“COME out of the closet in style!” read the poster, and on a crisp fall day, dozens of students on Georgetown’s Red Square did, metaphorically at least. They formed a winding conga line and sashayed through a life-size closet door. That afternoon, they gathered for same-sex smooching in a campus “kiss-in.”
The day’s events were part of “OUTober,” a month jam-packed with celebrations related to all things L.G.B.T.Q., or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning. “Every month is a good month to be gay at Georgetown,” said Thomas Lloyd, president of the campus pride group. Indeed, there’s a Gender Liberation Week, Gay Pride Month, a popular drag ball called Genderfunk and a Lavender graduation ceremony attended by the university president.
Not so long ago, relations between the university and its gay students were strained. In 1980, the students had to sue for equal privileges for their organizations. In 2007, they stormed the steps of Healy Hall, protesting what they saw as an inadequate response to antigay incidents. And a 2008 survey found that 61 percent of students thought homophobia was an issue. That year, the administration began to address the problem, opening an L.G.B.T.Q. resource center with a full-time staff. <Read more.>