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New LGBT center director to start next school year

Editor’s note: Because Delfin Bautista does not identify with one specific gender, the non-gendered “they” is used as a pronoun.

After months of searching, a new director has been chosen for Ohio University’s LGBT Center.

Delfin Bautista, a social worker and Yale University graduate, will begin as LGBT Center director for the 2013–14 school year.

Bautista said they work with different intersections of religion, sexuality and social justice. Bautista has developed an integrated approach to advocacy and programming that combines LGBT equality with reproductive justice, international human rights, religious freedom and anti-racist/anti-oppression frameworks.

Bautista identifies as trans and two-spirited and hopes to implement more dialogue in the center.

“For a long time, religion has been used as a weapon against us, but more and more, people are starting to reclaim faith in an inclusive and empowering way,” Bautista said.

Former LGBT Center Director Mickey Hart left in August to serve as director of residence life at Columbus College of Art and Design. Susanne Dietzel, OU Women’s Center director, served as LGBT Center interim director while heading the committee that selected Bautista.

“This past year has been incredible and truly a labor of love,” she said. “At the same time, I have to say that I am ready to retire from this position and leave the center in the hands of our new director.”

David Descutner, interim vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and dean of the University College, thanked Dietzel, who took on the position in an “integral” time.

“She took on this position and had two full-time jobs,” he said. “Running the Women’s Center is more than a full-time job, and in addition to the two director positions, she worked to make the search committee inclusive and diverse.”

Descutner said he is confident Bautista will fill the position well.

“Delfin is going to be an exceptional director,” he said.

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