Alison Walkley '07
Dimension: Practice Civility
August 22, 2012
Photo by Frank Terry.
Author of Queer Greer and
Choice, young-adult novels focusing on identity and
What I love most about what I do: Developing
characters facing difficult and controversial circumstances and
then challenging my readers to consider what they would do in
How my Dickinson experience prepared me:
Dickinson's gay-straight alliance, Spectrum, helped me find my
identity and inspired me to write the book I would have liked to
have read when I was coming to terms with my sexuality in
My favorite activity/organization at Dickinson:
Spectrum, hands down. It cemented my identity as an activist, which
has become essential to who I am and what I stand for.
The accomplishment I was most proud of at
Dickinson: Spearheading an effort through Spectrum to
change the Food and Drug Administration policy banning gay men from
donating blood. We were invited to Capitol Hill to discuss a change
with members of Congress.
The accomplishment I am most proud of today:
Writing Queer Greer, which has come to mean so much to so
many people in the LGBT community.
What "practicing civility" means to me: Speaking
up about the issues I feel strongly about. The louder and more
well-informed my voice, the greater the chance that my words will
add to the momentum that will ultimately facilitate change.
The most challenging part of
my work: I have so many topics I want to tackle at
once—LGBT struggles, abortion, women's rights, the justice system. I find it a challenge to focus on one at a time and see them
each through to fruition.
professor: Taking Professor [of English] Wendy Moffat's seminar on sexuality and modernism during my senior year led me to write a thesis I
am proud of to this day on transgender versus lesbian identity in
Virginia Woolf's Orlando and Radclyffe Hall's The
Well of Loneliness. Her course helped open my eyes even more
to the spectrum of sexuality and gender performance, which have
remained themes in my life—both personally and professionally—ever
How I chose
Dickinson: After a broad search along the East Coast
for a school that fit, I stepped foot on the Dickinson campus,
surrounded by all of those limestone buildings, and immediately had
a gut feeling that Dickinson was where I was meant to be.
How I stay connected to
Dickinson: I mainly stay connected to my friends and
past professors through Facebook. Social media is a wonderful
Read more about the Dickinson Dimensions.
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