Mailbox: "Being Gay" Strikes a Chord

"For the most of U.S. history, to be gay was to be secretive." When I was a student at Ithaca "gay" meant that a person was lighthearted and carefree. I'm sure we had homosexuals, as all societies have, but they weren't recruiting new members.

It hurts me to see Ithaca leading this movement. A few years ago I read in a student newspaper, here in Tennessee, where someone had stolen a gay pride flag at Ithaca College. Made me sad . . . not that the flag was stolen, but that it was reported as national news.

I hope that transgenders and like types don't ask for equal time.

My family has been connected to the College for many years; in fact, a building was named after a cousin. I have stopped donating to Ithaca and feel unhappy about this. My graduate school is still more interested in education, and I acknowledge them.

Gordon Lane '63
Sewanee, Tennessee


I was saddened by the response from one alumni concerning the article "Being Gay in Ithaca". My son is currently a sophomore at IC. Although he is not gay, he has been raised to be tolerant and accepting of people who have a different sexual preference. It is my sincere hope that in his lifetime a person's sexual preference will be a non- issue, and we can realize the dream that ALL people are created equal! I see no difference in the discrimination of gay persons and the discrimination of women, persons of color, or different religious beliefs. By leading this movement, IC helps to move the topic of gay rights along the continuum to universal acceptance, where it will hopefully be a non-issue in society. Then maybe we can all concentrate on the very real problems in our world.

I'm curious as to whether ICView would have felt so comfortable including this representation of a position antithetical to the rights of millions of US citizens had the article been about the changing climate for people of color, women, or people with disabilities at the College? Mr. Lane is certainly welcome to his opinion, but I fail to understand how making a space for such a hurtful letter, particularly one that takes a position that opposes local law C and the college's own antidiscriminatory policies furthers the discourse of the college. The language of "recruitment" is an old tactic of those who wish to engage in fear-mongering, and the references to transfolk as the next evil group to want a voice and a safe place at the college reveals much.

Bruce Henderson
Professor, Speech Communication

Mr. Lane,

Thank you for ceasing to donate to Ithaca College. I do not want to be an alumna of a school that would take money from someone with such a homophobic bigoted viewpoint, so you are doing us all a favor.

-Emily Epstein, '09

Hmmm.... I guess I don't really understand how you think IC's gay community makes IC any less focused on IC students education. You're right-the fact that Ithaca is so gay friendly is what makes the environment and culture of the college so different from other colleges. As a current Sophomore, while I am aware of these differences, I also am aware of the academic achievements of others; the school broadcasts these to us through an informative email called Intercom at around 1:14 am every day... I've never thought of Ithaca's "gayness" as taking away from any other aspect of the school.
Yes, IC is very "gay". Ithaca is also full of some of the most intelligent people I've ever met. When you piece these two things together I think you see what the college is really about. It's about people doing what they should be able to do at college...peacefully finding themselves, and letting others do the same.