Posters Appear Attacking Intolerance
Posters bearing anti-homophobic slogans such as "Jesus lived with 12 men. Love your neighbor" appeared in the Yard and on light poles next to the River Houses yesterday morning. The posters were unsigned and no group has yet taken credit for their creation.
"I'd love to take credit for them, but I have no idea who it was," Clifford S. Davidson '02, a co-founder of Beyond Our Normal Differences (BOND), wrote in an e-mail message.
Another poster quoted from a letter to The Crimson written by campus conservatives defending the recent Conservative Coming Out Dinner, saying the event was meant to "mock...those who feign oppression within the Harvard community."
"Did you know Homophobia is a problem at Harvard? They don't," the poster says.
Campus groups including the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters' Alliance (BGLTSA), the Queer Alliance, Girlspot, Cornerstone--a group for Catholic gays, lesbians and bisexuals and BAGELS, a support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jewish people, have all said they don't know who created the posters.
The posters appeared the day after Mather House tutor and BGLTSA adviser K. Kyriell Muhammad announced that he would resign his post as a result of homophobic vandalism directed against him in recent months. Muhammad claimed no knowledge about the posters' creation.
"It would be my guess that the posters were likely put up in response to news of Kyriell's resignation," Anna M. Baldwin '00, a BGLTSA Executive Board member, wrote in an e-mail message.
But Wendy M. Lu '00, chair of the Mather House Committee, said that the House Committee, which had previously sponsored an anti-homophobic House pledge, had not sponsored the posters.
Alexander A. Bon-Saenz '01, also a BOND founder, said he approved of the posters' message, especially in light of Muhammad's resignation and other homophobic vandalism that has occurred in river Houses this semester.
"We need acceptance, not just tolerance," he said. "The [posters'] message was very good and certainly timely."
Nancy E. Lima '02, co-chair of Girlspot and a member of the BGLTSA, said that the posters' slogans were "pretty moderate" considering the recent homophobic events.
"Still, they promoted really good stuff," she said. "It's good to see that Harvard is bridging the gap between gay and straight communities."
Michael A. Hill '02, co-chair of the BGLTSA, said he thought the posters were very effective.
"I think that they show some of the ignorance behind homophobia without being offensive," he wrote in an e-mail message. "The posters seem to be a powerful statement that homophobia is still here, that no one wins with homophobia."