Looking Back Queerly, 1982: about not being out in the academy, about denying lgbtq people as a study group

The place of lgbtq people and studies in the academy was no different than the other shores of homophobia:

Based on 640 responses, the ASA [American Sociology Association] Task Group concluded: “Sociologists and students who are known as homosexuals or, even more so, as activists, run considerable risk, according to the perceptions of department heads and chairs, of experiencing discrimination in being hired or promoted in a sociology department.  Hence, the vast majority remain closeted within the colleagues [sic].  This, in turn, inhibits them from displaying interest in, and engaging in, research, advising, or teaching courses on, the topic of homosexuality” (Huber et al. 1982: 165). – from Newton (2000, p220)

Less than a decade before, the Gay Academic Union (GAU) was founded in 1973 by a meeting of eight academics in a Manhattan apartment (Rainbowhistory.org 2000), and had made significant headway in visibilizing at least a small presence lgtq presence in the academy before it disbanded by the 1980s.  Today, every discipline has a sexualities or lgbtq division of study, most of which began in the 1990s.


Newton, E., 2000. Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas, Durham: Duke University Press, p220.

Rainbowhistory.org, 2000. Gay Academic Union. Gay Academic Union. Available at: http://www.rainbowhistory.org/gau.htm [Accessed October 18, 2011].