“Heteronormativity is killing this country”
Group photo from ESQUE’s 2015 showcase.
This is part of our 2016 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.
This post was a bit hard for me to come up with, because I didn’t just want to give you all a list of stuff that you can all find v easily on the Wesleyan website (even though that is helpful and I’m probably still going to do that); I wanted to tell you about my experiences as a queer person at Wes, so that this won’t be just another article that is all words without proof or personal meaning.
The wonderful Marissa Castrigno ’15 wants you to know:
Wesleyan’s queer community and its allies are invited to discuss this week’s topic (probably queer bodies but don’t set your heart on it yet), share their personal experiences, raise questions/concerns, chat, bond, hang out, shmooze, juggle flaming tennis balls (not really), and generally have fun. We will also be running through events upcoming in October (Pride Month) to continue the process of planning and organizing. See you there!
Date: TODAY, Tuesday, October 1
Where: Usdan 110
From Leung You Rong Michael ’15 and Emily Hoge ’15:
Are you gay, lesbian, queer, or otherwise? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of young Middletown high school students?
Leung You Rong Michael ’15 and Emily Hoge ’15 will be starting the Wesleyan Peers for Queers Program next semester in collaboration with Middletown High School, and they need your help! This program aims to pair up Wesleyan students with queer high school students in an effort to provide an emotional support network to them. Monthly informal get togethers would be organized for students to get to know each other better.
They will also be initiating a Wesleyan QueerSib Program next semester to establish a stronger rapport within the Wesleyan queer community, whereby Wesleyan upperclassmen will be paired up with underclassmen. Please come with ideas or suggestions on how you want this program to be run!
We will be holding a meeting on Monday (5 Dec), 7pm at Allbritton 004 to discuss the details of the project and to coordinate our schedules for next semester’s activities (The meeting will last around 15 minutes).
Please send an email to yleung(at)wesleyan(dot)edu or ehoge(at)wesleyan(dot)edu for more info.
Date: Monday, December 5th
Place: Allbritton 004
Here’s what will be screening in Shanklin on Thursday evening, kicking off Wesleyan’s April Awareness Month. Also includes a presentation by the filmmakers themselves. More information below, here, and after the jump:
Criminal Queers is a film that visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls. Remembering that prison breaks are both a theoretical and material practice of freedom, this film imagines what spaces might be opened up if crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation.
For those who glossed over the Hermes‘ fall issue (possibly still available beneath the Argus piles in Olin/Exley lobbies—give it a glance), I’m reposting this archival 1994 article because, you know, it’s pretty damn interesting, and because the excerpts are now available online.
Robert Martin ’63, who attended Wesleyan in the last of its days as an all-male, small, Methodist institution, reflects on what it meant to be gay at Wesleyan at the verge of national queer liberation movements:
However important Stonewall was, it didn’t come from nowhere. Part of it was made possible by the kinds of gay undergrounds that existed at Wesleyan and almost every other American college. Gay magazines such as One were available and taking the place of muscle mags. After some half-hearted attempts my first year, I gave up the pretence of dating. But I insisted on going to campus events, even if alone. I wore a tuxedo and went with group of gay men to my senior prom. I had paid for it; why shouldn’t I enjoy it? I wasn’t ready to dance at it yet, but I wasn’t ready to be invisible either. As it turned out, my formal shirt got badly ripped when my classmate Paul tried to pull it off on a dark street. We were there in ’62, camping it up, singing Gilbert and Sullivan at the top of our lungs, seeking the ever more refined and recherché, drooling over the blond beauties, marching for civil rights in the South, and caught in dark embraces. We knew who we were and what we wanted, and we would get it soon.
Hardly a decade later, in March of 1975, the following open advertisement for a queer coalition would appear in the Argus, arguably a bold, early predecessor to today’s Wednesday Night Football meetings:
Some new ideas from Elissa Martel ’10:
I’m starting up two fabulous queer projects, and I’m looking for interested parties. One is Crafts for Queers, a once-a-week (weekday evening) gathering of folks who wanna eat snacks and make crafts. This is totally open to interpretation: group or individual projects, knitting, coloring, homework, valentines, etc.
The second is Queercappella, which would consist of some queers singin’ some a cappella. This doesn’t have to be the official name, but I think I think it has a nice ring to it. I’m imagining there will be regular rehearsals (probably once a week), so think about your ability to commit before you respond. Once I gauge the level of interest, there will probably be some kind of audition process.
Wanna get involved? Questions? Comments? Email me at emartel(at)wes. Hope to hear from you soon!