Dorian Rhea Debussy, Ph.D. (they/them) [formerly known as Timothy R. Bussey, Ph.D.] is the associate director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College, where they specialize in fostering LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity on campus. During the fall 2019 term, they also served as a visiting assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at Kenyon College, where they taught the college’s first permanent queer studies course; during the fall 2021 term, they are serving, once again, in this role.
In their role at Kenyon, Rhea is responsible for implementing programming, fostering educational initiatives, and providing support for the college’s LGBTQ+ community. As a part of this, they are the chair of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and the coordinator of the Student LGBTQ+ Diversity Fund. They also supervise the programming of both Unity House and the Crozier Center for Women, while simultaneously serving as the advisor for nearly 10 DEI-focused student groups. In addition to this, they are an active member of the advisory board for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the college.
A graduate of the Department 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. They actively write about issues affecting LGBTQ+ people in the military and LGBTQ+ politics more broadly. Most recently, Rhea served as the lead author for 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, they presented at the Equitas Health Institute’s Transforming Care Conference, where they were also recognized with the Community Advocate Award. In 2020, they also presented on LGBTQ+ healthcare policy at the World Professional Association of Transgender Health’s (WPATH’s) 26th Annual Scientific Symposium, which is the world’s largest conference on transgender health.
Working in conjunction with state-wide partners across Ohio, they also regularly provide community-based trainings for a variety of audiences across the state and beyond. They have also served as a plenary speaker for a number of programs, including the Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition’s Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ VA United for Equality Program for Pride Month 2021 among others.
Passionate about accessible academic writing, Rhea frequently publishes non-academic articles on LGBTQ+ political issues. Their work has been published by the Conversation, the Associated Press, BUST Magazine, and the Gay & Lesbian Review among others. Their most recent article for The Conversation, which was also circulated by the Associated Press, garnered over 20,000 readers, and it was translated for international circulation throughout Japan. Additionally, their forthcoming book project is currently under contract with Columbia University Press.
In addition to their role with Kenyon College, Rhea also serves as the executive director of the Ace and Aro Alliance of Central Ohio, which is the state’s first organization focused upon serving the asexual and aromantic community; a member of the advisory board for the TGNC360 Initiative of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance, which is the state’s first transgender-focused economic empowerment initiative; and a facilitator of the NCAA’s Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program, which is the organization’s first nationwide LGBTQ+ inclusion program. Previously, they served as both the vice president for the board of directors and the acting operational director of the Newark Ohio Pride Coalition, which coordinates a local pride festival of roughly 1,500 annual attendees.
Areas of Expertise
LGBTQ+ programming; LGBTQ+ training initiatives; Unity House; Crozier Center for Women; HIV prevention resources; transition-related resources; Student LGBTQ+ Diversity Fund; LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee; liaison to the Cox Health & Counseling Center; liason to the Office for Civil Rights; heritage month planning; and general services from the ODEI
2018 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ Connecticut
2014 — Master of Arts from Univ Connecticut
2012 — Bachelor of Arts from Columbus State University