Editor's note -- The guest editorial below was brought to our editorial offices in response to letters published February 12, 1974, written by Denny Mahnke, Math 3, and Gary Moore, Pre-Law 2.
Regarding the two letters in your paper February 12 objecting to funding of Gay People's Liberation Alliance, we would like to point out inaccuracies of fact and logic, and then give specific analyses of the situation while hopefully educating the readers as to some of the specific functions of GPLA.
First, our correct name is Gay People's Liberation Alliance (GPLA). We are not "Gay Liberation Alliance" or "Gay Liberation Front."
Second, to Mr. Mahnke (and friends): It was reported in the Daily prior to our GSB request that we were going before GSB with a funding request. This is as ample notice that should need to realize that any organization is asking for money.
To both Mr. Mahnke and Mr. Moore: the allocation from GSB was exactly $787.85, not $700 or $800.
Mr. Moore: We have fifteen, not ten, voting members this quarter, and we also have a general membership of people who are too afraid or too apathetic to pay dues. These people are welcomed at our meetings or often they contact us through Open Line or via our Post Office box. We have easily had in excess of sixty different individuals attend our meetings since fall quarter and have been in contact with quite a few other people as well who usually are too paranoid to come out to a meeting.
We will agree, Mr. Mahnke, and Mr. Moore, that we are unpopular among many students, but to say that a majority of students do not "back" or "support" us is an error in logic. All organizations of this campus are special interest in nature in that they function for their members who are interested in their specific services. Obviously Canoe Club, Hockey Club, Women's Coalition, ISU Vegetarians, and Black Student Organization could not be said to be "supported" by a majority of students on this campus. We feel that people who are involved as well as the rest of the community benefit from the services of some of these organizations, as we feel persons other than gays will benefit from our services.
One way we are trying to help people outside of GPLA is through education. This involves re-education of society, since so many people are victims of (homo and hetero) sexual misinformation. Heterosexuals often have an entire mythology of homosexuals and homosexuality which is invalid. Also, society has tried to suppress the fact that many important contributions have been made by Gay people. If we don't bring this to attention, straights never will. But historical oppression is a minor problem in comparison to the prejudices we must fight now.
Perhaps you are unaware of how much homosexuality and how many homosexuals there are. Statistically, 10 per cent of the population (13 per cent of males and 7 per cent of the females) in American society at any particular time can be defined as predominately homosexual in orientation (A.C. Kinsey, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female). Kinsey's research crossed cultural, class, and other levels and distinctions of society. (The only reason you are unaware of the numbers of gays in existence is because a vast majority of us are hiding.) Another statistic of Kinsey's is that between adolescence (age 16) and old age 37 per cent of all American males and 25 per cent of all American females have at least one homosexual experience. That's almost four our of ten males and one out of four females. If you are unimpressed with Kinsey's findings, refer to samplings of sexual behavior in the population which have been made since his studies. They all back up his statistics.
Mr. Moore implies that we function as a group only for relief of our "sex relations." The concept of "gay" involves an entire lifestyle, and we are tired of being viewed exclusively as sexual creatures. Our gayness and the persecution and oppression we suffer because of it involves all of our life; the time any person spends in sexual behavior is an insignificant amount when compared to the time given to everyday activities.
GPLA offers services to the gay community which cannot be found anywhere else in Central Iowa except in our sisters' organization, Lesbian Alliance. Our social activities (dances, parties, etc.) are much less oppressive than what we have found in the bars and gay society of Des Moines or other surrounding communities. We are working to create positive gay self-concepts and positive gay lifestyles while at the same time fighting the bigotry, prejudice, ignorance, and fear we now face in this hostile American environment. We want understanding and acceptance; we don't feel this is too much to ask, for in reality it should already exist for all people.
If GPLA is not allocated funds in the future our organization will continue to function but it would be an obvious example of an "unpopular" minority trying to be silenced by the mute of oppression from a misinformed, afraid majority.
-- Dennis Brumm
and members of
Gay Peoples Liberation Alliance
This editorial was a group effort at a meeting. We anticipated, or at least weren't surprised by the controversy when GSB gave us funding and organizational recognition. Along with that also came an office in the Union with a phone line/help line that we ran during week nights. It became a standard meeting place for us all.