Story Suggestions – Classes 1970 and Later

What do you remember about Oberlin Gay Liberation and Gay Lib dances? Oberlin Gay Union/OLGBTU? The Women’s Collective? Afro House/Afrikan American Heritage House? Drag Ball? Organ Pumps? What other organizations or social spaces do you remember? What did these groups mean to you personally?

How did LGBT groups interact with other identity groups? How would you characterize the relationship between LGBT people of color and white LGBT people on campus? With both these groups and heterosexual people of color? What was the relationship like between lesbians and gay men? What were some milestones in understanding between LGBT groups and these groups?

Some felt same-sex desire was a marker of identity or class, or a minority status. Some saw it as a sign of an elite relationship to talent or style. Others felt it was a symptom of mental illness or an anti-social habit. Still others considered it a political statement. How did you conceive of same-sex desire at Oberlin? What words did you use to describe your sexuality or gender identity?

How were LGBT subjects dealt with in the classroom, campus publications, etc.?

What role did the Conservatory, the arts, and the theater play in campus LGBT life? What was the importance of music and the arts in your life at Oberlin, and how might your involvement in these worlds been influenced or shaped by your sexual identity?

What role did sexuality play in campus politics? What were the common perceptions of LGBT people at Oberlin in general?

Did you visit Cleveland lesbian or gay bars, or other off-campus LGBT institutions or gatherings? If so, how did you locate them, and what were they like?

How did the Oberlin administration regulate student sexuality? What kind of interaction did you have with the administration, or departments like Psychological Services as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered person, if any? What was your relationship to LGBT faculty or staff, if any?

How did Oberlin shape your character and your understanding of LGBT life and politics? What, in your opinion, is the role of a liberal arts college, and how does this relate to LGBT issues?