Washington State and Gay Awareness

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Jewett lounge housed a panel discussion of gay students from Washington State University on April 2 at 8pm. The panel was designed to answer the question of what it is like to be gay in a college setting. This event was likely some of the first interaction that the Whitman student body had with out gay students. A WGALA survey indicates that most of their approximately 60 members attended Whitman in the 1980’s, but a later survey indicates that most did not come out until after graduation. This means, that while there was certainly a gay community on campus, that community was likely small and closeted when the Washington State University students came to Whitman’s campus. In fact, it appears that the WSU student’s visits sparked the creation of a gay support group on campus. This group would set the ground work for the development of an ongoing gay support group at Whitman.


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“Washington State and Gay Awareness,” Whitman College Archives, accessed December 6, 2023, https://www.whitmanarchives.org/omeka/items/show/51.