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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1989)
Bigotry invades quiet campus
ays and lesbians may be everywhere, but
so are bigots — even in such environs as
Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washing
ton. Historically. Evergreen has been a
magnet to political progressives and non-
traditionalists. a place where lesbians and gays
have felt safe being visible. Within the past
year, however, gays and lesbians have been the
targets of public harassment on a scale unheard
o f on the quiet campus.
As is the wont of bigots — “ Reptilian Under
ground” in this case, who claim to be equal
opportunity offenders, with the right to offend
anybody, on any grounds, in any way — attacks
on one group escalate to attacks on others.
Since October, attacks on Jews have coincided
with attacks on lesbians and gays.
The Lesbian and Gay Resource Center,
Maavra (the Jewish cultural center), the
J A Y
B R O W N
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival office and the
Evergreen Political Information Center were
broken into several times since the beginning of
October. During Thanksgiving break the
“ Midnight Caller” episode
Lesbian and Gay Resource Center sign was
reinforces ignorance, fear
defaced to read Lesbian and Fag Resource
Center. Visible individuals are being physically
n December 14, four members of the
assaulted and verbally harassed.
newly-formed Portland chapter of ACT
On January 12, student groups of Evergreen
UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) were
State College, including those which are targets
arrested in the lobby of KGW-TV as they pro
of attacks, will sponsor a demonstration of
tested the broadcast on the previous night of an
solidarity against the increasing violence and
episode of the weekly series Midnight Caller.
harassment. The Evergreen students are asking
According to a letter to the management of
people in this community to show support by
the local television station, an affiliate of NBC,
traveling to Olympia to take part in the protest.
ACT UP's concerns included “ serious untruths
For more information, call the Lesbian and
abou- the transmission of HIV and about the
Gay Resource Center at (206) 866-6000,
development of ARC and AIDS once a person
is infected with HIV;“ and that the episode
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2 4 2
Just out • 4 • January 1989
1 4 4 0
“ presented violence against persons with AIDS
as a reasonable response by society ”
Vigilantism: “ The San Francisco Police
Department and the Department of Public
Health were explicity presented as having had
their hands tied in dealing with a person with
AIDS who continued to engage in unprotected
sex with unsuspecting partners.”
Asymptomatic HIV-positive status equals
death: “ Medical experts concur that a large
percentage of persons exposed to HIV will
never become ill with AIDS or related com
plexes. Further, even people who do become ill
can take concrete life-prolonging steps never
once alluded to in the television show.”
Safe sex: “ The suspect was consistently pre
sented as the only partner engaging in unsafe
sexual practices. Female characters should
have been shown being concerned about the
prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.'
Inaccurate images of gays: "A small per
centage of the homosexual community, like the
heterosexual community, engages in SM
activities. However, the episode only depicted
gay bars as being SM, and only depicted the
heterosexual bars as being bright and cheery.
“ ACT UP feels that the cumulative effect of
these inaccurate and stereotyped portrayals of
gay men and people with AIDS will result in an
increase of violent acts against them.”
ACT UP requested that KGW-TV allow a
response to the episode through an editorial
reply and that KGW-TV broadcast a public
service program with accurate information
about the spread of AIDS as well as the hopeful
steps people infected with HIV can take to pro
long their lives.
In response, KGW-TV called the police and
had the four members of ACT UP hauled away
to spend a day in jail.
No charges were filed against Carl Good
man. Michael Petrelis. Kelly Tadlock and
Steven Squires as a result of the incident.
A resolution for the new year
by the City of Portland
enouncing hatred and violence based on
race, religion or sexual orientation, and
declaring the City of Portland’s intention to
pursue remedies to bias and prejudice.
WHEREAS members of the Skinheads, a
group which openly declares its hatred for
minority races, the Jewish faith and homo
sexuals, allegedly beat to death an Ethiopian
immigrant, Mulugeta Seraw, on November 13,
WHEREAS incidents of malicious harass
ment, violence and vandalism based on race,
religion and sexual orientation are increasing in
the City of Portland; and,
WHEREAS groups espousing hatred,
harassment and violence based on race, religion
and sexual orientation comprise a growing
menace to the safety and well-being of tens of
thousands of our fellow citizens; and,
WHEREAS bias and prejudice based on
race, religion and sexual orientation are
ingrained in our society, and handed down from
generation to generation, and.
WHEREAS the City Council believes such
attitudes can be changed, over a span of time,
through educaton and enlightenment;
NOW. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED
that the City Council of Portland denounces all
groups espousing doctrines of hatred and
promoting acts o f malicious harassment,
vandalism or violence based on race, religion or
sexual orientation; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City
Council encourages the punishment, to the full
extent o f the law, o f individuals who engage in
acts of malicious harassment, vandalism or
violence based on race, religion or sexual
orientation; that the City Council pledges its full
support to ongoing efforts to educate and
enlighten the people of the greater Portland
metropolitan area, with the goal of eliminating,
to the extent possible, bias and prejudice based
on race, religion and sexual orientation.
That such support shall include, but not be
limited, to, hosting community forums
throughout the City; establishing a Task Force
to study the problem and recommend possible
solutions; seeking the establishment of ongoing
education programs in the Portland Public
Schools; seeking support from the Oregon
Legislature for statewide programs; and
encouraging surrounding jurisdictions to join
the City in promoting unity among all people,
regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
The resolution was introduced on December
21 by Commissioner Dick Bogle. On the same
day Commissioner Bogle asked the City of
Portland to become a member of the Northwest
Coalition Against Malicious Harassment.
es, Just Out receives hate mail. We don't
feel obligated to publish the stuff. In the
past month, however, our mailbox delivered up
some ghastly examples of just how sick some
The most disturbing (and disturbed) letter
came from a person we suspect to be a male who
plays the violin and lives near St. Helens. The
letter was signed “ Heterosexual AND PROUD
OF IT!” and postscripted:
“ We militant heterosexuals are starting a
fag-basher award — nominees are OCA (Ore
gon Citizens Alliance), the No Special Rights
Committee, and Priscilla Martin (I hope Tim
Shuck gets the final result of being HIV positive
before he gets a red cent out of this heroic
woman!). You perverts care to add your
Just Out also receives hate mail from within
the gay community. Most of this stuff is also
written by males who moan that Just Out's
“ content is overtly feminist interested and
represented,” to quote a recent arrival. This
kind of mail comes from persons whom we
suspect are not very far removed from the
“ militant heterosexual” quoted above.