To the Editor:
Matt Jeffers’ article and Aaron Snyder’s “Other Thought” in last week’s Record both show a fundamental misunderstanding of the goals and methods used by the BGLTU during Queer Pride Week. I’m straight, and I’ve never been to a BGLTU meeting, but the purpose of chalkings and banner hangings should be fairly clear to anyone with the capacity for reflection. The arguments of both Snyder and Jeffers seem to boil down to one basic objection: Straight people don’t broadcast their sexuality on campus, so the queer community shouldn’t either.
That premise is deeply flawed. Straight sexuality is consistently put in everyone’s face through various means. Every week is straight pride week. When a queer person turns on the television, he or she is lambasted with straight sexual imagery ranging from innuendo to near pornography. If queers are ever depicted, it is usually as queers, and not people. Imagine if the next time you picked up your favorite news magazine, all sexuality implied in the advertising, from condom ads to ads for travel destinations depicting couples frolicking on the beach, was changed from hetero- to homosexual in nature. You’d be offended, outraged and most would probably assume that you had grabbed the wrong publication. If next time Art Linkletter interrupted your favorite game show to pitch Craftmatic adjustable beds, the couple snuggled up in extreme comfort was composed of two old men, jaws would drop. I have to laugh when Jeffers argues that queers should keep quiet about their sexuality because straight people do the same for them. He must be hanging out with an extremely quiet group because everyone I know here (myself included) talks about hook-ups, hot members of the opposite sex, etc., in a pretty free, and often loud manner. I doubt that anyone in the BGLTU can go through a week without overhearing straight people discuss there sexuality and its manifestations with a lack of self-consciousness that they themselves are denied by people like Jeffers.
I appreciate the sidewalk chalkings and banner hanging as an effort by the BGLTU to force all of us to deal with what the straight establishment parades in the face of queers every day. It makes many of us uncomfortable to be presented with a lifestyle different from ours, and yet that is the everyday reality that no queer person can escape.
Todd Stiefler ’00