Come Out and Play

By William Sweet

Photo by Kate Beemer ’15

[Student Life] “If you can swim, you can swim.”

“If you can row, you can row.”  

So begins a video that Amherst athletes and staff created last spring for the You Can Play Project, a national effort advocating respect for all collegiate athletes, regardless of sexual orientation. It offers a simple yet profound message: “Gay or straight, if you can play, you can play.”

Insights: Gay at Amherst, 1966-70


By Eric Patterson ’70

When I started Amherst in September 1966, what did our society say about gay people?

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED Congressman Barney Frank To Speak at Amherst College April 16

April 5, 2005 Director of Media Relations 413/542-8417 AMHERST, Mass.—Congressman Barney Frank (Dem., Mass.) will give the keynote address at the sixth Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Alumni Weekend at Amherst College on at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. The event is open to the public at no charge.

LGBTQ Weekend 2005

Friday, April 15, 2005
8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Registration Smith House, 22 Hitchcock Road
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Attend Open Classes Visit former professors and see what students are up to today!
6 p.m. Welcome and Dinner Enjoy an informal dinner and hear opening remarks from Paul Kowal ’73. Meal tickets can be found in your registration packet. Terrace Rooms (downstairs), Valentine Hall
7 p.m. Love Makes a Family Viewing and Reception Love Makes a Family is a museum-quality traveling exhibit including photographs and interviews with families that have lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members. Through first-person accounts and positive images, this exhibit seeks to challenge and change damaging myths and stereotypes about LGBT people and their families. At the most basic level, Love Makes a Family combats homophobia by breaking silence and making the invisible visible. By encouraging people of all ages—beginning in early childhood—to affirm and appreciate diversity, this traveling rental exhibit contributes to the process of dismantling the destructive power of prejudice and intolerance, thereby making the world a safer place for all families. For more information about the exhibition, visit Robert Frost Library
7:30 p.m. Love Makes a Family panel discussion Come hear from some of the local families profiled in the Love Makes a Family exhibition. Alfred Friendly ’33 Periodicals Reading Room, Robert Frost Library
9 p.m. Night out at Diva’s Nightclub 492 Pleasant Street (Rt. 5), Northampton, MA
Saturday, April 16, 2005
9 a.m. - Noon Registration Smith House, 22 Hitchcock Road
9 a.m. Breakfast Meal tickets can be found in your registration packet. Terrace Rooms (downstairs), Valentine Dining Hall
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Crybaby Butch book talk and signing Judith Frank, professor of English at Amherst College, will speak about her first novel, Crybaby Butch ($14.95, 416 pp., Firebrand Books, Ann Arbor, 2004), which explores the connection between two butches of different generations. One is a middle-class, 30-something adult literacy teacher; the other is her older, working-class student. The story centers upon the often comic identifications and misunderstandings between these women of different social classes, generations and dispositions, as they engage in the intimate interactions of the classroom. “Fearless and unflinching, Crybaby Butch rigorously explores butch/femme dynamics over two generations,” says Claire Messud. “Judy Frank’s debut novel is searing and memorable.” “With Crybaby Butch, Judith Frank creates a deeply human, bravely unsentimental story while at the same time investigating the meaning of butch identity as it reinvents itself from one generation to the next,” says Carol Anshaw. Crybaby Butch has been chosen as a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, in the category of Lesbian Debut Fiction. Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115), Fayerweather Hall
12:30 - 2 p.m. Career Networking Luncheon Meal tickets can be found in your registration packet. Instead of a formal career panel, we encourage you to engage in more interactive conversations with students during this Career Networking Luncheon. We hope that you will share your expertise and advice with current students! Mezzanine, Valentine Dining Hall
2:15 - 3:30 p.m. Creating and Sustaining LGBT Families: Challenges and Opportunities During this interactive session, panelists Pam Bucknam ’89, Martha Collins ’89, Joyce (Kreie) DeGreeff ’90, Liz Garner ’89, Deb Levy ’86 and Francesca Purcell ’89 will discuss the many ways they have created families within and beyond the LGBT context. Students are invited to join us in imagining what LGBT families are or can be all about. Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115), Fayerweather Hall
4 p.m. ***Please note that Congressman Barney Frank has had to cancel his appearance scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. All other events will occur as scheduled.***
5:30 p.m. Music Composition Presentation Lawrence Axelrod ’81 is a composer, pianist and conductor. His compositions have been performed at composers’ festival concerts around the United States. He was invited to perform a piano recital as part of the Eighth International Festival of Electroacoustic Music held in Havana, Cuba in March 2000, and returned there in March 2004 to give another recital. This concert was called “masterful, with a solid and daring recital that moved organically from the most lyrical thought to the most vexing irony”. Mr. Axelrod is a founder and past chairperson of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium, as well as a member of CUBE. He has attended numerous composition residencies around the United States and in Europe. His teaching experience includes classes for young people as well as adults. Lawrence Axelrod received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and a Master of Music Degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University. Room 212, Arms Music Center
6:30 p.m. Alumni/Student/Faculty/Staff Banquet Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall
8 p.m. Reading of senior thesis play by Kate Stayman-London ’05 Días de la Gracia (Days of Grace) is a new play by Kate Stayman-London ’05 which explores the relationship between religion, politics and sexuality. The play follows the stories of Carlo and Lareina, a young gay man and lesbian living in Buenos Aires in the 1990s. Although they face horrendous circumstances because of their sexual identities, they nonetheless find faith in some highly unusual ways, including conversations with Eve and The Virgin Mary. Part comedy, part tragedy, and entirely optimistic, Días de la Gracia is a play about family, hope, love and salvation. Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115), Fayerweather Hall
9 p.m. - 2 a.m. "Fairy Tale" GAP (Pride Alliance) Party Come dressed as your favorite fairy tale character! Ballroom, Hamilton House

LGBTQ Weekend 2007

The seventh Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Alumni Weekend will take place April 13 - 15, 2007. The weekend is to remember, honor and celebrate the experiences of LGBTQ students and alumni at Amherst College. The weekend will also provide alumni and students the opportunity to discuss the history of LGBTQ presence in Amherst life, to acknowledge the experiences of current students and to work together toward fostering connections between students and alumni. The 2005 schedule of events is available for your reference.