will only have beds for 27 students.

  12. Will says

    It is despicable that we have allowed gay identity to be warped into this bizarre alphabet soup of nonsense. Why are gay people grouped with “intersexed” aka hermaphrodites and deemed to be better housing mates for them than nongay people? Why are we grouped with heterosexual crossdressers either for the purposes of identity or for housing?

    And why is “ally” given its own letter? It makes no sense because if allies are actually a component of this supposed community, then they would no longer be allies but members. It is like admitting Connecticut to the Union but at the same time calling it an ally of the US. It makes no sense. Which tells you how much thought really goes into this absurd crap.

    Our identity and movement have been hijacked and we have allowed it to happen. This began with the forced linkage of gay, lesbian and bisexual people with “transgender”. That is where the problem arose and that is where the solution lies. End LGBT. Every time someone throws that term around as a substitute for gay or LGB, call them on it.

  13. jonvincent says

    I would have loved to have this when I was in college. There has always been dorms for lots of specific interest groups: those for athletes, those for engineering majors, those for fine arts majors, etc. People want to be around other people like them. Strength in numbers, etc. That’s simple enough to understand.

    Secondly, Dartmouth is traditionally a conservative school and not exactly populated with tons of gay folk. In addition, the campus is in an isolated, rural area with little to no access to gay life.

  14. ChristopherM says

    The University of Louisville is in their second year of the Bayard Rustin LGBT dorm floor that houses 22 students. But good for Dartmouth.

  15. Sam says

    If they didn’t include the “A” for allied aka ‘straights’, this would have been ripe for a reverse-discrimination suit. Progressivism does have its uglier side like banning “ladies’ night” as it discriminates against men.

  16. Hank says

    OK whatever, but why does it have to be a bloated boring retro suburban dream house? What relation does that particular fantasy have to queer identity and history?

    And do any of the future residents feel that some of that money might be better spent for, say, social services for homeless queer kids who’ve been kicked out by their families, instead of supported and sent to the Ivy League? Or are compassion and a social conscience as retro, in their own way, as this architectural fantasy , only far less fashionable?

  17. David says

    Speaking on this as someone who has spent most of their life living very close to Dartmouth it is in a rural area that does not have much for gay people. Also the school itself does have some issues with homophobia which I know from speaking to students that attend the college and this project has been in the planning process for about 2 or 3 years. The building is designed to look old so it will fit in with the other dorms and older buildings on campus and maintain their “look”.

  18. Justin says

    LGBTQIA? Lol. The purpose of this ridiculous acronym is to make everyone feel included. But in fact it alienates all the 95% of us who are normal, non-radical-leftist gay people who see no reason at all that we should be lumped in with hermaphrodites, cross-dressers, and “queers,” whoever they are.

  19. Mark says

    Oof, the ignorant bigoted gays are out in full force on this post. Your comments exemplify why the TQIA is part of this house. Because many of these folks will have the shared experience of having what would be deemed “non-traditional” or “perverted” sexualities and gender attractions and the full range of hate and discrimination that comes along with that. Go troll under some other bridge.

  20. Hank says

    And another thing.

    As a member of the ACT-UP generation , appropriating the Nazi pink triangle made sense to me a as gesture of radical defiance in wartime, a way of naming the plague years as a new holocaust. But it makes less sense as symbol of suburban assimilation. Especially re-imagined with the three sides standing for community blah blah blah. Who made that up? Would a campus Jewish center call itself the “yellow star house?” It trivializes and sentimentalizes the holocaust.

  21. Dan says

    You can see from the picture at the Dartmouth Now link that this is an existing townhouse on the edge of campus that’s being renovated to serve as the affiliation house. It’s of the same georgian style architecture as many of the campus buildings.

    The unwieldy acronym is part of an attempt to remain inclusive to everyone with an affinity for the group, including allies.

    I wish a community like this had been present when I attended Dartmouth in the mid 70s. In my era the only gay student group had to call itself Students for Social Alternatives to get any recognition/funding. Things have come a very long way!

  22. Matt says

    Sure, I know that comments left on blogs have a tendency to stir up stuff like this – But I can’t believe how many negative comments this is drawing – First off:
    A) Historically, many colleges, esp the Ivy Leagues, have had “houses” with certain sociological or cultural themes – often Hillel House, or an African-American union or things like that: On the one hand, they’re activity centers, or kosher kitchens, often providing invaluable services to young people who are very much in the minority in the larger environment (where, traditionally, frats – tho now diverse, but historically, have done a good job helping to group and represent the majority populations, to the exclusions of others)
    B) Yeah, it’s a lot of letters. Back in ’92 when i was in school, we gave up and called ours “Alphabet Soup”… But that was our choice. Contemporary youth culture recognizes a more elaborate gamut of sexualities, and why shouldn’t it? The idea is that people excluded from the majority limited heterosexuality should stick together and learn from eachother, this is a good thing. Instead of fighting over whether there’s space for Bisexuals (as folks did in the 80s and 90s), or re-appropriating the term Queer – let’s be friggin’ accepting. MOREOVER, if that’s what the kids – the students – want to do – let ’em – Don’t judge ’em for Pete’s Sake – seeing all these judgmental comments is a bit disturbing.
    C) The fact that this will exist at Darmouth – and in New Hampshire! Is kinda mind blowing. Sure, all types are everywhere – but New Hampshire is not exactly Princeton or Cambridge. This is really pretty awesome. A real breakthrough. Just knowing that something like this had existed, back then, would have been morally uplifting.

  23. says

    Good for Dartmouth! They stole Reese away from us at Middlebury, where we’ve had a Queer Studies House for 6-7 years already. Much smaller, alas.

    We have the house, but not the coordinator. They had the coordinator, but not the house. Now they’ll have both.

  24. Paul says

    I have no problem with this. I see the comments against it, but they’re meaningless. The purpose of this building is not to separate gay people from non-gay people nor is it to house a plethora of stereotypes. It’s being built as an addition to the campus meant to foster the idea that all can live together in one place, a University (society?), and because there is very real stigma against gay people and everyone who falls under the umbrella of non exclusive heterosexuality, it furthers the goal of visibility and challenges students to learn and co-exist with difference. It is entirely appropriate that this is happening in a place of higher learning. The acronym, by the way, is merely the linguistic response to anti non heterosexual hysteria. The Gay Rights movement is still rather young. There needed to be a certain symbolic effort with language to communicate to bigots that this world is pluralistic. Bigots call us worse things than lgbtqia, they call us faggots, abominations, freaks, murderers and blame us for – so ironic – things like global warming – STUFF BIGOTS AGAINST GAY PEOPLE DON’T EVEN BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES.

  25. GregV says

    @Stephen: “A” can be for Asexual in some other groups’ acronyms (and I wondered which it would be when I first saw this one), but in this case it’s for Allies. I’ve seen some acronyms with two A’s (for both Asexuals and Allies) as well as adding 2S (for 2-Spirited) and SGL (for Same-Gender-Loving).

    One thing I’ve found a bit unique about this desire of our community to be “inclusive” though is that I’ve gone to a meeting for a GLBTTAAI2SSGL group and found that when I asked around, the entire group (of both men and women, black and white, Asian and Native American) at the meeting consider themselves gay. There was one “bisexual” who told me two weeks after I met him there that he was just trying to fool himself and he’s gay. And someone vaguely recalled that he’d been told a transgendered person came to a couple of meetings 5 or 6 years ago.