Let’s be real, I had many concerns coming to Harvard Business School.  I am in my 30s; would I feel old? I am a veteran; would I feel lost? I am a language major; would I pass finance? I am married and we’re long distance; would I feel lonely?  

In the first weeks of school, the HBS MBA Administration and ECs (second year MBA students) encourage you to invest in developing your social circle. For most RCs (first year MBA students), this is the section – the school designs it to be such. Each MBA class is evenly divided into ten sections, A through J, that you take your classes with, study with, socialize with, and recruit with. Naturally, friendships are easily formed within the section, and, for most, your section becomes your circle.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’ve made some great friends in my section. My section mates are all incredible people: highly accomplished, intelligent, caring, and fun. But I found that my section, proud to be a member of “Sec-C” as I am, isn’t my main circle… and that’s ok!  

Instead, I chose to dive headfirst into the queer community at HBS.  


Having spent the last twelve years of my life in the military - the first six of which I couldn’t be out because of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ - I did not have a large group of gay friends. I had made a handful of acquaintances along the way, and of course met my husband – but I didn’t have a group of guys I could go to the gay bars with, dance with, spill tea, throw shade, and yes, ‘kiki’ (gossip) over ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ with. I wanted my friends to plan trips to Provincetown and Miami. To pick their internship locations and companies based on where we would be welcomed and encouraged to express our fullest selves. To be fierce advocates for the social issues that affect our community. Most of all, I wanted a new circle of best friends and family that I could pour my heart into and know that everyone else felt the same.  

I found that family in ‘Section Q’ – the unofficial nickname my circle of friends has started calling the LGBT Student Association and larger queer community at HBS. Section Q is comprised of a true rainbow of members of all orientations, gender identities, races, ages, nationalities, backgrounds, and interests. On any given week we can be found studying together, grabbing dinner, going out to dance at the clubs, on a weekend trip somewhere, or simply having a chill night watching a movie amongst friends sharing some wine or whiskey. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve been the hug or shoulder that you sometimes need to get through a three-case day or midterm. Like gay communities everywhere, Section Q is a ‘family by choice’ for its members.  


For some, HBS is the first place they are free to be out, and we’re excited to support that journey. For others, this is the first time they’ve had a queer community and culture to join. For those from large queer-friendly cities, this is a further expansion of the communities they’ve already belonged to. For others still, being LGBTQ is simply another facet of their identity and their HBS experience doesn’t revolve around it.  

Much like the Class of 2020 comes from a diverse set of backgrounds, all of us in Section Q arrived from a variety of experiences as well – and I’m proud to say our community strives to be welcoming to everyone just as they are. No matter who you are, how out you are, or where you fall on the spectrum of queerness, we’re here for you and excited to meet you. We’re a club, we’re friends, and we’re a community. Above all else though, we’re a family. It’s the family I sought and found at HBS, and I hope we can be the same for you.