Historical Documents

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Darwin letter to President Fairchild
Dec. 9, 1878, Oberlin College Archives
I am sure he only meant a little harmless fun not considering how a wicked world would construe it. He always had a “penchant” for woman’s attire…

Warmer-smallLuke Warmer (pseudonym; OC 53) Diary Entries

The 1960s

Sex Lectures Exchange
Dec. 2 and 16, 1960, Oberlin Review
Only if homosexuality is accepted as a natural social phenomenon, as it is in England, can we approach the problem objectively, if we agree that this is a “problem” after all…

“The Boy Friend”
By Geoff Ward
1962, Oberlin Review
I loved “The Boy Friend” from absurd beginning to ludicrous finale. It is fast, funny, and delightful, and it should be enjoyed, not analyzed…

“Senate Letter on Admissions”
Mar. 11, 1969, Oberlin Review
The interview sheets contained statements of political philosophies, comments on physical characteristics, and comments concerning the masculinity of applicants…

The 1970s

“Loving Freely”
By Anne Raver
Mar. 9, 1971, Oberlin Review
There is the threatening power of individuality and freedom in homosexuality that has come partly from the rebellion against those very narrow roles that are assigned to women as keepers of the family…

“Students consider organizing Gay Lib”
By Linda Ecksmith
Mar. 19 1971, Oberlin Review
A common feeling that the College gay community meets with an oppressive type of tolerance and general ignorance of homosexuality prompted the gathering…

“An expression of love—gay liberation widens the scope of human relationships”
By John E. Adams
Apr. 16, 1971, Oberlin Review
The Gay Liberation Front (GLF) has been formed all across the country to fight the enslaving lies and myths which America hopes to perpetuate…

1971 Alumni Luncheon Speech
Patrick Broome (OC 71)
May 22, 1971, Oberlin College Archives audioicon (with audio clip)
The college has done nothing to recognize the problems of the homosexual community on campus…

“Gay Lib moves out of the closet”
By Pat Clawson and Gary Keeper
Sept. 17, 1971, Oberlin Review
People are not simply gay or straight—everyone has within them the potential to be attracted to people of both sexes…

“A response to Gay Liberation”
By John Binde
Sept. 24, 1971, Oberlin Review
Gay Liberation is a reflection of a general cultural outlook that declares truth and morality to be meaningless or non-existent…

“Gay liberation approved as a club; seek acceptance, sexual freedom”
By Bill Burdick
Oct. 1, 1971, Oberlin Review
The charter was approved without too much trouble, although there was some legal question whether the SLC would be condoning sodomy through their actions…

“The false fear of homosexuality”
By Pat Clawson
Oct. 8, 1971, Oberlin Review
We in Gay Lib think that many members of the Oberlin community are very uptight about gay people…

“Violent fight forces dance, Rat to close”
By Steven Goldstein
Oct. 12, 1971, Oberlin Review
A swinging melee broke out during the otherwise successful Gay Lib dance in Wilder Hall last Saturday night…

Gay Liberation Charter
Oct. 23, 1971
To seek freedom of sexual expression and an end to sexist oppression of gay people…

“Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!”
By Karl Spahn
Dec. 3, 1971, Oberlin Review
Each time my fear was lessened, even as the test grew tougher; openly associating with other Gay Lib members in the Wilder main lobby; asking at the main desk for the key to the G.L. office; dancing with other boys at the G.L. dance…

Coming Out
December 1972-August 1973
We are Coming Out and it’s high time we did. Communications among the
women in the Oberlin community have broken down if they ever did exist… This paper will be a monthly publication put out by all interested women of the Oberlin community.

“Portrait of the Artist as a Young Faggot”
By Jay Gorney
May 15, 1973, Oberlin Review
On Male Lesbianism: If men in general (and male egos in particular) become more repulsive, I swear I’ll start sleeping with women, which would make me not straight, but a male radical lesbian…

“Weiss appointed Intern for homosexual concerns”
By Eileen Yacknin
Mar. 8, 1974, Oberlin Review
In a place like Oberlin, oppression and discrimination are much more subtle; people here accept things on an intellectual level, as long as it doesn’t directly involve them…

“Gay Obies Take Center Stage”
Circa Mar. 1977, Oberlin Review
The Oberlin Gay Union was reaffirmed as OGRE’s communications headquarters…

“Gay Union Speaks for State Caucus”
Feb. 1, 1977, Oberlin Review
Oberlin’s Gay Union has been designated the communication center for a newly-formed coalition of Ohio gay organizations…

“A Message to Black Gays”
Apr. 26, 1977, Oberlin Review
To be a homosexual…is to be involved in an activity that is at best an unnatural one…

“Oberlin’s Gay Community: Growing Stronger Every Day”
Dec. 9, 1977, Oberlin Review
The future of homosexual liberation at Oberlin is very largely tied into the future of homosexual liberation nationally…

“Gays Lobby in Elyria”
Feb. 28, 1978, Oberlin Review
Gay Union members have demonstrated their support for a gay rights ordinance under consideration by the Eleria City Council…

“Gay Jeans”
Apr. 11, 1978, Oberlin Review
Think about what you are saying in your choice of clothing…

“Gays Struggle for Strategy”
May 2, 1978, Oberlin Review
Over 100 people attended the speech [by Virginia Apuzzo] to hear the self-proclaimed “lesbian feminist activist”…

Gay Union Charter
To actively pursue the end of social, political, and legal oppression of gay persons…

The 1980s

“Taking on the Future”
Mar. 7, 1980, Oberlin Review
The March on Washington and the results following it, including this conference, have the potential for being a turning point in the movement…

Gay Union
Spring 1980
Here is a list of some of the activities planned by the Union this semester…

“Homophobia: Local and National Threat”
May 1, 1981, Oberlin Review
Strong visible support for the gay community…must challenge homophobia if Oberlin is to live up to its commitment as a progressive institution…

“Students Hold Vigil; Protest Local Prejudice”
Sep. 29, 1981, Oberlin Review
The vigil, organized by the Gay Union, was held in response to a recent KKK-style cross-burning…and anti-gay effigy-hanging…

“Vigil Demonstrates Need for Unity”
Oct. 2, 1981, Oberlin Review
Although gay people are not automatically identifiable, oppression affects us every day…

“Committee Prompts Stir Over Gay Rights Clause”
Feb. 26, 1982, Oberlin Review
Admission Committee members raised the issue of the sexual orientation clause while discussing ways to increase the number of male applicants here…

“Sexual Orientation Clause Sets College Apart from Competitors”
Mar. 5, 1982, Oberlin Review
The clause provides an element of protection and security not found at many other schools…

“Non-discrimination Clause Relocated to Rear of Catalogue”
Apr. 30, 1982, Oberlin Review
Attentive readers will have noticed that the affirmative action statement in this year’s catalogue has been moved…to the back page of the book…

“Smith Defends Feminism”
Apr. 27, 1984, Oberlin Review
Smith spent most of the evening speaking of what it means to be black, female, and lesbian in a straight, white, male-dominated country…

“Lesbians Assert Presence”
Apr. 15, 1988, Oberlin Review
Right now there is a real need on campus for a cohesive, vocal lesbian community…

“OC Students Gather in Mudd to Protest Homophobic Actions”
Dec. 2, 1988, Oberlin Review
The women carried signs that read “Get on Board: lesbian and gay issues are not just for toilets anymore”…

“Weekend Says: Be Proud!”
Circa 1989
The Oberlin College Lesbian Gay Bisexual Union is going all out on its “Pink Spring Gay Pride Weekend”…

Lesbian Survival Map
Circa 1989
Talcott (site of first annual Lesbutante Ball), Mudd A-Level (lesbian “study” mecca), Fairchild Coop (one ton of lesbians measured)…

LGBU Update
Feb. 7, 1989
LGBU events and meeting update…

“Seventh Sense Presents: Religion and Spirituality…”
Poster, Mar. 6, 1989
A support group and “safe space” for lesbian, bisexual, and questioning women…

“LGBU Lost from View(Book)”
Dec. 11, 1989, publication unknown
Access to Oberlin College itself is denied and hindered through the activities of the Admissions Office…

The 1990s

“Gay Students Respond to Homophobic Attacks”
Circa 1990, Oberlin Review
Two incidents of harassment of gay students were reported to Dean of Students George Langeler…

“ACT UP Memorializes AIDS Deaths”
circa 1990, Oberlin Review
Members of ACT UP took turns drawing thousands of identical slash marks in bright yellow chalk on the walkways in Wilder Bowl…

Alumni Letter
Oct. 13, 1991, Oberlin Review
It is the sense of the group that efforts by the College to “mainstream” the student body…have taken a form which we find profoundly disturbing…

“Valuing Honesty: Third OLGBA Reunion Attracts Hundreds”
Fall/Winter 1996, Oberlin Alumni Magazine
Workshop topics included political organizing, AIDS, and academic-research issues…

Undisclosed Recipients: ;
Publication by Joey Plaster, Miriam Jackson, Kristen Keniray, Corey Dargel,
Tyfahra Singleton, KT Shorb
Spring 1999
To aid in the development of a new kind of queer politics…in which
issues of class, race, transgenderism, socially transgressive
sexualities, ability, and experimental/radical activism are not only
important, but central…

“God Loves and Creates Queers”
By Pauline Oliveros
May, 1999, Oberlin Review
Corey was really getting deeply into his patterns – the notes were flying, interlocking and urging the obviously tired Evangelist on.

“LGBTU Dorm Request Lost”
Sep. 24, 1999, Oberlin Review
It seems that the proposal for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Ally program house has dissapeared…

“LGBTs of Color Flock to Zami”
Dec. 3, 1999, Oberlin Review
The relatively new organization was made by and for queer people of color…

The 2000s

“Drag Ball Too Grand?”
Apr. 14, 2000, Oberlin Review
Drag Ball. You either love it or hate it…

“Kinsey 1-5 Explores Bisexuality”
Nov. 10, 2000, Oberlin Review
Each Spring, Kinsey holds a High Bi Tea, also known as Bisexuali-tea, in Wilder Bowl…

“Transgender Awareness Week Transcends”
Apr. 13, 2001, Oberlin Review
The transgender movement raises issues beyond appearance. It can provoke controversy within the queer community as well as outside of it…

“Drag Ball is Another Culture Co-opted by Whites”
Apr. 20, 2001, Oberlin Review
Drag Ball is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cultural appropriation…on this campus…

“How Does White Culture Equal Corruption of Drag Ball?”
Apr. 27, 2001, Oberlin Review
I do question the validity of an article that soley places the faults of Drag Ball upon white, straight students…

“Institutional Racism in LGBTU”
May 11, 2001, Oberlin Review
The LGBTU has not addressed its own racism and there is no acceptable apology for that lack of action…

“LGBTU Co-Chair Apologizes”
May 11, 2001, Oberlin Review
Few people of color are actively involved with LGBTU…

“Recommendation to Include TG”
Mar. 7, 2003, Oberlin Review
The Advisory Council on Transgender Student Needs…released to senior administrators and major campus offices a report containing recommendations for making Oberlin College more inclusive of transgender, transsexual, and genderqueer students…

“LGBT Reflect on Hate Crimes”
Nov. 21, 2003, Oberlin Review
Transgendered people and tramsgender allies at Oberlin…organized for the 5th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance…

“The Thing to Remember”
Essay by Harmony Pringle (OC 11)
Fall 2007
“The main thing to remember is that the dance happened and that they happened again.” In a way, they are still happening. I hold my own, personal “dances” each day at Oberlin, as I step closer to who I really am.…


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