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Thursday, October 25, 2012

OSU students support drag, gay marriage and anti-gay newspapers

Newspaper ad for 'OSU Night of The Living Queers' drag show in MU Ballroom

PHOTO: newspaper display advertisement for the annual Oregon State University "Night of the Living Queers" drag show in the Memorial Union Ballroom Oct. 26, 2012 as it was printed in "The Barometer" Oct. 24, 2012, p. 7. During the 20th Century, old fashioned gay bars had a long tradition of providing drag entertainment, especially on Halloween night. However, during the post-Stonewall gay liberation period of the 1970s, many gay rights leaders tried to hide the drag tradition in an attempt to debunk the stereotype that gay men were all a bunch of swishy girlie men. Gay leaders also wanted to further the political goal of establishing that gay people were the same as everyone else and therefore deserving of equal rights. While drag was deemed politically incorrect in the 1970s, the above ad shows the new form of political correctness that is expected in a university environment, such as the American with disabilities Act or ADA accommodations offered along with a disclaimer that says, "Warning: Show may include crude humor, foul language and vulgar choreography. Attend at own discretion." This annual event has become the biggest fund raiser for the gay student group on campus. Entire fraternities have attended and enjoyed the show in the past.

Some other interesting news items:

Headline 'Center orients women to man's world' in back to school orientation issue of The Barometer, Sept. 25, 1975, p. 33

Student newspaper article, "Center orients women to man's world," Oregon State University Barometer, Sep. 25, 1975, p. 33, recounts history of the Women's Center. The headline appears to be unintentionally sexist. The OSU Women's Center was formed in 1973 and an informal women's group in Corvallis led to the formation of the first gay student group to be officially recognized by OSU in 1976. The central role of the OSU Women's Center in starting the first gay student group at OSU in 1976 is documented in the history I wrote about gay activism in Corvallis, which is available on a site hosted by the City University of New York Center for gay and lesbian studies: Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," accessed Sep. 28, 2011. See previous posts Gay OSU Beavers history (1/28/09) and OSU queer history month speech (9/30/06).

Photo of story about gay women on page 7 of Jan. 9, 1976 Corvallis Gazette-Times

PHOTO: Jan. 9, 1976 feature article by Anne Wood, "Gay women: Coming out of the closet in Corvallis, 'Now I want to marry this woman,' " on p. 7-8 of (Corvallis, Oregon) Gazette-Times. One of the women profiled in the article came out in a letter to the editor of her student newspaper and she was active in early gay women's groups at Oregon State University.

See previous post Gay 1976 newspaper controversy (5/3/06) on gay women in Corvallis wanting to get married. Also see OSU Women's Center About Us and OSU Women's Center Resources - Sexual Orientation, both accessed Sep. 24, 2011 for an example of the current Web site.