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September 09, 1993 - Image 58

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-09

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily-New Student Edition-Perspective--Thursday, September 9, 1993
Queer Action leads lesbians, gays and bisexuals
Organization looks to increase awareness and visibility of alternative lifestyles

by Queer Action
Queer Action recently received a
message over the electronic mail sys-
tem that read, "Why do you call your-
selves 'queer'?" Our group has had
many long discussions about why we
use a word that, when said by hetero-
sexual people, can be so offensive to
lesbians, gay men and bisexual people.
Regardless of where you stand on
reclaiming the power of words, we feel
that the word "queer" projects some of
the "in your face" attitude we want to
project when we use it ourselves. We
consider "queer" to be inclusive of all
non-heterosexuals, without regard to
race, gender or any other factor.
Who are we? We are a direct-action,
anti-racist, non-violent campus politi-
cal group working to increase the aware-
ness and visibility of lesbians, gay men
and bisexual people; we are dedicated
to ending homo/bi-phobia and all forms
of oppression.
We work in alliance with other ac-
tivist groups to ensure our rights at the
local, state and national levels. We are
open to members of all sexual orienta-
tions. During the Fall and Winter terms,
we meet weekly.
But why do we exist? As incoming
students, mostofyoudon'tevenknow the
history of the queer movement at Michi-
gan. Wedon'tevenknowitfully. Whatwe
know is that the Lesbian and Gay Rights
OrganizingCo mmittee(LaGROC)folded

due to struggles with the Revolutionary
W(ker's Leaguef(RWL).
These acronyms (which you will
have togetused to if you want to survive
here) may not mean much to straight
students, but to queer students, they
mean everything. The University may
have a good reputation, but we believe
it still has some growing to do in terms
of "multicultural" concerns if it wants
to be a leader among colleges and uni-
versities across the nation -a status it
claims at every turn. Let us present two
Daily headlines from the Fall 1992 and
Winter 1993 terms.
"U-M snub leaves Lesbian-Gay
Male Programs Office questioning
office's future," Dec. 11, 1992. The
University neglected to paint the office's
name on the wall directory of the third
floor of the Union. Students came to-
gether, mounted apetition, and the name
was added to the wall.
"Letter mobilizes campus gay
groups,"March5,1993. Sevenhousing
staff members wrote a letter protesting
a window display in East Quad promot-
ing lesbian/gay/bisexual visibility and
awareness. Campus groups wrote pro-
tests in return.
Queer Action is a voice that de-
cries the transgressions society com-
mits against us. We haven't been on
the block as long as some, but we're
making the waves that will reshape
the land.

DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily
Susan Kane, a 1991 graduate of the University and member of Queer Action, holds a banner ready for hanging in the Diag.

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