Undergraduate Men Receive Mysterious Mail

Many undergraduate men were surprised this week to receive a massmailed letter from an anonymous author, who apparently wanted to meet men who are attracted to other men but who share his distaste for homosexuality.

The author, who claims to be a recent graduate, wrote: "while I am attracted to guys, I am also repelled by gays, so far without exception."

According to the author, in his experience "[gay men are] markedly different from straight men, although to varying degrees...Even gays who consider themselves 'straight-acting' seem to me at best neuter."

Citing what he claimed were gay men's "greater vanity, cliquishness, pettiness, and [lack of] forcefulness or strength of character," the author asked any recipients with a "similar problem" to write to his Cambridge post-office box.

The letter was also mass-mailed to students at Yale about a month ago. The only difference was that the first line of the letter to Yale men mentioned that the author was sending his letter to "several colleges."


"It is either a sick, very sad cry for acknowledgement he'll probably never get, or a reprehensible defamation of all male homosexuals," said Joshua S. Bloom '96. "What better way to publicly voice one's homophobia than to dress up in sheep's clothing and say you hate all sheep?"

The letters, which were addressed to each student by name, and which listed their exact mail box numbers, were supposedly sent to all male undergraduates at Harvard.

Not all undergraduate men received the letter, but some men in every house as well as freshmen said they had received the mailing.

The author appears to have directed the mailing to students with malesounding first names. Some men with ambiguous first names said they did not receive the letter, while some women with male-sounding names said they did.

Reactions from students ranged from finding the mailing "really offensive" to considering it "innocuous."

Kevin C. Murphy '97 said that he merely found it "strange, that [the writer] would send it to everyone just in orderto find someone he could open up to. He shouldjust go to a coming-out meeting."

"I thought it was the most preposterous thingI'd ever seen," said Garance R. Franke-Ruta '96, awoman who received the letter." It was justpathetic."

Several students questioned the letter's islegitimacy.

"At first I thought it wasn't real letterbecause of the stereotyping [of gay men]," Murphysaid.

Other students said they wondered if themailing might be a bizarre psychology experiment.

"It was really offensive...I don't think he canexpect any serious response." said James A.Clayton '97.