NCOD: The Olin Files

Out of the closet and into Olin.

When National Coming Out Day hits Wes, it hits hard. Queer kiss-ins at Wesleyan date back at least as far as 2004, when The Argus published Zach Goldstein ’05’s Wespeak, “Reach Out and Kiss Someone.” For Goldstein, an Olin kiss-in wasn’t enough: the author directed queers to Freeman, to NorthCo, the Davenport (aww), and to MoCon (aaaawwww), kissing all the live-long day. Key quote:

We can’t chalk, but we were queer before Crayola came along. We can grope, squeeze, pull, lick, suck, fuck, strap on, rip off, tie up, tear down, reject, revolt, talk, write, sing, scream, re-appropriate, play, pull, push, and turn heteronormativity on its head.

Then, more recently, there was the 2009 Olin kiss-in: the chalking, the group photo, the ARE YOU FUCKED? sign-ups.

For a staggering wealth of knowledge on Wesleyan’s Queer History 1975-2000, direct your attention to an article entitled just that,  a staggeringly research history by Phil Gentry ’02. Regarding NCOD, Gentry points to a particularly divisive incident in the fall of ’98:

The last major incident within the community came in 1998, when a queer frosh erased some of the sexually explicit chalkings QA had traditionally created in honor of National Coming Out Day. In the furor that ensued, the culprit and several other disaffected students formed a group, called the “Very Happy Hour,” whose goal was to provide an alternative to Queer Alliance. An open forum in May of 1999 gave queer students from both sides a chance to air their disputes, and agree to disagree. With new leadership for QA in the fall of 1999, the community was able to put past disagreements behind themselves, and focus their attentions elsewhere.


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