by Jessica Carreras
Kevin Correa has worked at the Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus since 2005. The 27-year-old Ann Arbor resident is also a graduate of the school, and a budding hip hop artist, though his foremost passion is LGBT rights work.
1) How and when did you get involved with working for the Spectrum Center?
I was hired in January of 2005 when the center was called the Office of LGBT Affairs. I had received a Bachelors of Arts in 2003 at the University of Michigan in Sociology, focusing on race, class and gender inequality, and I was ready to utilize my degree and my passion for social justice and LGBT community work. As a student, I had been a member of the office’s advisory board, so I was already familiar with the work of the office. Fortunately, there was an opening, and I got hired.
2) The University of Michigan just had its Spring Pride. What was the best part, in your opinion, of this year’s slew of events?
For me, the best part about Spring Pride was the variety of the events and the fact that so many different groups, departments and individuals were involved in making them happen. We certainly could not have organized all those events by ourselves. It seems like Spring Pride gets bigger and bigger each year, and it really shows that there is a lot of pride throughout campus.
3) What’s the best part about working for the Spectrum Center?
Without a doubt, the best part about working for the Spectrum Center is the amazing people I’m privileged to work with. We have a tremendous bond, and we work hard, but we also make sure to have fun, which I think is important. I also appreciate the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of the students. They keep me inspired. Plus, it’s really cool to be able to participate in an LGBT pride rally as part of my job!
4) You’re also part of the Rainbow Book Club. Why do you enjoy being part of that?
I’ve always enjoyed reading, and it’s even more enjoyable for me to be able to discuss what I’ve read with other people and to see their perspective on the characters, the story and the writing. The Rainbow Book Club is particularly enjoyable because of what we’ve been able to achieve in terms of membership. I haven’t seen many LGBT groups out there that can match the age and gender diversity that we have. The club has really blossommed as an inclusive and welcoming group, and as someone who can’t tolerate the smoke at bars, I especially value the ability to hang out with other LGBT people and build community outside of bars.
5) What’s your favorite LGBT book and why?
There are a lot to choose from, but I’d have to go with “The Front Runner” by Patricia Nell Warren, for three reasons. First, I’m a competitive runner and I did track and cross country in high school, so I strongly identified with Billy, the main character. Second, I’m a romantic, so I appreciate a good love story. Third, I’m forever grateful that the book inspired what is now the International Front Runners, an organization of LGBT runners and walkers which has chapters in many cities and which happened to be the first LGBT group I ever joined, paving the way for my coming out and the work I now do at the Spectrum Center.