U.S. Representative's Visit Marred by Anti-Gay Slurs

Homophobic Epithets Found In Leverett House

Anti-gay slurs defaced a Leverett House poster advertising the Saturday speech of U.S. Rep. Barney Frank '61-'62 (D-Mass.), angry house residents said yesterday.

The poster, which originally read "Come Hear Barney Frank Talk About Political Life in Washington and How He Copes With Conservatives Like Newt Gingrich," was "doctored to read 'See How Barney Frank Deals With Being a Faggot,'" said Leverett resident Sarah J. Manguso '96.

"Later, his name was blacked out and the word 'faggot' was written across it," she said.

Manguso said she found the slurs "completely offensive and disgusting." She said her initial reaction was to remove the doctored poster, but that she decided to leave it hanging as a lesson to the community.

"I ended up leaving it up so that people could see what happens at a place like Harvard that defines itself as liberal and tolerant, but [is not]," she said.


Leverett House Master John E. Dowling '57 said yesterday that he was unawareof the incident and would look into the matter.

"I have not heard about [the antigay slurs],and that surprises me," he said. "I will find outabout it."

Anti-feminist graffiti is also common inLeverett House, said house resident Connie You'96.

"I get the feeling it's a conservativeenvironment, or perhaps it's a conservativeminority voicing its opinions," You said.

She said the incident was "extremely serious,"because "a poster is a public representation andwhen a person's opinion intrudes on that publicrepresentation, that's dangerous."

"With posters, you know who wrote them.Graffiti is anonymous, and that makes it even moredangerous," she added.

In the past, the office of Dean of StudentsArchie C. Epps III has taken disciplinary actionagainst students who removed or defacedCollege-sanctioned posters.

When informed of the incident yesterday, Eppssaid it would be necessary to find out who defacedthe poster before any action could be taken.

"I would condemn [the slurs] most strongly as akind of intolerance unseemly at Harvard College,"he said.

Leverett resident Theodore K. Gideonse '96, whowas the editor of HQ magazine, said he is alsoupset by the anti-gay graffiti. He cited a lack ofhistorical support for liberalism in LeverettHouse as a reason for the incident.

"Dunster and Adams have a historicalenvironment of being very open. Leverett doesn'thave that history," said Gideonse, who is aCrimson editor.