Alumni Jennifer Boylan ’80 and Alexander Chee ’89 read recent work, discuss queer lives and storytelling, and share their own experiences as LGBT writers at Wesleyan.
Jennifer Boylan, a professor at Barnard College, is the author of 15 books, including She’s Not There, the first bestselling work by a transgender American, and I’m Looking Through You, which contains a chapter on Wesleyan. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and currently serves as the national co-chair of GLAAD, the media advocacy nonprofit for LGBTQ people. Her new novel, Long Black Veil, is forthcoming in April 2017.
Alexander Chee teaches fiction writing and the essay at Dartmouth College. He is the author of the novels Edinburgh (Welcome Rain, 2001; Picador, 2002) and The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). Edinburgh, which partly takes place at Wesleyan, won the Iowa Writers’ Workshop’s Michener Copernicus Prize in Fiction, the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Editor’s Choice Prize, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Literary Award.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library with support from Academic Affairs.
Date: Friday, March 3rd
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library
From Yael Fisher ’18:
J Street U, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Middle Eastern Perspectives
are excited to bring you a free, on-campus screening of the newly
released “ORIENTED”, a documentary following the lives of three gay
Palestinian friends in Tel Aviv confronting their national and sexual
identities. The film received critical acclaim on the festival circuit
this past year; the subjects have been described as “at once
exceptional and entirely ordinary”. If you’re at all interested in the
complexities and hardships of life in Israel and the Occupied
Palestinian Territories, LGBTQ issues, religion, or the intersection
of all three, please come through!
Date: Tuesday, February 2
Time: 8:00-9:30 PM
Place: PAC 001
The amazing Sophie Massey ’15 is giving you a second chance to order that awesome queer shirt (design thanks to Professor Greg Goldberg and Virgil Taylor ’15) that you were pissed you missed ordering last year:
Queer shirts are back!
If you didn’t get a queer shirt last year
Want more of them
Are are just hearing about this for the first time
NOW IS YOUR CHANCE
Yes, reader, that includes you. Coming at you from Marissa Castrigno ’15:
Everyone is Gay began as a humorous advice blog, but quickly became a multi-faceted safe haven for young people – particularly queer youth, their families and friends. In fall of 2011, Everyone is Gay began touring school campuses nationwide to raise awareness, answer questions, and provide simple yet powerful steps for bringing change and awareness to communities… while keeping everyone laughing.
Date: Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Time: 7:00–8:30 PM
Place: CFA Hall
Wilbur Fisk Osborne Professor of English Henry Abelove retired from Wesleyan in 2011 after thirty-something years, but he’s not done teaching yet. The intensely beloved (err, abeloved) faculty member (whose revered Walden FYI BZOD was lucky enough to take) will instead be making history at Harvard—his alma mater—where he will fill the first endowed faculty position for LGBTQ studies in the United States. A one-semester position, the F.O. Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality will be tasked with teaching courses on LGBTQ issues. As the Harvard Crimson reports, it was made possible by a $1.5 million endowment raised by the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus:
Lecturer on History and Literature Timothy P. McCarthy ‘93, who has served on the HGLC board since 2006, coordinated the event that honored Abelove as the first Matthiessen visiting professor.
“Since the HGLC took part in the fundraising for the creation of the Matthiessen Chair, I thought it was really important that we have something to welcome professor Abelove back to Harvard after all these years,” McCarthy said. “It’s a big achievement to have raised $1.5 million to endow a chaired professorship.”
Izzy Rode ’14 wants me to do the dishes, but also this:
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:
New school year, new opportunity to discuss queer/questioning issues in a safe, confidential space. Actually on Wednesday nights, not actually football:
Wondering about your sexuality? Nervous about coming out to your parents? Feeling frustrated with the queer scene at Wes? Do you just want a relaxed and confidential place to talk?
Wednesday Night Football a great place for queer and questioning students to talk about whatever is on their minds.
We meet every Wednesday from 9-10 pm in the QRC (upstairs in 190 High). For more information, contact aeschwartz(at)wesleyan(dot)edu, or just show up!
Date: Wednesday, September 21 (and every Wednesday)
Time: 9 – 10 pm
Place: QRC (upstairs in 190 High Street)
In case you missed it, New York recently legalized gay marriage, making it the largest state to do so thus far. The majority vote was only secured after many delays and dramatic changes of heart by several key senators. (Including Republican Roy McDonald, who famously declared to his critics, “Fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.”) The New York City Pride Parade today was appropriately “off the chain,” as I heard one attendee describe it. With Governor Andrew Cuomo and openly gay Senator Tom Duane in attendance, crowds were pushing up against the barricades in the West Village and screaming for hours as all of the floats and marchers went by.
As a Wes student, a New Yorker, and a proud queer, I would like to say Congratulations, New York! After your weddings filled with lots of glitter, cake, and legal rights, I hope that you will continue to think beyond marriage and that the trend toward equality doesn’t stop here.
More pictures after the jump.
The somewhat nameless queer art magazine that was published twice last year (covers below) is back and ready for action. This time, featuring YOUR work.
We are up and running and hungry for your submissions. We’ll publish at least one piece from every person who submits (within reason), promise. Things we accept include: poetry, prose, short fiction (under 5 pages), comics, photos, ideas for a real name for this publication, sheet music, collages, coloring book pages, doodles, drawings, anything that can be reproduced in 2-D black and white. So submit your work, whether you identify with the endless acronym (LGBTTQQAIFGPBDSM) or if your art’s just real fucking queer, we don’t care. We want it.
Send submissions to: openhouselit [at] gmail [dot] com or wesbox 90027
Deadline: Apr 1