1994: National Coming Out Day

Letter to the Editor: National Coming Out Day defiled at CWRU

Published October 10, 1994

Tuesday, October 11, members of the this campus community destroyed and defaced many of the advertisements for National Coming Out Day. These enlightened individuals treated the university to such gems of wisdom as "Homos go home," "Die Faggot Die" and "National Punch a Fag Day" chalked from the Case Quad to the Northside Dorms.

This reaction is fairly typical for CWRU. Homophobia exists on this campus, and homophobia is a problem on this campus. It will not go away in of itself; it will not disappear no matter how silent those of us in the gay/lesbian/bisexual community (or the straight for that matter) may be pressured into becoming.

The university must draw together, from the administration to the faculty, staff and students, and must decide if committing to their lofty, much-touted ideals of tolerance and respect are in fact a priority. The university must decide whether to fight hate on campus, or to surrender to it.

Christopher J. Hinkle, GLBA President
Erica Jacobs, GLBA Vice President

Letter to the Editor: Homophobia is still a concern

Published November 4, 1994

On Tuesday, October 11, a beautiful fall day, when I arrived on campus I was pleased to see the chalk drawings and signs around campus representing the pride of the gay-lesbian-bisexual community on National Coming Out Day. As I walked around the campus that day I thought of the long struggle of gays and lesbians for basic civil rights, a struggle that is still going on. The gay civil rights movement is about only one thing: the right to be left alone, a right that the straight world takes for granted. This right to be left alone includes, of course, the right to live your life free of discriminations and hatred, the right to walk without fear of being beaten. or killed merely because of the gender of the person you love, the right to just get on with your life without fear of losing a jog or of being prohibited from visiting your life's partner as he or she lies ill in a hospital.

As I walked around campus on that Tuesday I thought, well, we still have a long way to go, but, in the twenty-five years since Stonewall we've come a long way, baby. Here at CWRU, at least, gays, lesbians and bisexuals can proclaim their pride in their sexuality without fear of reprisal. Oh, how naive I continue to be. As a straight woman with many gay and lesbian friends, I presume tolerance and a respect for individual choices which does, in fact, exist among my friends, straight and gay. This tolerance and appreciation of difference-which I would argue is the hallmark of a mature, free individual-is, lamentably, lacking among some students here at CWRU.

Homophobia is not dead. On National Coming Out Day, not only were gay-pride signs pulled down and defaced, but hate messages were scrawled across campus. This verbal gay bashing "Die Faggot Die"-is frightening and, quite simply, unacceptable at an institution dedicated to enlightening and free inquiry. Of all segments of society a university is where an appreciation of difference must be nurtured.

Ann Marie Hebert, Graduate Student