Monday, February 01, 2010

Interview on Lesbian and Gay Studies

Today Mina and I were interviewed by Dr. Susan Freeman, assistant professor of women's studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She plans to write a book on the history of Lesbian and Gay Studies courses and related symposums and workshops that were taught in the late sixties through 1987. I had a good time both preparing and doing the interview. I found some news clipping from a column MIna and I wrote in our college newspaper (CSCDH) now (CSUDH) titled Lavender Notes. We relayed the news of the day re Gay Liberation and Lesbian activism going on in the Los Angeles and wider communities. That was back in 1975. I taught a variety of courses starting around 1974 that focused on Gay concerns, i.e. Lesbian and Gay Communites, The Lesbian and Gay Experience, Aging in the Lesbian and Gay Communities. Last semester I taught my last course focused on The Life Cycle of Lesbians and Gays (Lesbian and Gay Aging and Health Issues) that was sponsored by the graduate Gerontology curriculum. I plan to retire in May so the powers that be are also retiring the Gerontology Program with me. It was a good run while it lasted. I think eventually Gerontology will start up again via the Sociology Dept at CSUDH.

One noticeable difference I noted between then and today after I read several installments of Lavender Notes was how much mo progressive we were and more open we were about explaining exactly everything going on in the LGBT communities which we knew. We talked about how Socialism was patriarchal and needed changing. We talked about the Lavender and Red Union of which we were supporters. We mentioned the first Gay Alcoholism treatment Center at GCSC. We discussed "coming out" issues and talked about both the risks and positives that could benefit those who came out on college campuses and beyond. We were very optimistic about what was going on in the activist communities. It was lovely to look back and to remember that once upon a time, a small group of LGBT people made great waves and changed their own lives dramatically as well as had a real impact on the world, we made our imprint not only in the minds and hearts of people but also reallly got to the soul of what we were about., making the world safer for all Lesbians and Gay men yet risking our anonymity and throwing off our horrid masks to get there.