Erin Cross (she/hers) is the Director of Penn’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center (Center) where she began as its first fulltime Program Coordinator over 20 years ago. She earned her B.A. in History and Political Science from The College of Wooster, M.A. in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University, and Ph.D. at Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE). In addition to her Center duties, Erin is a Faculty Fellow in Stouffer College House and Affiliated Faculty with Penn’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, and serves on the Provost’s Wellness Advisory Group, International Student and Scholar Service’s International Partners Outreach Group, and the Vice Provost’s Sexual Assault Working Group. She is adjunct faculty at GSE and been honored as a Model of Excellence, Penn’s top staff honor, four times. Erin also is part of an interdisciplinary Penn Futures grant team and a co-PI on a Provost’s Excellence Through Diversity Fund project.
Since the onset of the pandemic, politicians, Hollywood actors, and ordinary citizens alike have reminded us that “We are all in this together”. The statement is meant to calm fears and reinforce the idea that a united front is better than our individual desires—a kind of gestalt moment when we aim to see the whole and not simply the parts. Despite the strength of this statement, any observer would also have to take note that we have all been in this differently as well, not in the past two months alone but over generations.