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attempt to convert the person in question to a heterosexual

way of life.

W

ith

the

continued

expansion of Gay

student groups on campuses, many hurdles

have been jumped, but at the same time this

expansion has brought out many problems. Gay students at

the University of Kansas, Sacramento State College and San

jose State College in California, Penn State, Florida State

and at the University of Texas have been forbidden to

organize into recognized campus organizations. The reasons

given by the campus administrations for denying recog–

nition were as vague and absurd as those given for denying

such recognition on my campus in California.

Unfortunately, this absurd type of reasoning is not

isolated in the relationship between campus administrations

and Gay campus groups. In the case of Sacramento State

College, the students decided that they would not be

intimidated and sued the chancellor of the State College

system in Sacramento County's Superior Court. In this

case, the Gay Liberation Front chapter, represented by the

student government, won the suit which forced the college

to recognize the Gay Liberation Front as a student

organization. The court upheld the Associated Students'

contention that " ... to justify suppression of free speech

there must be reasonable grounds to fear that serious evil

will result if free speech is practiced; there must be

reasonable ground to believe that the danger apprehended is

imminent."

With this precedent, other Gay groups on campuses are

waging battles against similar oppression. Recently, one of

the "Chicago 7" defense lawyers, William Kuntzler, agreed

to represent the Gay students at the University of Kansas

campus in their fight to get campus recognition. At other

campuses, although authorities have allowed

recognit~on

of

Gay organizations, these organizations have been subjected

to official harrassment in order to prevent them from

educating Gays and non-Gays of their problems.

A recent example of this occurred at the University of

Maryland when the university regents denied a funding

request, amounting to $250, to the University's Student

Homophile Association. This money was to be used for the

purpose of educating the campus to gay issues by providing

speakers, cultural events, and open-house meetings for the

student population. As a recognized campus group, they

should have been entitled to the funding-as stated in the

university charter. After the regents' decision to deny the

funds many SHA members, the student body president,

and Frank Kameny (founder of Washington's Mattachine

Society and defeated candidate for D.C. delegate to

Congress) went to Baltimore where they confronted the

regents at an open meeting. They claimed the regents'

decision had been based simply on the regents' "fears

stemming out of their own sexual hangups and miscon–

ceptions." Despite their effort, the Maryland SHA's fund

request was voted down at the Baltimore meeting; the case

has since been taken to the courts where the Sacramento

decision may be entered as legal precedent enough to

overturn the Maryland regents' decision.

Not every Gay campus -group is fortunate to have the

backing of its student government in confronting campus

officials. This lack of sensitivity was the case as student

government officials listened with deaf ears to the requests

for support after the state college system chancellor denied

the GLP group at San jose State campus recqgnition.

24

When discussing the existing trend in many Gay student

groups, it has been my observation that in various instances

Gay women and Third World people have withdrawn their

support. There may be many reasons for this, but that

which is strongest is that they will not tolerate the

chauvinistic and racist attitudes of the white Gay males in

the groups. In many cases, women and Third World people

have formed their own Gay groups. Some examples are the

Gay Women's Activist Alliance in Washington, D.C., the

Radicalesbians in San jose, Calif., and the Women's Gay

Liberation Front in New York and Boston.

It seems that although some of the major goals of the

Gay movement are to break down sexual roles, to smash

male chauvinism, and to end racist attitudes, we as Gay

men have an extremely difficult time overcoming our own

sexism and racism. The fact remains that we also were

socialized as men in a society which is based on a sexist and

racist doctrine manifesting itself through competition

among people for power. As Gay men, we many times are

aware of the problems, but overcoming this situation is

extremely difficult. We are coming to an awareness of how

we also oppress women and Third World people; a major

part of the struggle we must confront is not only our

liberation as Gay men but also liberating ourselves from the

oppression we many times put down on others.

These internal problems presently occurring within some

Gay student groups are starting to be dealt with, even

though they have an enormous way to go before being

resolved. These, like other struggles which the Gay move–

ment is presently confronting, are by no means insurmount–

able. There is, at present, an organization which is just

getting started for the purpose of acting as a national.

clearinghouse for Gay student groups and a center for

innovation in the area of developing Gay projects and

activities on campuses across the country. It will also aid

Gay high school students in similar areas.

This new organization, the National Gay Student Center,

is coming out of the National Student Association, head–

quartered in Washington. The Gay Student Center is the

result of a mandate that was presented and adopted at a

national NSA congress held in Colorado. That mandate

called for establishment of a gay center "staffed by Gay

people who were chosen by Gay people and responsible to

Gay people on campuses throughout the nation."

At the present time, the center has proposed seven major

areas of concern in aiding campus groups: establishing an

information and resource library' including videotapes;

establishing a Gay speakers bureau; establishing an infor–

mation exchange through a nationally-distributed news–

letter; developing Gay course outlines for possible imple–

mentation on high school and college campuses and at free

universities; establishing Gay legal rights and providing legal

assistance; establishing a Gay reprint series; and establishing

a national Gay student conference where campus represent–

atives can discuss matters concerning Gay student groups.

The hopes for the establishment of a Gay student group

on a national level help to confirm and validate the

existence of the Gay student movement, and that this

relatively new movement is gaining a firmer footing day by

day. Being a gay student in today's educational institutions

can still be a very alienating and oppressive position to be

in. However, due to the growth and continuance of the Gay

student movement, Gay students can now gain the needed

support from one another to fight this oppression.

motive