PHOTO: OSU frat boy Dan Cushing runs for office and comes out as gay on the front page of the student newspaper. See article by Don Iler, "From the closet to candidate, A vice presidential candidate's journey in coming to terms with himself, his sexuality," Barometer, Apr. 27, 2012, p. 1, 3 and Amelia Harris and Dan Cushing, "Guest Column, Cushing, Harris -- problems of today, goals for future," Barometer, Apr. 27, 2012, p. 4. For more on his election, see the article by Don Iler, "Harris, Cushing win ASOSU presidential elections," Barometer, posted online Apr. 27, 2012, printed Apr. 30, 2012, p. 1. Also see the editorial Editorial Board, "Please restore competence to ASOSU," Barometer, Apr. 30, 2012.
PHOTO: The Oregon State University student newspaper editor's page layout for my Thomas Kraemer, "Letter to the editor, On Dan Cushing's 'coming out' National, OSU gay progress," Barometer, May 2, 2012, p. 5. The editor placed my letter right next to the annual OSU Pride event advertisement and opposite the student's favorite "Dr. Sex" column written by the OSU instructor of the popular sex-ed class at OSU. I would love to take credit fort his editorial decision, but I swear it was actually unplanned and uncoordinated by me -- I only wrote the letter in response to the original article. (See OSU pride events at facebook.com/OSUPride2012 and Dr. Kathleen M. Greaves Ph.D., "What constitutes abstinence, different concept of virginity," OSU Barometer, May 2, 2012, p. 4-5)
The April 27, 2012 front-page "Coming Out" story of Oregon State University student Dan Cushing running for student body vice president, demonstrates the heart-warming progress made since 1971, when the University of Minnesota Law student Jack Baker became the nation's first openly gay student body president.
Unfortunately, gay marriage equality was barred by law at this time. In 1972, Jack Baker famously took his gay marriage case to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost. However, he and his partner still consider themselves to be married today.
The gay activism of Baker and other brave pioneers inspired the formation of the first officially recognized gay student group at OSU in 1976. Unlike many other colleges, OSU administrators willingly approved it.
A history of progress toward equality achieved by gay people at OSU can be linked to from the OSU Pride Center's webpage or at the OutHistory website here: goo.gl/BQhv2 .
OSU's history includes a gay OSU Beaver football player over a hundred years ago and the more recent OSU alum, Esera Tuaolo, who became a professional NFL player until he retired.
Also summarized is the history of OSU's gay research on the popularly called "gay" fruit flies and sheep. I have set up a multi-million dollar OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund to sponsor similar research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity.
Equality is a virtue that crosses political party lines. The present day gay Log Cabin Republican organization was founded decades ago by Professor W. Dorr Legg, who taught at OSU in the 1930s.
I hope to be alive when today's students can go beyond just coming out and they achieve true equality.
OSU Electrical Engineering Class of 1977
There have been some mainstream books and organizations for gay fraternity brothers. This subject is especially touchy because there is a whole genre of gay porn that centers on the homoeroticism of frat brothers. (See previous post OSU 'Greek Pads' features fraternity house Phi Delta Theta (2/1/12) and e.g. a video titled "Fetish Stories: Frat Boys") No matter what your opinion is about fraternity college boys, it is nice to see a few come out and show that their sexual orientation doesn't stop them from being treated equally in the Greek system.
PHOTO: May 18, 1970 Michael McConnell and Jack Baker were married by Hennepin County Minnesota Justice of the Peace. (See previous posts Life Magazine gay marriage 1971 (11/20/08) and Gay marriage pioneer Jack Baker starts blog (confirmed) (4/4/12))