A member of Kenyon’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) since 2018, Dorian Rhea Debussy focuses on supporting the College’s LGBTQ+ community through programming, educational initiatives and advising student groups. With an academic background in political science, they have taught “Introduction to Queer Studies” at Kenyon and published articles on educational, health care and policy issues in publications like The Conversation and BUST magazine. Working with the NCAA, Debussy travels to other Division III institutions to facilitate increased equity and inclusion in college athletics, and is active in LGBTQ+ organizations in and around their home of Newark, Ohio.

Hometown: Columbus, Georgia

How would you describe yourself in a sentence? 

It’s not quite a sentence, but I usually respond with either “verbose but thorough” or “Southern and very queer.”

What are you most proud of achieving at Kenyon? 

The development of the Kenyon Queer and Trans Studies Conference, which started based upon needs expressed by Kenyon seniors during my first year on campus. Three years later, it’s the largest LGBTQ+ student conference in Ohio.

What book has changed your life? 

Daniel Lavery’s 2020 book, “Something That May Shock and Discredit You,” was really helpful for my exploration of gender identity, and ultimately, that book helped me to come out as transgender and non-binary. 

It’s been a strange year — what’s one lesson you’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic?

For a serious answer, I’ve learned to give myself more time for rest and self-care. For a more lighthearted answer, I’ve learned that it’s not a Zoom meeting until the words “you’re on mute” are used.

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