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Dorian Rhea Debussy

Lecturer of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University

Dorian Rhea Debussy, Ph.D. (she/her) is a part-time Lecturer in the Deptartment of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University at Newark. She joined the faculty in summer 2019, and she previously served as a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science for three years.

Additionally, Rhea serves as the inaugural Director of External Affairs at Equitas Health, which is a federally designated community health center and one of the largest LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS serving healthcare organizations in the country. Prior to this, she enjoyed a decade of service in higher education, which began in public university settings in Connecticut. More recently, she served as the Associate Director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College, where she specialized in fostering LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity across campus and beyond. During her time at Kenyon College, she also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, where she taught the college’s first queer studies course.

A graduate of the Dept. of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, Rhea’s doctoral work focused on the histories of LGBTQ exclusion from the military and intelligence communities. Building upon this research, Rhea served as the lead author for the newly updated and expanded third edition of Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBTQ Military Service (forthcoming; Washington, D.C.: Modern Military Association of America), which is the most comprehensive guidebook on issues affecting LGBTQ service members across all branches of the military. Given the important nature of this work and the status of this guidebook, an advance copy of this text was requested by the Biden Presidential Transition Team in December 2020.

As a scholar of LGBTQ+ politics and policy, Rhea also regularly presents at regional, national, and international LGBTQ+ conferences. In fall 2020, she presented at the Equitas Health Institute’s Transforming Care Conference, where she was also recognized with the Community Advocate Award. Rhea, who is a member of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), also presented at WPATH’s 26th Annual Scientific Symposium, which is the world’s largest conference on transgender health. More recently, she presented an advocacy workshop at Stonewall Sports’ 8th Annual National Tournament and Summit, which is one of the largest LGBTQ+ focused athletic events in the country.

Passionate about inclusive teaching, Rhea has extensive and varied teaching experiences. Previously, she taught queer studies courses for the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Kenyon College; courses on the politics of race, class, and gender at Manchester Community College and Eastern Connecticut State University; and LGBTQ+ studies, feminist studies, American politics, and quantitative methods courses at the University of Connecticut. In addition to teaching, Rhea continues to actively write about issues affecting LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ politics more broadly; her book project is under contract with Columbia University Press with an expected publication date of fall 2025.


  • 2022–present
    Lecturer, Dept. of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University
  • 2022–present
    Director of External Affairs, Equitas Health
  • 2021–2022
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Kenyon College
  • 2020–2022
    Associate Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kenyon College
  • 2019–2022
    Lecturer, Dept. of Political Science , The Ohio State University
  • 2018–2020
    Assistant Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion , Kenyon College
  • 2019–2019
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Kenyon College
  • 2012–2018
    Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Political Science, University of Connecticut
  • 2016–2018
    Lecturer, The Rainbow Center, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Connecticut
  • 2013–2018
    Graduate Teaching Assistant, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, University of Connecticut
  • 2015–2018
    Lecturer, Dept. of Political Science, Philosophy, and Geography , Eastern Connecticut State University


  • 2018 
    University of Connecticut, Ph.D. in Political Science
  • 2017 
    University of Connecticut, Graduate Certificate in College Instruction
  • 2016 
    University of Connecticut, Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies
  • 2014 
    University of Connecticut, M.A. in Political Science with a concentration in American Studies
  • 2012 
    Columbus State University, B.A. in Political Science
  • 2011 
    Regent's Park College, University of Oxford, Visiting Student Certificate in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics

Professional Memberships

  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
  • Out in STEM (oSTEM)
  • American Public Health Association
  • Diversity Scholars Network, National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan