According to Phil Gentry ’02’s fantastic Wesleyan’s Queer History 1975-2000, the first queer group emerged at Wesleyan in the early 1975 and placed this advertisement in the Argus:
Coming to terms with gay feelings is difficult in this society, but especially at Wesleyan. About 15 Wes. People have been meeting: two times within the last two weeks, to discuss both what the needs are and what directions this group could take. Any member of the Wes. Community who feels that s/he is predominantly or exclusively gay are invited to the next meeting. For more info, the time and date, Call Bill 346-2448, after 8 p.m. Keep Trying. Your anonymity will be guaranteed. It commits you to nothing.
Today, that first sentence takes most readers by surprise: “especially at Wesleyan”? Really? The group began meeting in March of 1975 and publicly declaring itself the Wesleyan Gay Group. According to Ariel Schwartz ’12, that same year saw the birth of Wednesday Night Football, a weekly, totally confidential meeting space for queer and questioning students to talk. Like the ad says: “Your anonymity will be guaranteed. It commits you to nothing.” (Not like they had listservs in 1975, anyway. [How did it all work??]) Today, Wednesday Night Football still meets every Wednesday night. It still entails no commitment, no public outing, and no football. But WNF is considering some changes, and it wants your input—via email, and with full confidentiality. For the full announcement from Ariel Schwartz:
Questioning your sexuality? Your gender? Nervous about coming out? Just want to talk something out? If so, you should come to Wednesday Night Football! 9-10pm in the Queer Resource Center (Upstairs in 190 High Street).
Have you thought coming to Wednesday Night Football, but it was raining? Or you were nervous that you’d get tackled? Worried about running into people you know? Have a class on Wednesday nights? Well, now you’re in luck! Although this group started in 1975, we’re finally updating to the 21st century would love to have discussion with you via email! Send us (and by us, we mean three very well-meaning people who will keep your information 100% confidential) and email at weswnf(at)gmail(dot)com!
Also, we still would love, love, love to see your faces on Wednesday nights!
Additionally, WNF is meeting (as usual) next Wednesday from 9 – 10:
Date: Wednesday, December 7
Place: QRC (Upstairs in the Univerity Organizing Center, 190 High)
Time: 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM