Tension Between BOND and BGLTSA Spurious
Letter to the Editors
As members of Harvard’s Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual and Queer (GLBTQ) community, we were encouraged by The Crimson’s coverage (News,“Awareness Campaign Marks ‘Coming Out Day”, Oct. 11) of this year’s on-campus observation of National Coming Out Day, which was organized by the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) and co-sponsored by Girlspot and the BGLTSA Resource Center. National Coming Out Day celebrates students who choose to be open about their sexuality and it promotes a supportive campus climate for all GLBTQ students, out or not.
The Oct. 11 article also discussed recent activity within the BGLTSA and another campus group, Building On Diversity (BOND). As leaders of these organizations, we were dismayed by the article’s parting shot: a two-year-old, decontextualized, and inflammatory quotation from a graduate of the College. By ending the article on this negative note, The Crimson implies a persistently acrimonious relationship between the BGLTSA and BOND which simply does not exist. The period of discord to which the quotation alludes took place years ago, while most members of our respective organizations were still in high school. It is neither reasonable nor responsible to extrapolate current thinking from the words of students no longer affiliated with our organizations.
The BGLTSA and BOND have come to see our roles on campus as complementary, rather than competitive. Our evolution from “turf war” to a relationship of mutual support allows us to work together in affording GLBTQ students a panoply of opportunities for both social and political engagement. In the future, we would ask The Crimson to give credit where credit is due—discuss past schisms in light of the bridges that have been built across them. We encourage The Crimson to explore the challenges and possibilities facing GLBTQ campus organizations today, rather than exorcising the ghosts of hoary controversies that have long been put to rest.
Marcel A. Q. LaFlamme ’04
Justin C. Ocean ’03
Zachary M. Subin ’03
Oct. 17, 2002
Marcel A. Q. LaFlamme is public relations chair for the BGLTSA. Justin C. Ocean and Zachary M. Subin are co-chairs of BOND.