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Thursday, October 9, 2014

OSU lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Allied communities, as well as those who identify as Same Gender Loving, Two Spirit, Asexual, Pansexual, and Poly-Amorous

screen shot OSU LGBTQ web page Oct. 2014

PHOTO: UPDATE 10/14/14 the above screen capture of the Oregon State University LGBTQ@OSU was added to the post by John Aravosis, "We are now LGBTQ (depending who you ask)," posted Oct. 9, 2014 -- John told me in a personal communication that as experienced as he is, he had to look up the term same gender loving to find out how it is defined.

Content warning: People, such as right-wingers who hate gays, can cherish this post and will probably misuse it as an example of university liberals being too "politically correct," but more mature individuals I hope will find it simply amusing.

"Just when Americans were starting to understand what the term "LGBT" meant -- it's the new term for the gay community -- the organization formerly known as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has now changed its name to 'The National LGBTQ Task Force,'" (Quoted from John Aravosis, "We are now LGBTQ (depending who you ask)," posted Oct. 9, 2014, which Aravosis wrote in response to the explanation of the name change by Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, "Op-ed: Why This Major Organization Is Changing Its Name. Being your authentic self is a revolutionary act for millions of LBGTQ people. Here's why one major organization is going to do the same." [psted Oct. 8, 2014)

I'm old enough to recall when the word "gay" was embraced after the 1969 Stonewall riot by both men and women as being a unifying theme meant to be positive while rejecting the old terms of "queer" and homosexual. Previous word changes had failed, such as the term "homophile" that was supported for years by the former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg who promoted it probably because he was an intellectual purist who hated the mix-up of Greek and Latin words -- and others like using the word "homophile" because they hated the overemphasis on sex in the word "homosexual." (Note that the word "gay" had been a slang term used well before Stonewall often used by men wanting to meet other men.)

I also recall how when women liberationists in the 1970's started to complain about the misogyny of gay men, who I agree were misogynists just like their heterosexual fathers, and as a result many lesbian women demanded the classical word lesbian be added, which led directly to choosing the name the "National Gay and Lesbian Task Force" (NGLTF) and a man decided to put the "G" first.

I recall when gay men were beaten down by the AIDS crisis in the 1980's and how heroic lesbians nurse them -- this was when the letter "L" started being put in front -- perhaps gay men were being grateful and respectful -- or were they too sick to care? In any case, the etymology of gay would make a good Ph.D. thesis, which I will leave for some energetic student to do.

Even today, the "LGBTQ@OSU" webpage at Oregon State says,

"Welcome, our office serves to meet the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Allied communities, as well as those who identify as Same Gender Loving, Two Spirit, Asexual, Pansexual, and Poly-Amorous." (Quoted from Quoted from accessed Oct. 9, 2014 at Oregon State University)

The above official OSU administrator's page includes a link to the page of Jeff Kenney, Coordinator of LGBT Outreach & Services who notes that his "Office of LGBT Outreach & Services is the professional office that advises and supports student groups, clubs, and organizations."

I suspect that the word "professional" was carefully chosen, given OSU President Ed Ray's recent public comments about being surprised he had been at OSU for 10 years before he realized that none of his cultural center staff were "professionals." (When I ask about this politically incorrect subject, every OSU staff person gets that deer-in-the-headlights look and refuses to talk about it!)

Of course, the real dreamers of all eras want to see the day when gay people are totally assimilated by the culture and they do not need to identify as such. I have dreamed of gender identity being this way someday because gender non-conformity is usually at the core of gay discrimination.

I've given speeches about this before and have also written on this issue -- as I get older, I get less interested in talking about it, but I can't resist. For example: a meeting announcement at OSU written by women in 1976 said only gay people: "November 18, 1976 Gay people - 7 PM - Center for Women's Studies. Meet to plan social and educational activities." Also, I wrote in "November 1999 Oregon State University "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Alliance" (LGBTA) votes (10-8) to change its name to the "Rainbow Continuum" in order to be more inclusive of all sexual and gender identities. Many group members preferred the name "Queers and Allies" (Q & A) as a way of taking back the word "queer" from people who use it as an insult. Some thought it would be confused with Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow group. The Rainbow Continuum student group name was still in use as of 2010 perhaps because gay students like its "on the down low" profile" (Quoted from a copy of Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1964-2002," printed to PDF from in 2010 is permanently stored by the OSU Scholars Archives@OSU)