GLU sponsors talk on homosexuality

By Shelley Wilson

“A Discussion of Alternative Lifestyles” was presented by four affiliates of the Gay/Lesbian Union Tuesday night as part of Unity Through Diversity Week.

Georgene Abbott said the university lacks a sense of unity between the different groups. “(Take) the greeks and, say, the JLS. They each do their own thing, but each group has something to contribute. I think it’s wonderful that we have different groups, but nothing is going to change unless the groups learn to share in the others’ experiences.”

GLU Co-president Dan Greenwood said role models for homosexuals are difficult to find. “Gays are starved for role models. My friends always had heros to look up to, like John Wayne, but there are no famous people who have gone public as being gay or lesbian.”

Anthony Davis said through analyses of their work, some artists have been considered to have leaned toward a gay mode of thought. Sargeant’s sketches of men and the poetry of W.H. Auden and Walt Whitman are among the works to indicate such tendencies.

The speakers said positive references to gays often are left out of the media, films and education. Davis said, “In lots of movies, the gay lifestyle is portrayed as either a joke or a tragedy.”

Abbott said different levels of acceptance exist in the DeKalb community. “The majority are very accepting.” McDermott said, “If you have a positive self-image and a positive attitude, you’ll have no problem. People will accept you for yourself.”

Greenwood said, “People think homosexuality is some distant thing. But you can break it (the non-acceptance) personally. When they get to know you, they forget that you’re part of a particular group of people and accept you for yourself.”

The speakers found little problem with discrimination in employment although Abbott said, “It is much harder to get a job in education if you’re publically gay.”

Many times gays themselves hide their lifestyles because they feel they won’t be accepted, McDermott said. “There are probably gay Olympic gold medalists, but they’re not open about it like religious people in the U.S.S.R.”

McDermott cited statistics taken from the pamphlet, “About Our Children,” repudiating some fallacies of homosexuality and truths of which most people are unaware:

*45 percent of all sexual child abuse is by the child’s own father. Homosexual persons are rarely involved.

*It is scientifically impossible to “catch” homosexuality or to be “recruited” at school.

*Homosexuality is natural and not something one chooses to be. *About 10 percent of the world population is homosexual.

*A gay child is often aware of his or her sexual orientation at a very early age.

*One out of every four families has a gay member.

*Even in unusual or alternative-lifestyle families, the sexuality of parents does not influence or change a child’s sexuality.

*When gay or lesbian persons try to become heterosexual, all attempts fail.

*Homosexuals come from “model” families, single-parent, those with dominant or submissive mothers, weak or strong fathers. There is no pattern.