Dr. Yamissette Milagros Westerband is an Associate Professor and the lead faculty member in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Santa Monica College (SMC), where she teaches courses such as Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, Introduction to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Women, Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture. She also currently serves as the GSA Faculty Advisor and the Faculty Lead for the Pride Center on campus.
A self-identified Puerto Rican femme lesbian, Dr. Westerband has been involved in LGBTQ+ community organizing for over 20+ years. Her commitment to LGBTQ+ activism began as an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was involved in her campus Queer Student Union and was a member of the drag king troupe, “Disposable Boy Toys.” Since then, she has worked in community organizing in the fields of sexual assault prevention, health education, and working with LGBTQ+ youth. Dr. Westerband has taught at multiple institutions including Santa Monica College, UCLA, Compton College, Santa Ana College, and Cal State Dominguez Hills.