Gay Group Receives New NameMembers of the University's Gay Student Union vote to change the name to the Gay and Lesbian Student Union, in order to be inclusive of women. This shift in nomenclature accompanies what members perceive as a shift in the gendered connotation of the word "gay," which previously signified both sexes, but now implicitly refers to men.
Gay Group Receives New Name
By MARIE JOYCE
Members of the Gay Student Union voted Iast last week to change the organization's name to the Lesbian and Gay Student Union in an attempt to make the group more attractive to women, LGSU member Crispin Hollings said yesterday.
â€œWe have recently had more attendance from women in the area,â€ said LGSU Secretary Brent Harris. â€œSome of them expressed a desire to have the name changed.
'This is a gesture to let women know that we are not and never have been a menâ€™s club in structure or in purpose,â€ he added.
When the GSU formed in the early 1970s, the word â€œgay" was interpreted by most people to include male and female homosexuals, Hollings said.
But the word now has â€œa male connotation,â€ he added.
â€œThe group is open to everyone,â€ he said, â€œbut a lot of people have the idea that itâ€™s just a guy male organization.â€
â€œThe new name makes the group sound bit more welcome to lesbians,â€ he added.
Harris said LGSU members will also try attract more women by sponsoring more programs for lesbians.
"We haven't really discussed plans for the future," he said, "but we're trying to find the right way to broach the problem" of attracting more women to the organization.
LGSU members took a positive step in this direction when they appointed a woman to be the the organizationâ€™s vice president, Harris said.
Thee LGSU also conducted a program recently with the Charlottesville Lesbian Feminist to discuss the common problems of gay men and lesbians, he said.
"We discovered that we have a lot in common and that we need to strive to end the exclusion" of women from the LGSU, Harris said.
Organization members approved the name change with little debate, Hollings said,
"The general reason for the change was supported by everyone,â€ he added.
Some members suggested changing the name last year when all of the GSUâ€™s officers were male, Hollings said, but he added members decided to wait until this year to make the change.
â€œThis wasnâ€™t something we just decided at the last meeting,â€ he said. â€œWe had been debating it for a while.â€
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|August 7, 2016
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