When I went back to college to get my degree from CSUN, I joined rap groups and other campus groups for lesbians on campus. I would be a member until I graduated in 1984. Somewhere along the line I came out to one of my recreation professors because of something he had said in class and since very few people were out in those days even in LA he asked me to give talks about being gay to his classes and I did several each semester.
The most fun ones were the ones I was actually in. He would announce that there was a guest speaker and I would stand up and the shock would reverberate around the room. Since my attire in those days was generally jeans, a tshirt and a flannel shirt, it shouldn’t have been a shock to them but it was, and then the fun would start.
I learned very quickly to set some ground rules for the Q&A. They were: don’t ask me anything you don’t want to answer yourself. This stopped the sex questions and the second was, no Bible thumping, mostly because once that started the person who wanted to do it stopped listening and nothing could be communicated after that started.
As I said yesterday, it lead to a lot of odd questions from odd people. The guy who announced I had become a lesbian was one of the nut jobs. I can still see his face when I told him that he was awfully vain to think I lived my life in the eventuality that someday I might meet him. He really hated that he got laughed at for it and now the climate of crazy MRAs might have gotten me raped or worse but thankfully nothing happened.
There were always the football BMOC asshats who would announce to the whole class that all I needed was a good fuck and didn’t really have a comeback when I would answer “yes I had and it was from a woman thank you very much”.
I still remember being about to go into a class to speak when a really cute dyke walked by and we both looked at each other and smiled and walked on. Gaydar at its finest. And one of the first questions I was asked was “is there such a thing as gaydar and how does one get it?” This person quite clearly indicated that they wanted to know so they could attack gay people or out them so I lied and said there was no such thing all the while smiling to myself about what had just happened out in the hall.
And then there were the two women that made all of the trouble and hate that I had sometimes faced doing it all worthwhile. Two women came up to me and stopped me outside one of my classes and thanked me for speaking afew weeks earlier in their class. They told me that I had given them the courage to come out and to be together. If no other thing came out of it, that made it all okay. I had gotten screamed at, told I was in league with Satan and a whole lot of other nastiness but that made it okay.
I sometimes wonder if those people listened and remembered if their kids came out to what I had said and if it helped them be kinder to their child or a friend or anyone else. I hope I made a difference but one never really knows, does one?