Bill Packard Reports on Yale's 2nd Gay & Lesbian Alumni Reunion

Bill Packard Reports on Yale’s 2nd Gay & Lesbian Alumni Reunion

November 14, 2013 in Events, Notes

Bill Packard (JE) reports on Yale’s second Gay and Lesbian Alumni reunion held September 19-22 at Yale. “Originally scheduled for a weekend in February that was snowed out, it was attended by 250 people. The only other person from our class who attended was Mike Rosanova (SC). There was a very warm speech by Peter Salovey, Yale’s incoming president, who acknowledged that as a justice of the peace in Connecticut, he has performed many same-sex marriages for members of the Yale community. He was the recipient of the LGBT Allies Award. George Chauncey gave a wonderful talk on Yale as the Gay Ivy, 25 years after the article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, giving our alma mater that title. George is head of LGBT studies at Yale, and also the Chair of the History Department. Very impressive. There was dinner in the residential college of one’s choice. Trays are no longer in use. Is nothing sacred? Also a sit-down dinner in Commons on Saturday. There were very interesting panels on a variety of topics, including marriage equality, healthcare, travel, philanthropy, the military, and parenting. One panel on Generational Perspectives on LGBTQ Life at Yale was very moving. Someone from the class of ’64 described life for a gay person during his years. It sounded exactly like what I experienced during our freshman year, the last year that Yale was all men. On the other end of the spectrum, a woman from the class of ’11 talked about saying she was gay on her application to Yale, since the LGBT Studies program was her motivation to apply. How times have changed. There was a reception at the new office of the LGBTQ Resources, a suite of rooms in one of the swing colleges, which was really lovely. It hosts various activities for students, mainly in the evenings, I was told. The conclusion to the reunion was a superb Sunday brunch at the Rose Alumni House. One other observation: some of the panels took place in the Afro-American Cultural Center on Park Street. The building used to house one of the fraternities. As I said before, how times have changed.”

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