Fulbright Forum – How Queer! The Importance of Community-Building and Chosen Families

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Date(s) - 06/16/21
7:00 pm


Presented by Aleksandar Kajmakoski, Robby Goldman, Dr. Connor Shine, and Kevin Lam

Join Fulbright Prism on Wednesday, June 16 at 7PM EST as we talk about just how queer community is! One of the biggest difficulties for queer Fulbrighters is completing their grants in places that still stigmatize queerness. Rather than hide, though, we’ve made our own communities and chosen families for support. From chosen families to virtual community-building, we will discuss the importance of building spaces for queer people to fully and authentically be themselves.

Aleksandar (they/he) is Fulbright Prism’s Programming Coordinator, developing inclusive and engaging monthly programming for Fulbrighters. Outside of Prism, he works as a Program Coordinator for the implementation of routine HIV screening as a standard of care in healthcare delivery systems and reducing stigma in healthcare settings for marginalized populations. Aleksandar completed his Fulbright Study/Research grant in Skopje, Macedonia from 2018-19 studying the resiliency of queer identities and the subsequent creation of safe spaces in response to systematic discrimination. During his time in Skopje, not only did he help establish a booming drag scene, but he also organized and hosted Macedonia’s first ever Pride parade. His expertise lies in queer activism, community development, mental health advocacy, and being a goofball.


Robby Goldman (he/him/his) is the President and Chapter Coordinator of Fulbright Prism’s U.S. West Coast Chapter, which seeks to build a community of LGBTQ+ Fulbrighters within the Western United States while also engaging members throughout the country with virtual Zoom events and social media campaigns. Robby is also an NSF Graduate Research Fellow whose interdisciplinary research applies both Earth and social science methods to improve volcanic risk management practices. Robby conducted his Fulbright research fellowship in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2016, where he studied ancient eruptions of the now-extinct Akaroa Volcanic System.



Dr. Connor Shine (they/he) is a biomedical engineer working in industry in Galway. As part of a National University of Ireland sponsored Fulbright award, Connor travelled to MIT in 2016 for an 8 month research placement as part of their PhD program at NUI Galway. Connor was recently appointed to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel setup by Fulbright Ireland, he is a board member of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association, of Fulbright Prism Ireland and is actively involved in the LGBTQ+ community in Galway, where he plays soccer with the local LGBTQ+ football team and is an active member of the running group set up by AMACH LGBT+



Kevin Lam (he/him/his) is a second-year ETA placed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He identifies as gay and polyamorous. When he is not teaching, you can catch him dancing or studying Chinese while listening to The Daily or podcasts on relationships. He is the President and Chapter Coordinator for Fulbright Prism Taiwan. His vision is to share spaces with ETAs, MAs, scholars, and local Taiwanese people. He hopes to exchange stories and witness their queendom; uplift and support them; and of course, get-down and party.

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