OUT List

This list features OUT LGBTQ-identified faculty and staff at LMU and some fun facts about them. Click on any of the pictures to access their emails. If you would like to be added to this list, please complete this form.

Rebecca Avalos, M.A. (she/her)
Full Lecturer, Communication Studies

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Love.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
All my work is intersectional. Whether within the space of the classroom or in professional academic organizations the ways I orient myself to others and our political world is informed by my queerness and Latinx identity. In this way, maneuvering and being is intimately tied to matters of resistance, queer/different world-making, and transgression. This is what matters, above all.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Well, fictional—Xena Warrior Princess.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
My dissertation exclusively, "Matters of the Law Within and Beyond Donald J. Trump's 'Make America Great Again' Racial Project."

Matthew Bazar (he/him)
Director of Portfolio Management & ITS Administration, Information Technology Services

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
My gay mentor (who was my Sursum Corda moderator when I was an LMU student), shared with me how his mom said when he came out "now I just need a little time to rethink my dreams for you, son." Remembering how much time we needed until the moment we were ready to "come out" is important in sometimes giving our loved ones a little grace in not necessarily being right where we want them to be - oftentimes they too need processing & thinking time too.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
NAGVA (North American Gay Volleyball Association) Varsity Gay League LA - Bowling AIDS/Lifecycle AIDS Walk.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Divine.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Greenleaf, Ru Paul's Drag Race. 
Marc Cooper, M.A. (he/him)
Interim Director of LGBTSS, Ethnic and Intercultural Services

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
I realized how much more fun and enjoyment I could get out of life, if I wasn't constantly afraid that people would see through the masculine walls I had put up to trick people into thinking I was something I wasn't (aka anyting but heterosexual.) Once I came out, I could listen to the music I wanted, watch the shows and movies I wanted, date the people I chose, and basically live the life I wanted to live without fear of judgement or rejection. Did I receive both of those? Sure. But at that point, I was having too much fun to notice or care...
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
As the Director of LGBTSS, my entire job is one giant LGBTQ project! 
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Living: Elton John. From history: LGBTQ and Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Doing a full watch of all 41 seasons of Survivor.  
Kristen Covino, Ph.D. (she/her)
Assistant Professor, Biology

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Working to be comfortable with who I am..
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
American Ornithological Society Rainbow Lorikeets (Out to Innovate Caucus), 500 Queer Scientists. I am also working towards updating & improving the language I use when teaching my Biology and Physiology courses.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
David Bowie.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Reading: Kids books to my 3 littles. Watching: "How to Get Away with Murder." 
Sarah Emanuel, Ph.D. (she/her)
Assistant Professor, Theological Studies

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Queer visibility -- that changed everything.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I am trained in biblical studies, which includes contemporary critical approaches to the ancient texts (e.g., queer theory!). Along with that, I co-host an intersectional podcast, write regularly on queerness in/and biblical literature, and present often on queer related topics.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Wanda Sykes.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Squid Game. 
Jamal Epperson (they/them)
Resident Director, Student Housing Office

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Realizing no one has to come out. I think the process of coming out can be validating for folx and a big transitional piece but it's not a requirement. When I came into being non-binary, I didn't come out at all because to me, it supports the assumption that folx are cis and straight. I want to change that narrative and redefine what it means to come into our identities so we can create a new space where we see everyone as queer unless told otherwise.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I'm working towards my doctorate and looking into the utilization of restorative justice practices as a method of QTPOC reconciliation in white and cishet spaces. I'm also certified in safer spaces trainings and serve as a SARA to queer and trans students in SIM-related incidents.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Audre Lorde or Dominique Jackson.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Steven Universe.  
Fernando Estrada, Ph.D. (he/him)
Associate Professor, Specialized Programs in Professional Psychology

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
A supportive circle of friends, and queer Latinx role models.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
My research agenda focuses on issues of gender, sexuality, and identity. I have also worked with LGBT non-profits in LA and NYC, including the LA LGBT Center and the NYC Anti-Violence Project.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Octavia Butler.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Listening to Kehlani's album: It Was Good Until It Wasn't.  
Leigh Fine, Ph.D. (he/him)
Assistant Dean, College of Business Administration

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Social support. My parents, my friends, and my professors all encouraged me to share my story. Reach out -- there is a community there for you.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I've published on the application of queer theory to leadership, including a piece on troubling inclusive leadership discourse and another on applying Judith Butler's work to leadership. I've also provided trainings to students, organizations, and local government on LGBTQ+ inclusive practice.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Annie Lennox. (But could RuPaul and Judith Butler stop by for dessert?).
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Watching: Star Trek Discovery and Chopped. Listening: The Young Professionals, Claptone, Rufus del Sol, Elderbrook, and Annie Lennox (of course). Reading: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.  
Alex Glosenberg, Ph.D. (he/him)
Assistant Professor, Management

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Leaders in my community and the world that were brave enough to publicly define themselves and their place in the world on their own terms.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I work to research ways to facilitate the empowerment of entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds - including LGBTQ persons.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Leonardo da Vinci.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
An Indigenous People's History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. 
Jasmine Hamm, M.A. (she/her)
Academic Affairs Associate - Resource Management, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
With the love and support of friends and family, I felt seen and heard.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Network and Los Angeles LGBT Center.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Audre Lorde.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Listening: Bigger Love - John Legend. 
Branden Grimmett, Ph.D. (he/him)
Associate Provost, Career and Professional Development

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Friends and family willing to listen and learn without judgement.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
The Network Council and LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
James Baldwin.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom
Hillary Henderson, M.A. (she/her)
Coordinator of Intercultural Initiatives and Progams, Ethnic and Intercultural Services

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Already having LGBTQ+ friends and being around people who were already comfortable in their queer identities.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Demi Lovato & Big Fredia.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna.  
Alejandra Hernandez (she/her/ella)
Assistant Director of Student Services and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Loyola Law School - Student Services

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
I always told myself to be authentically me, even if it was not the easy road. I guess I did not have a process and I still don't ha-ha :)
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I begun Gay-Straight Alliance at the high school I attended, 12 years ago. I did my internship for my M.A in Higher Education Administration at El Camino Community College programing the first-ever Queer Community College Conference. I work with the affinity groups on campus, including OutLaw. I am assisting OutLaw celebrate their 50 years as an organization here at Loyola Law School.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Demi Lovato, Adrienne Maree Brown, Megan Rapinoe
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Currently reading: Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good and The Mamba Mentality: How I play. While I am not listening to anything right now, one of my favorite podcasts was Dying for Sex, regarding a terminally ill cancer patient, Molly Kochan. 
Mimi Hoang, Ph.D. (she/her)
Staff Psychologist, Student Psychological Services

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Many things: finding a mentor, a therapist, and a bi+ community, and wanting to help others.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
At LMU, I facilitate OUTGrads at SPS and am the Co-Lead of The Network. Outside of LMU, I'm the Clinical Supervisor of the LGBTQIA Affirmative Therapy Center at Airport Marina Counseling Service, and have 20+ years of LGBTQ leadership, predominantly in the bisexual community and queer Asian Pacific Islander community.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Margaret Cho.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Star Trek, Lost Girl, Grace and Frankie, Kim's Convenience.  
Veronica Manz, M.A. (she/her)
Assistant Director, LMU Cares

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Music. Especially music by LGBTQ artists.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I started the group Queer AF (Alcohol Free) with Recovery@LMU! I also  served as a Councilmember-at-Large for the LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Network.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Evan Rachel Wood - Ever since I saw her in Thirteen I have been a major fan. Not only is she an amazing actress, she is also an inspiration of mine who has spoken out about bisexual visibility and domestic abuse.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
The Great British Baking Show! 
Gabriel Magni, Ph.D. (he/him)
Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Having friends I could trust, who were very supportive from the beginning.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
My research focuses on LGBTQ politics and examines LGBTQ candidates in elections. I also teach a seminar on Global LGBTQ Rights and Representation.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Larry Kramer or Randy Shilts.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Watching: Midnight Mass (Netflix) Listening: Making Gay History podcast Reading: On All Fronts by Clarissa Ward. 
Brett Marroquín, Ph.D. (he/him)
Associate Professor, Psychology

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
A friend slipping a note of unconditional support into my locker in high school (this was before cell phones, but those might work too).
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
My research and clinical work involve LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ individuals and couples. My work focuses on how people experience and regulate emotions, and how these processes can be intervened upon to affect physical and mental health in the face of adversity.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Virginia Woolf.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
The Memory Police, by Yoko Ogawa. 
Kevin O'Keefe (he/him)
Assistant Director, Student Media

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Knowing someone else in my age group who was himself queer. Having someone by my side who was going through the same experience made me so much braver to speak my own truth.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
As a journalist, I've spent my career covering film and television through a queer lens, with a focus on LGBTQ+ representation.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
I'd spend an hour asking Bob Mackie every question I could think of about all his designs for Cher.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Watching: "Selling Sunset," a guilty pleasure I have not once ounce of guilt about watching Listening to: Agnes' "Magic Still Exists"; the film soundtrack for "Tick, Tick... Boom!" Reading: Last Call by Elon Green. 
Miranda Ordoñez (she/her)
Event & Promotions Coordinator, Career and Professional Development

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
One thing that helped me with my coming out process tremendously was therapy. My therapist and I worked through my anxieties, fears, doubts, and insecurities related to my queerness for weeks before I actually decided to tell my parents. Having an unbiased and nonjudgemental helper by my side while I navigated that process was invaluable!
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
It took me a while to explicitly celebrate my queerness as part of my artistic and professional expression, so I actually don't have any formal LGBTQ affiliations or projects... YET.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
If I could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, it would be Audre Lorde. "I am deliberate and afraid of nothing" is my life mantra.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
I am currently reading People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, and before that, it was Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I highly recommend both! 
Freddy Puza, M.A. (he/him)
Director of Community Relations, Marketing, Communications, and External Relations

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Access to mental health services and a good therapist. And the belief deep down that who I am and who I love is true, good, and an authentic expression of the universe.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I helped organize the first-ever Pride bike ride and rally in Culver City this year. I served as the Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Network for five years and I also participate in the AIDS Lifecycle and the Stonewall Democratic Club.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Gore Vidal.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
TV shows: "Midnight Mass," "Morning Show," "Rupaul's Drag Race." Love horror and comedy. Books: City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles. Music: Adele. 
Martina Ramirez, Ph.D. (she/her)
Professor, Biology

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
The quick and widespread acceptance of the 'new me' by LMU students, faculty & staff.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I wrote a book about my story, Happier as a Woman.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Christine Jorgensen (1926 – 1989), the first person to become widely known in the U.S. for having gender confirming surgery.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
I'm reading Just Universities (2021) by Gerald Beyer, in which he discusses ways that U.S. Catholic institutions of higher education have embodied or failed to embody Catholic social teaching in their campus policies & practices. 

Jeffrey Seeger (he/him)
Associate University Registrar
Enrollment Management - Office of the Registrar

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Watching Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan in old TV shows. Once my parents saw the frequency of watching, even they could put it together. Not that it was a plus, however.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
Worked at both the LA Gay and Lesbian Center and GLAAD. Increasing the visibility of our community.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
I would like to lunch with Eleanor Roosevelt while Judy Garland sings in the background.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
I have been reading Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey for years. Will continue until I make up my mind which I like better.

Viviana Vallin, LPCC (she/her/ella)
Staff Clinician, Student Psychological Services

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
One of the most impactful parts of my coming out process was meeting an LGBTQ mentor that was in a loving and long-term relationship. Up until that point, I didn't see a future for myself because I did not have any LGBTQ relationship examples in my Mexican family. This mentor became a major support and place to normalize my experience.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I currently lead the SPS process group for LGBTQ students called The Circle. I also am passionate about couples therapy with LGBTQ partnerships.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Audre Lorde.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
I am a big fan of the Great British Bake Off, Grace and Frankie and stand-up comedy specials. I also love watching Lakers and Dodger games! I am currently reading My Grandmother's Hands and have recently finished Children of Virtue and Vengeance
Leon Wiebers, M.F.A. (he/him)
Professor of Costume Design, Theater Arts & Dance

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
Supportive friends, a cool professor, Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, and my "lesbian mother" who was a, "suit-wearing, buzz-cut dyke" (her self-description) and literary critic for the Bay Area Reporter.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I was Co-Chair of The Network for a few years and recently hosted a panel with the CSJ Center on Reconciliation and Justice on LGBTQ+ elders. I hope this will turn into a series that addresses numerous issues facing the community. I teach a class called "Art in the Age of AIDS," and am looking for an off-campus LGBTQ group.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Oscar Wilde.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Great British Bake Off, Golden Girls (always & forever), Squid Game, Hacks, KCRW, Phillip Glass, Wagner, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, rounding out my classic 90s pop collection, the Cure, Lil Nas X, Dua Lipa. Reading Queer Korea, Digital Curation Projects Made Easy, a Dorothy Sayers Murder Mystery, and Please Don't Sit On My Bed in Your Outside Clothes.  
  Alexis Weiss, MA, M.L.S. (she/they)
Reference & Instruction Librarian for Theology, William H. Hannon Library

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
I came out later in life and the queer and trans students I worked with were instrumental in my coming out and finding the resources I needed for my early transition.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
No affiliations yet (besides the Network Council); still finding my place. I am currently working on a project around being transgender and Buddhist that I hope to publish.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
Laura Jane Grace.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Binge re-watching Supernatural. Listening to: Otep, Make Them Suffer, We Are The Union, Polkadot Stingray. I reread a lot, so I always have something from Clive Barker or Neil Gaiman around.  
Jeffrey Wilson, Ph.D. (he/him)
Associate Professor & Chair, Philosophy

What was one thing that helped you with your coming out process?
The companionship and advice of friends in LGBTQ+ oriented 12-Step groups.
Tell us about your LGBTQ affiliations or projects.
I am supporting my husband as he writes a dissertation on challenges to gender-fluid self-expression in highly gendered languages such as Hebrew.
If you could have lunch with one LGBTQ icon, who would that be?
James Baldwin, because of the depth of his insight into the intersectionality (long before that was a recognized concept) of race, gender, and sexuality.
What are you currently watching/listening to/reading?
Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Times with a book group.