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Queer Elsewhere

By Eva Moy
associate news editor

There's been a lot of publicity about the Elsewhere Lounge, an escape from Residence/Orientation Week on the fifth floor of the Student Center.

But on the other side of campus is another Elsewhere, called Queer Elsewhere.

Queer Elsewhere was acted "in response to a heightened level of homophobia during rush," said Joseph A. Powers '92, a Queer Elsewhere staffer. "We're not just neutral [towards lesbian, bisexual, and gay people], but pro."

It provides a place where gays and lesbians can be proud of their identity and talk positively about what living groups can be good living environments for them, Powers said. But Kristen K. Nummerdon '93 added that she feels rush is more heterocentric than homophobic.

The staffers at Queer Elsewhere can also act as a go-between between freshmen and living groups that they may be interested in rushing. "Freshmen feel they can't say they're gay because of the pressure of rush," Powers said.

Rush "definitely makes you more homophobic," said C. Lindiwe Emoungu G, adding that freshmen feel the need to fit in and make new friends during this time.

There is an extreme pressure by fraternities and sororities during rush towards heterosexuality and gender roles, Powers said. Without information necessary to make an informed housing decision, gays and lesbians will probably either leave their living group or remain closeted, according to Johanna L. Hardy '93.