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Removal Of Fliers Troubles BGLTSA

By Caitlin E. Anderson

About 100 posters advertising this weekend's Queer Science Conference disappeared from the campus Tuesday night, according to Jane I. Aceituno '97, co-chair of the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Students' Association (BGLTSA).

"Someone's trying to trounce our efforts to create queer visibility," she said.

The Queer Science Conference, which is part of Queer Harvard Month, will consist of a series of talks and panel discussions on the issue of the biology of homosexuality.

"Our No. 1 priority is to make it clear that there are many gay students at this school, and that we need to take our place at the Harvard table," Aceituno said.

BGLTSA member Nicole L. DeBlosi '99 called the incident an "immature" attack on free speech.

"All the folks that do this...they're really cowardly in that they don't put their names behind it," said Aceituno.

Aceituno said that she and three other organizers of Queer Harvard Month spent several hours last Tuesday night posting flyers for this weekend's conference.

But in the morning about 80 percent of the posters had disappeared, according to Aceituno.

"We had posters in William James, Loker, the Science Center, all over the Yard--in Sever, on the kiosks, Thayer Gate--even the light posts. And on Wednesday morning I only saw a few high on Thayer Gate and in Loker."

Aceituno said that Wednesday's incident is part of a larger problem.

"It's nothing new--we've had problems before. We've been aware for a while that BGLTSA posters tend to have very short lifetimes," she said.

Aceituno said that the loss of these posters is especially disappointing because many of them were large, printed tabloid-size posters rather than inexpensive xeroxed flyers.

Aceituno said she believes that the incident may be linked to other recent retaliations against gay visibility.

Homophobic graffiti was discovered in Dunster House the morning after leaders of the gay movement had dinner at the house on April 5.

The word "faggot" was found the next morning scrawled above the door to the dining hall.

"That night there was a huge queer presence in Dunster, and who-ever was partying that night apparently didn't like it," she said.

"It's things like that, all kind-of strung together, that really build up," she said.

This is the first Queer Harvard Month, Aceituno said. In the past, the BGLTSA has sponsored a BGLAD week with tabling at the houses, a dance and a number of discussions. The acronym stands for Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day.

There are 23 events planned for Queer Harvard Month, and most have been successful, Aceituno said.

"It's been really good so far," she said. "We had about 150 people, tops, at the beginning of the conference at the IOP, and we've had 219 people turn in to our Web site so far. So we're reaching upwards of 300 people so far."

The success of Queer Harvard Month has been tempered by the graffiti in Dunster House and the poster disappearance, Aceituno said.

"The message is that there are homophobes at this school who will do what they feel is necessary to fight us. But we're not going to be passive, we're not going to let them walk all over us," she said. "A group of us got together to re-poster tonight, and we'll see what's still there in the morning."

Aceituno said that she does not have any suggestions for measures that might prevent future poster disappearances.

"We did have a few people say they were willing to hide out in the bushes and jump out on anyone who tries to take down the posters," she added

"It's nothing new--we've had problems before. We've been aware for a while that BGLTSA posters tend to have very short lifetimes," she said.

Aceituno said that the loss of these posters is especially disappointing because many of them were large, printed tabloid-size posters rather than inexpensive xeroxed flyers.

Aceituno said she believes that the incident may be linked to other recent retaliations against gay visibility.

Homophobic graffiti was discovered in Dunster House the morning after leaders of the gay movement had dinner at the house on April 5.

The word "faggot" was found the next morning scrawled above the door to the dining hall.

"That night there was a huge queer presence in Dunster, and who-ever was partying that night apparently didn't like it," she said.

"It's things like that, all kind-of strung together, that really build up," she said.

This is the first Queer Harvard Month, Aceituno said. In the past, the BGLTSA has sponsored a BGLAD week with tabling at the houses, a dance and a number of discussions. The acronym stands for Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day.

There are 23 events planned for Queer Harvard Month, and most have been successful, Aceituno said.

"It's been really good so far," she said. "We had about 150 people, tops, at the beginning of the conference at the IOP, and we've had 219 people turn in to our Web site so far. So we're reaching upwards of 300 people so far."

The success of Queer Harvard Month has been tempered by the graffiti in Dunster House and the poster disappearance, Aceituno said.

"The message is that there are homophobes at this school who will do what they feel is necessary to fight us. But we're not going to be passive, we're not going to let them walk all over us," she said. "A group of us got together to re-poster tonight, and we'll see what's still there in the morning."

Aceituno said that she does not have any suggestions for measures that might prevent future poster disappearances.

"We did have a few people say they were willing to hide out in the bushes and jump out on anyone who tries to take down the posters," she added

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