About Us

The Rainbow SIG is comprised of diverse members of NAFSA whose goals are to counsel international students and study abroad students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered; to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered professionals in international education; to combat homophobia, heterosexism and transphobia within NAFSA. Opinions stated on these pages are those of the authors. No assumptions about an individual’s sexual orientation should be made from his or her participation in the Rainbow SIG.


The mission of the Rainbow SIG is to bring together NAFSAns who share the following goals:

  • Educating and advising gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender international and study abroad students and those who might be questioning these aspects of themselves
  • Providing a supportive network for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender professionals in international education including mentoring new professionals who identify as LGBTQ
  • Challenging homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia within NAFSA and the field of international education through educational outreach


The Rainbow SIG provides a variety of services and resources:

  • Website – past newsletter articles, bibliographies, LGBTQ resources abroad,
  • e-mail referrals, advising resources
  • Listserv
  • Bi-annual Newsletter
  • Conference workshops at NAFSA regional and annual conferences
  • Network of professionals for advice on LGBTQ issues in the field
  • Annual Business Meeting – held during the NAFSA Annual Conference
  • Annual Reception – held during the NAFSA Annual Conference