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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
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ODU Gay and Lesbian Student Union

Historical Sketch

The ODU Gay and Lesbian Student Union (GLSU) was founded in 1988 and held its first meeting in January 1989. Before that time, in the mid and late 1980s, gay and lesbian students met at a weekly support group held at the University's Campus Catholic Ministry. Even before that, a Gay Student Alliance existed on campus in the mid and late 1970s.

In the early days the organization was met with some degree of intolerance, if not outright hostility. Flyers and posters were torn down or defaced with anti-gay slurs. The group sought to change stereotypes and misconceptions through a "Shattering the Myths" poster and flyer campaign. They held an annual National Coming Out Day Social, every October 11, and a Lesbigay Awareness Week every spring. Lesbigay Awareness week was usually held in conjunction with the Annual Breaking the Ice Winter Gay Pride Festival in Webb Center co-hosted by the GLSU and the Hampton Roads Gay and Lesbian Pride Coalition.

The GLSU also co-hosted homophobia awareness workshops on campus with a faculty / staff organization called the Sexual Orientation Support committee. This group was made up largely of straight, female staff members who had previously worked on the campus AIDS committee. Staff from the Student Health Center, Counseling Services, the Women's Center, Student Activities, and other departments were represented.

The GLSU also went to gay and lesbian conferences hosted by other Virginia colleges, and networked with other Virginia colleges through two grassroots organizations known as the Triangle Network and the Virginia Area Rainbow Student Alliance (VARSA). Many GLSU members were also a part of a Hampton Roads gay and lesbian youth groups known as Youth Out United (Y.O.U.). In fact, both groups shared common founders.

The GLSU was originally slated as a "political" student organization, and many of the groups members did participate in political protests, including a March on the Norfolk Military base protesting anti-gay discrimination; a shooting at the Anvil Bar; anti-gay hiring practices at Cracker Barrel Restaurant; and Mel White's protest of CBN. Members also attended the 1993 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights; and supported Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential campaign.

In 1991, a rash of anti-gay graffiti broke out on campus. Slogans such as "Kill a Fag;" "Rape a Lesbian," and other derogatory statements were painted in halls and stairwells across campus and even in surrounding areas including Waterside and a Gay and Lesbian bookstore on 21st Street in Norfolk. The group doing the graffiti called itself "Skull and Bones", and was allegedly made up of members of the College Republicans, but no convictions were ever made. At least one officer of the GLSU, came to his car one night after a meeting to find a group of men standing near his car with what appeared to be baseball bats or tire irons. He was not hurt, probably because a staff member drove him to his car that night, but later he found key scratches where his car had been vandalized.

At first the GLSU, did not feel that President Koch or the University Administration were doing enough to counter a hostile and unsafe environment for lesbians and gays on campus. They took their concerns to the Virginian-Pilot and local television news. Finally, in January of 1992, the GLSU met with President Koch and other University officials to discuss their concerns.

Besides asking the University to take a proactive role in cleaning up the graffiti and providing homophobia training for ODU faculty / staff, they called for the abolishment of other inequities on campus toward gay and lesbian students, faculty, and staff, as well as advancements that would help make the campus more equal for gays and lesbians. Other wish list items included an office for Gay and Lesbian concerns, partner benefits for faculty / staff, expanding ODU curricula to include Gay and Lesbian Studies courses, and removing ROTC from campus until it complies with ODU's non-discrimination policy. .

Beyond the initial meetings, a campus committee called the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Action Committee (GLBAC) was formed to further research and act on these needs. While many of these things did not come to pass, a Graduate Assistant for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns position was created within Multicultural Student Services to act as a liaison between gay, lesbian, and bisexual students and the University Administration and to continue to advance the needs of these students on campus. A facilitator on gay and lesbian issues named Kathy O'bear was also brought in to provide homophobia training to faculty and staff in June 1992.

In 1993, the Gay and Lesbian Student Union changed its name to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Students and Allies in order to be more inclusive. The group has changed its name again in 2001 to become ODU Out.

Scope and Contents

Material dates from the 1970s through the present, with most of the materials dating from the 1990s. Included are organizational materials such as the group’s constitution, meeting agendas, and correspondence; flyers and information on various events and protests; agendas and minutes from other campus gay and lesbian groups such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Action Committee (GLBAC), Sexual Orientation Support Committee (SOS), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance (the faculty / staff group); Safes Space committee; information related to other Hampton Roads and Virginia organizations such as the Hampton Roads Lesbian and Gay Pride Coalition, Queer Nation, the Tidewater Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Triangle Network and Virginia Area Rainbow Student Alliance (VARSA), Virginians for Justice, and Youth Out United (Y.O.U.); National organizations such as the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign Fund, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and United States Student Association; included are information on various issues and protests both on campus and off; resources for gay and lesbian people including articles on various gay and lesbian issues, coming out resources, resources on homophobia and heterosexism, gay and lesbian identity development, and creating a campus environment that discourages gay bashing; 1994 messages from a gay listserv called Gaynet; news clippings, articles, and letters to the editor from the Mace and Crown, Courier, Our Own Community Press, USA Today, and the Virginian Pilot related to gay and lesbian issues in general and the student group specifically; VHS tapes of the 1991 graffiti and news clips about it; a VHS tape titled “Out for the Count: Why Gay’s Should Vote for Clinton in 1992”; and various other materials related to the group.

Series Descriptions

Series I: Organization. This series contains organizational materials such as the GLSU’s constitution, meeting agendas, correspondence, committees, and materials related to the 1993 name change. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series II: Events. This series contains information on GLSU and GLSU related events including social events, homophobia and other awareness workshops and campaigns, Gay pride festivals, speakers, and protests. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series III: Other Campus Groups and Committees. This series includes information on the other gay and lesbian campus groups and committees, including minutes and agendas from the GLBAC meetings that met in 1991 and 1992 to address the graffiti and inequities toward gays and lesbians. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series IV: Local Hampton Roads and Virginia Organizations. This series includes materials related to the GLSU’s interaction with other gay and lesbian groups in Hampton Roads and Virginia. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series V: National Organizations. This series includes materials related to national organizations advocating for gay and lesbian rights. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series VI: Issues and Protests. This series includes materials on various issues and protests that members of the GLSU were involved with both on campus and off. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series VII: Resources. This series includes resources including bibliographies, articles, resources, and guides.  Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series VIII: Gaynet messages. This series contains messages from a gay and lesbian student listserv / message board called Gaynet. Materials are arranged chronologically.

Series IX: News Clippings and Articles. This series contains news clippings, articles, and letters to the editor that appeared in the Courier, Mace and Crown, Our Own, USA Today, and Virginian Pilot. Most of these relate specifically to the GLSU, but a few are on gay and lesbian issues in general. Also included is an index of Mace and Crown and Courier Articles related to the ODU gay, lesbian, and bisexual student groups. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series X: Miscellaneous. This series contains miscellaneous items such as ads, newsletters, and other items not specifically related to the GLSU.

Series XI: Other Media. This series contains two VHS tapes. One tape shows the anti-gay graffiti on campus in 1991 and includes some television news clips related to these incidents. The other tape is a political advertisement for Bill Clinton and his views on gay issues in 1992.


Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.


6 Hollinger Document Cases

Collection Number

RG 37-5A

Container Listing

Box 1

Series I: Organization

Gay Alliance

  1. Brochure

Gay and Lesbian Student Union

  1. Constitution
  2. Correspondence 1988-93
  3. Meeting Agendas 1991-93
  4. Organization
  5. P.R. Committee
  6. Student Organization Assistance Manual

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Students and Allies

  1. Name Change 1993


  1. Announcements 2001-06
  2. Announcements 2007-08
  3. Announcements 2008-09
  4. Announcements 2009-10
  5. Announcements 2010-11 I
  6. Announcements 2010-11 II
  7. Announcements 2011-12 I
  8. Announcements 2011-12 II
  9. ODU Out Files [Compact Disc] 2007-10

Series II: Events

Box 2

  1. Breaking the Ice Festival 1991-95
  2. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender History and Culture Month, October 2001
  3. GLSU Calendar of Events 1990s
  4. Essex Hemphill, December 2, 1992
  5. Flyers
  6. Kathy O’bear Workshop, June 1-2, 1992
  7. LesBiGay Awareness Week 1990s
  8. March on Washington, April 25, 1993
  9. Memorial Service for Diana Van Valen “Niah”, January 27, 1995
  10. National Coming Out Day 1989
  11. National Coming Out Day 1999
  12. President’s Lecture Series: “Who should be allowed to marry: The same-sex debate,” November 9, 2000
  13. Pride Picnic and March on Military Base, June 13, 1992
  14. Shattering the Myths Campaign
  15. Speaker’s Program on GLBT issues 1990-91
  16. Miscellaneous Events

Series III: Other Campus Groups and Committees

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Action Committee (GLBAC)

  1. GLBAC -- Academic / Education Committee 1992-93
  2. GLBAC -- Breakfast Club Meetings (aka GLBAC) – 1992-93
  3. GLBAC -- Discrimination and Harassment Committee 1992-93
  4. GLBAC -- Faculty / Staff Recommendations 1992-93
  5. GLBAC -- Graduate Assistant 1992-93
  6. GLBAC -- ROTC Committee 1992-93

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Discussion Group

  1. GLB (Gay Lesbian Bisexual) Discussion Group

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance (Faculty Staff Group)

  1. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance E-mail List 2000-06
  2. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance Flyer

Sexual Orientation Support Committee (SOS)

  1. SOS Committee 1991-92

Safe Space Committee

  1. Perspectives on the ODU Campus Climate for GLBT Students 2011

Box 3

Series IV: Local Hampton Roads and Virginia Organizations

Dignity Norfolk

  1. Dignity Norfolk 1986-90

Hampton Roads Lesbian and Gay Pride Coalition (HRLGPC)

  1. HRLGPC Agendas 1990
  2. HRLGPC Agendas 1991
  3. HRLGPC Agendas 1992
  4. HRLGPC Agendas 1993
  5. HRLGPC Agendas 1994
  6. HRLGPC Agendas 1995
  7. HRLGPC Budget 1993-95
  8. HRLGPC Bylaws, October 21, 1993
  9. HRLGPC Coalition Board
  10. HRLGPC Coalition Retreat 1994
  11. HRLGPC Correspondence 1991-95
  12. HRLGPC Fact Sheets and Surveys
  13. HRLGPC Flyers
  14. HRLGPC Press Releases
  15. HRLGPC Minutes 1990
  16. HRLGPC Minutes 1991
  17. HRLGPC Minutes 1992
  18. HRLGPC Minutes 1993
  19. HRLGPC Minutes 1994
  20. HRLGPC Minutes 1995
  21. HRLGPC Miscellaneous

Queer Nation

  1. Queer Nation 1992

National Organization for Women (NOW)

  1. Tidewater NOW – Lesbian Rights Taskforce 1991-92

Triangle Network

  1. Triangle Network

Virginia Area Rainbow Student Alliance (VARSA)

  1. VARSA 1991

Virginians for Justice

  1. Virginians for Justice
  2. Virginians for Justice – Events
  3. Virginians for Justice – Hate Crimes
  4. Virginians for Justice – Newsletter “The Voice” 1992-93
  5. Virginians for Justice – Newsletter “The Voice” 1995-98
  6. Virginians for Justice – Newsletter “The Voice” 1999-01
  7. Virginians for Justice – Politics
  8. Virginians for Justice – Virginia Laws

Youth Out United

  1. Youth Out United

Box 4

Series V: National Organizations


  1. ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project

Human Rights Campaign Fund

  1. Human Rights Campaign Fund

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

  1. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  2. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute “Creating Change” Conference, November 12-14, 1993

United States Student Association

  1. United States Student Association (USSA) Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Caucus

Series VI: Issues and Protests

  1. Anti-gay flyers and Graffiti on Campus
  2. Conservative Student Alliance (CSA)
  3. Cracker Barrel
  4. Harassment and Hate Crimes at ODU
  5. Graduate Student for GLBT Concerns
  6. March on Washington 1993
  7. Matthew Shepherd Vigil, September 28, 2000
  8. Mel White Protest at CBN, February 1995
  9. ODU Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Procedures
  10. ODU Non-discrimination Policy
  11. Presidential Campaign 1992
  12. ROTC: Combating ROTC’s Anti-Gay Policy
  13. Shooting at Anvil Bar
  14. Skull and Bones
  15. Southern Baptist’s Anti-gay Ad
  16. Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star Anti-gay Ad Policy

Series VII: Resources

  1. Bibliographies / Resource Lists
  2. Coming Out Resources
  3. Creating a Campus Environment that Discourages Gay Bashing
  4. Gay / Lesbian Identity Development
  5. Gay Employees Article
  6. Gay Fraternities
  7. Gay Marriage
  8. Gays in the Media
  9. Gays and Religion
  10. Gay Republicans
  11. Hate Speech
  12. Homophobia and Heterosexism
  13. Humor
  14. Lesbians and AIDS: What’s the Connection?
  15. Methods of Non-Violent Protest and Civil Disobedience
  16. Problems and Challenges of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students in a University Setting
  18. Strategy
  19. Miscellaneous Articles

Box 5

Series VIII: Gaynet Messages

  1. Gaynet Messages, November 3-4, 1993
  2. Gaynet Messages, March 3, 1994 I
  3. Gaynet Messages, March 3, 1994 II
  4. Gaynet Messages, March 3, 1994 III
  5. Gaynet Messages – Unsorted

Series: IX: News Clippings and Articles

  1. Index of Mace and Crown / Our Own Articles related to ODU GLBT Student Groups
  2. Courier Articles
  3. Mace and Crown Articles – Anti-gay Graffiti
  4. Mace and Crown Articles – Conservative Student Alliance
  5. Mace and Crown Articles – Gays Upset with Mace and Crown
  6. Mace and Crown Articles – Graduate Assistant
  7. Mace and Crown Articles – Miscellaneous I
  8. Mace and Crown Articles – Miscellaneous II

Box 6

  1. Our Own Articles
  2. Our Own – Farewell Issue
  3. USA Today Article
  4. VA Pilot Articles

Series X: Miscellaneous

  1. Miscellaneous GLBT Ads
  2. Miscellaneous Newsletters
  3. ODU Spectrum
  4. Miscellaneous

Series XI: Other Media

  1. VHS: GLSU Graffiti and News Clips
  2. VHS: Out for the Count, Why Gay’s Should Vote for Clinton in 1992



Revised 7/3/12