COMMUNITY NEWS Volume 1, Number 7
April 1994


                          APRIL EVENTS CALENDAR

1 (Friday) Lesbigay Lunch. Every Friday at 1 pm in the third-floor cafeteria of the Faculty House. All are welcome. * LBGC First Friday Dance. Theme: Temptation, with DJ Susan Moribito. Visit the confessional in the Schiff Room, or the kd cafe for coffee, juice, and food. 10 pm, Earl Hall. 3 (Sunday) LBGC Meeting. 7 pm, 303 Earl Hall. 7 (Thursday) CU Seminar on Homosexualities. Topic: "What Do We Really Know About the Lesbian/Gay Vote? Issues of Identity and Method." Presenter: Robert Bailey, CU. 7:30 pm, Room 1512 IAB. * LBGTC Meeting. 9 pm, 177 Grace Dodge Hall (Teachers College). 13 (Wednesday) JAGL General Meeting. Contact Toni Meir at 853-1917 ( 8 pm, 400 W. 119th St, Apt 12M. 14 (Thursday) End-of-Year Community Party. Refreshments and Fun! 5:30-7 pm, 308 Lewisohn Hall. 15-17 (Friday-Sunday) LesBiGay Ugrad Student Conference. More information, call Shannon Halkyard at 853-7365 (, or Melinda Hayes at 853-1336. 15 (Friday) Lesbian/Gay Studies Group. Topic: Representations of Sexuality in Contemporary Chinese Film. 4 pm, 754 Schermerhorn Extension. 16 (Saturday) Third Saturday Dance. 10 pm-2 am, Earl Hall. 17 (Sunday) LBGC Meeting. 7 pm, 303 Earl Hall. 21 (Thursday) GABLES-CU Meeting. 5:30-7 pm, 628 Kent Hall. * LBGTC Meeting. 9 pm, 177 Grace Dodge Hall (Teachers College). 24 (Sunday) LBGC Meeting. 7 pm, 303 Earl Hall. 28 (Thursday) Reading from "Stonewall" by the author, Martin Duberman. Question-and-answer period followed by book signing and reception at Barnard Bookforum. 8 pm, Sulzberger Parlor, Barnard. 29 (Friday) Lesbian/Gay Studies Group. Panel discussion on the topic "Celebrating Stonewall 25--Looking Into the Future." 4 pm, 754 Schermerhorn Extension. 30 (Saturday) Women's Dance. Co-sponsored by LBGC and Girlz on Film. Proceeds to benefit lesbian filmmakers. For more information call 854-1488. Earl Hall. KEY: GABLES-CU--Gay, Bisexual, & Lesbian Employees & Supporters JAGL--Jewish Activist Gays and Lesbians LBGC--Columbia/Barnard Lesbian Bisexual Gay Coalition LBGTC--Lesbians, Bisexuals, & Gays at Teachers College

      What's got green lambdas, black triangles, purple "prides" and 
      little rainbows? No, not Lucky Charms. Not even Fruit Loops 
      (although you 'are' getting closer...).

      The aforementioned symbols were some of those used at the 
      Community Meeting in January to designate small discussion groups 
      into which 40 participants were divided. Under the direction of 
      Joellynn K. Monahan, counselor and acting director of the Women's 
      Center at Princeton University, each group grappled with what kind 
      of a lesbigay community they'd like to help create at Columbia.

      The result? The rainbow group emphasized social and interpersonal 
      concerns such as inclusivity, openness, and trust, suggesting that 
      a prime challenge was to "make the University accept [us] without 
      embarrassment." The pink triangles recommended that we recognize 
      differences while emphasizing similarities and keeping in mind 
      that "not everyone wants a group." The black triangles suggested 
      that the Community draft a statement of purpose. Other topics 
      covered included the challenge of constructing a community in the 
      middle of New York City, speculation on why some lesbigay groups 
      seem to thrive while others languish, and the need for 
      opportunities for plain old "babe-hunting."

      The March meeting featured a roundtable discussion on homophobia 
      and heterosexism chaired by Stephen Davis. Steve van Leeuwen, 
      Annie Barry, Ken Harlin, and James Crapotta offered personal 
      insights. Lynne Bejoian, the University's Director of Student 
      Affairs, suggested that the Americans with Disabilities Act may 
      provide an avenue of redress when individuals are victimized 
      because others assume that they are HIV-positive or have AIDS. The 
      federal law, she noted, prohibits discrimination not only on the 
      basis of disability but also on the perception of disability. For 
      more information, contact Bejoian at 854-2388.

      Marsha Wagner, the University's Ombuds Officer, reported that of 
      the 27 homophobic incidents her office has logged during the 
      academic year, 18 involved public situations, such as defaced 
      posters and shouted epithets. The rest involved interpersonal 
      situations such as an individual believing she or he was passed 
      over for a job promotion because of homophobia. Wagner can be 
      reached at 854-1234 (
                                                             - Ray Smith

                              STONEWALL 25

Out of a rebellious milieu that goes back as far as the American Revolution, the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 occurred, heralding the emergence of the worldwide lesbigay movement--a milestone in our history that exemplifies what we still want and still must struggle to achieve. I can think of no better way to invigorate ourselves than to commemorate its 25th anniversary, demonstrating to the world that we will 'be' because we 'are'. In June, New York City will be filled with lesbigay events; but Sunday, June 26, 1994, is the day you 'must' mark on your calendar. Get a good night's sleep after celebrating your victories in the Gay Games. You'll need strength to keep up with the whirlwind of activities! Start with the parade down Fifth Avenue shaded by the mile-long rainbow flag that even the most jaded New Yorker will find incredible. So many marchers are expected that floats had to be banned to make room for all the bodies! Then, continue over to the United Nations for the rally where we will press for lesbigay (and transgender) inclusion in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Finally, as the sun sets, we'll light each other's candles and join the procession past Stonewall. If you are not planning to attend, think about this. Many hippies reneged on the collective dream of the late '60s, taking up the mantle of a renewed Establishment that perpetuates discrimination. As noted several times before in these pages, homophobia and heterosexism are the last "acceptable" forms of bigotry. Those aging hippies are the major force with which we must contend. Rekindle their youthful spirit. Impose it on them. We have the opportunity to make our presence felt, our defiance clear, and our quest for freedom and free expression formidable. Get on the bandwagon. Make it happen. For more information on events, see the CUNIX notesfile "lesbigay," or read the Usenet Newsgroup "soc.motss." See you at the parade, the rally, the park.... - Ed Mannix

      What we in the United States know as the Gay Movement is not as 
      visible in Spain or Latin America. Hispanics are much more 
      reluctant to self-identify as gay or lesbian. Gay liberation 
      movements in the Hispanic world are much less present and less 
      well organized than here. Indeed, many Hispanics perceive the gay 
      liberation movement as an Anglo-American phenomenon, something 
      imported and grafted onto indigenous Hispanic cultures.

      Hispanic cultures perceive sexuality as something that is of the 
      private and not of the public sphere. Homosexual acts and 
      inclinations may be privately acknowledged, but rarely spoken 
      about. A degree of closeting is endemic to these communities. 
      Indeed, there is no Hispanic equivalent for the term "to come 

      In all but the most modern, foreign-influenced, trendy urban 
      centers--Barcelona is the one with which I am most familiar--the 
      family and, particularly in smaller rural areas, the community, 
      are the groups with which the homosexual most clearly identifies. 
      I use "homosexual" advisedly, since what we consider lesbian and 
      gay identities are in many ways not applicable to many areas of 
      these cultures. The notion of one's sexuality as an essential 
      marker of identity is in many ways erased by the identification 
      with a community in which heterosexism rules.

      Traditionally, those homosexual men who have publicly assumed 
      their homosexuality have tended to self-identify with and be 
      identified as women. The "marica," the "loca," the fairy, the 
      pansy have, curiously, been allowed a certain leeway in Hispanic 
      societies because, as "women," they are seen as powerless and as 
      nonthreatening to masculinity. Rural villages in Andaluca have 
      often accepted the equivalent of the village fairy within the 
      community--he/she is of use to the community, doing "women's work" 
      (sewing, mending, cooking) and serving as a sexual release for the 
      men in the fields. In Jose Donoso's "El lugar sin limites" ("Hell 
      Has No Limits") we find an example of the village fairy who 
      identifies totally as a woman and is tolerated because he/she is a 
      source of entertainment and ridicule when the men need to assert 
      their machismo from time to time. Molina in Manuel Puig's "El beso 
      de la mujer arana" ("The Kiss of the Spider Woman") is another 
      example. On the other hand, the masculine homosexual (the 
      "maricon" in Spain), is perceived as more of a threat and as more 
      dangerous to society because he is a "real man," could want sex 
      from another "real man," and disturbs the heterosexual man's 
      notion of what it means to be masculine.

      In the United States we tend to label anyone who has a sexual 
      encounter with someone of his or her own sex as gay, lesbian, or 
      homosexual. In the Hispanic world the marker is the role one takes 
      in the sexual act and not the gender of the sexual partner. That 
      is, the partner who takes the passive position and is penetrated, 
      is deemed the woman, the lesser partner, the one who is dominated. 
      The active partner, the one who takes charge and penetrates is 
      deemed the man, the one in control, the one who dominates. Thus, a 
      man who penetrates another man is still considered, and still 
      considers himself, a man, and a heterosexual man.

      The first gay march in Barcelona, in 1976, was a movement led by 
      maricas and transvestites. The macho clones, the "virile" 
      homosexuals who modeled themselves on the more masculine-acting 
      United States gays, stayed on the sidelines. Gay liberation has 
      not necessarily been a liberation for all and it has not totally 
      liberated the minds of gay men.

      Lesbianism in Hispanic societies is rarely acknowledged, but 
      lesbian theory can be found in some feminist tracts by authors 
      such as Lidia Falcon. We are including lesbian writers in the 
      course I teach at Barnard, "Reading for Difference: Lesbian and 
      Gay Themes in Hispanic Literature and Film." But, curiously 
      enough, the writings rarely celebrate lesbianism as a lifestyle or 
      identity that is fully assumed in a native Hispanic context.

      Perhaps our movement is not the ideal one for the Hispanic world. 
      Perhaps, instead, its less-essentialist concept of homosexuality, 
      one in which 'being' gay or lesbian is replaced by the notion of a 
      society where sexuality is only part of one's identity--and not 
      the defining factor of that identity--might actually be more 
      liberating for queer men and women in this country.

                                                        - James Crapotta

      The curriculum committee of GABLES is currently investigating 
      various ways and means to introduce into the curriculum of 
      Columbia more material dealing with lesbian, bisexual, and gay 
The need is obvious enough: this material has always been absent from traditional analyses of history, society, literature, and culture, and to this extent we as lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men have had no place in intellectual discourse. The situation has been changing for several years, and several universities and colleges now have gay studies programs. Unfortunately, Columbia, while not a wasteland, is lagging somewhat behind. A number of our faculty are interested in various aspects of lesbian and gay studies, and many of them regularly offer courses that deal with or focus on lesbigay issues. The Institute for Research on Women and Gender (763 Schermerhorn Extension) provides a useful guide to these courses, and also sponsors the Lesbian and Gay Studies Group. The latter, organized by graduate students, provides a valuable forum for discussion and the presentation of papers, and brings in outside speakers (see Events). Nevertheless, lesbian and gay studies remain on the fringe of the University. The committee has so far identified two main goals for the undergraduate curriculum: first, the inclusion of lesbigay material in general courses; second, more courses focusing on lesbigay issues and, ultimately, a recognized program with a major. Of the two, the first is perhaps more important, since it would mean a real end to our exclusion. But it is also more difficult, because no one can dictate the content of all courses. One approach is to set up some sort of clearinghouse to make people aware of what material exists and how it could be included. For centrally organized courses, like those in the Columbia College Core, this is easier to do. We have already made some headway towards including more lesbigay issues in Contemporary Civilization, and hope to do the same for Literature Humanities. As for the second goal, the main obstacle would probably be money, a fairly serious problem in these days of budget cuts. We have been considering how we could offer a central course as a beginning for a larger program, such as an interdisciplinary introduction to lesbian and gay studies. While there are people who are interested in teaching all or parts of such a course, they are for the most part needed by their departments to teach other courses. The problem thus comes down to money: if new courses are offered, people must be paid to teach them. But we will continue trying to finagle such a course. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to contact me (610 Hamilton; I would also encourage students who would like to see more courses with lesbigay content to let their department chairs and deans know: student pressure can only help. - James Rives

      The comedy troupe now appearing at the Courtyard Playhouse calls 
      itself "Loud Blouse," but they might just as well be Outrageous 
      Wig, Stiletto Heel, Padded Bra, or even, yes, Giant Vagina. 
      Furiously changing costumes and shifting gears, the five players 
      use the 120 minutes of their new show, "The Last Brunch," to send 
      up fag hags, Magic Earring Ken, Doris Day, gays in the military, 
      life-threatening head injuries, Mary Magdalene, and Julio and 
      Marisol of subway advertising fame.

      Along the way you can call the Anxiety Hotline, get advice from 
      Our Bodies Ourselves, check out the new line of Barbie dolls for 
      the 90s and see the Apostles do the conga. But what I still want 
      to know is whether the backup singers for drag queen Hedda Lettuce 
      get equity wages. If all this seems intriguing, if jumbled, you've 
      got the spirit of Loud Blouse. Indeed, it must have been a slow 
      night when the "New York Post" called the group "'Forbidden 
      Broadway' in a head-on crash with Kids In The Hall." The show is 
      performed on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:30 pm at the Courtyard 
      Playhouse, 39 Grove Street. Admission is $10. For reservations, 
      call 330-7601.
                                                             - Ray Smith

      For those who've been wondering, the gay cable soap opera Sixth 
      Floor Harrison is not based on or produced at Columbia, although 
      exterior campus scenes were shot on campus walk last September. 
      Still, the show is a fun reflection on college gay life and well 
      worth a watch. Revolving around ten guys (mostly gay) on the sixth 
      floor of Harrison Hall at an unspecified midwestern college, the 
      13-part series features lots of romance and intrigue without 
      getting pornographic. "We're just trying to say that gays are 
      people too," says producer/director Sam Tallerico.

      "Sixth Floor Harrison isn't about coming out or about AIDS, which 
      just about every other show on TV about gay people is. There are 
      no gay characters on the ten daytime soaps, and the character on 
      Melrose Place hardly ever does anything.... So, we just want to 
      let the networks know that you can show two guys kissing on 
      television and not have people go crazy." You can check it out for 
      yourself at 10:30 pm on Friday nights on Channel 16 on both 
      Paragon and Manhattan Cable. The entire series will be rerun 
      starting April 15.
                                                             - Ray Smith

    * GLIB (Gays and Lesbians in Business) has begun building a file 
      with information about sexual orientation issues at a number of 
      major employers and a listing of Columbia lesbigay alums working 
      at various corporations. The GLIB file can be viewed by any 
      Columbia student at the Business School's Career Resource Center 
      in the mezzanine of Uris Hall. GLIB can be reached by contacting 
      the Business School's Office of Student Activities at 854-5563.

    * Work is underway on the next edition of the "Columbia ALmanac of 
      Information Pertaining to Sexual Orientation" (CALIPSO). We'd 
      appreciate hearing from anyone who has new or updated information, 
      would like to help with writing or editing, is interested in doing 
      artwork, or could help with production. Please contact Ray Smith 

    * GALLSA (Gay and Lesbian Law Students Association) is having a 
      fund-raising party for the Stonewall Scholarship, presented to a 
      law student committed to ending discrimination based on sexual 
      orientation, on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 pm in the Case Lounge 
      at the Law School. A $30 contribution to the scholarship is 
      requested. Professor Kendall Thomas will make opening remarks. 
      RSVP to Scott Ulrey at 678-2177.

    * Kate Wissman asks for vignettes: I am working on an essay 
      describing how lesbigay civil rights legislation can help change 
      the negative messages lesbigays receive and how it could therefore 
      help prevent lesbigay teen suicide and addiction. I would like to 
      discuss this issue via e-mail ( or in person 
      (854-7303)--your thoughts, personal feelings, stories, statistics. 
      Anonymity and confidentiality assured if you wish.

    * The LBGC is sponsoring research prizes for queer scholarship in 
      the humanities and social sciences for undergraduates at CC, BC, 
      and GS. We will offer $175 and a plaque for the first prize and 
      $75 and a medal for the second prize. Each prize will be available 
      for a male and a female. The recommended length is 15 to 25 pages 
      (senior theses may exceed this length). Deadline: April 29, 2 pm. 
      Pick up a written application from the Institute for Research on 
      Women and Gender in 763 Schermerhorn Extension and return it there 
      with four copies of your paper (without your name). There will be 
      a reception to honor the queer researchers on May 6. If you have 
      any questions, please call 854-1488,

    * To graduate students: We need someone to take responsibility for 
      convening meetings and coordinating social events for the scores 
      of lesbigay graduate students at Columbia. Contact John Higgins at

  | Congratulations!                                                   |
  |                                                                    |
  | To Bill and Joe on their registering as Domestic Partners on       |
  | Tuesday, March 1, 1994. After 15 years of "living in sin," you've  |
  | finally (been allowed) to make honest men of each other.           |
  | Continued love and happiness!                                      |
  |                                  From your fellow 'SAS'y boys      |

COMMUNITY NEWS  Volume 1, Number 7  April 1994
     "Community News" is produced monthly during the academic year by 
      men and women of Columbia University's lesbian, bisexual, and gay 
      community. We thank GABLES-CU and the Office of Campus Programs 
      for providing financial and moral support.

   Coordinator      Dwight Childers      854-4572
   Articles Editor  E. R. Shipp          862-4527
   Events Editor    John Rash            678-3779
   Managing Editor  Steven van Leeuwen   854-3078
   Production       Nuala Hallinan       854-5644
                    Beth E. Stryker      854-2514
   Nurturer         Ken Harlin           854-1501
   Guiding Spirit   Stephen Davis        854-4744

      "Community News" is distributed at various public University 
      locations including Campus Programs (305 Low), via a mailing list 
      (854-3078;, and on ColumbiaNet in the Community 
      Interest menu (for help in connecting call the AcIS Help Line, 
      854-4854, 9-5, M-F).



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