Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mizzou LGBTQ Pride!

"Celebrating LGBTQ Pride at Mizzou" display in the Lower Lair Lounge of the MU Student Center.
In recognition of LGBTQ Pride at Mizzou, there is currently an exhibition on display in the Lower Lair Lounge of the MU Student Center featuring notable moments, individuals, and organizations from the University's history. Stop by to check it out when you have the chance! In the meantime, here are some highlights:

Thomas Lanier Williams (aka Tennessee Williams), (1930 Savitar)

Thomas Lanier Williams, better known as the Pulitzer winning playwright Tennessee Williams, attended the University of Missouri in the early 1930s. He won the Pulitzer in 1948 for "A Street Car Named Desire" and again in 1955 for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Both plays were later adapted in to films. Williams began living openly as a gay man in the late 1930s after moving to New York.
In 1957, Missouri Workshop students put on a production of Tennessee Williams' "A Street Car Named Desire" in Jesse Hall. (1958 Savitar)

Marijane Meaker (BA '49), (Missouri Alumnus, May 1975)
Marijane Meaker is a prolific author who has published under several different noms de plume. Her 1952 novel Spring Fire is credited with launching the genre of lesbian pulp fiction. Published only a few years after Meaker graduated from Mizzou under the name 'Vin Packer,' the novel sold 1.5 million copies. It tells the story of a shy freshman girl who falls in love with a popular sorority girl.
Spring Fire (1952) by Vin Packer (aka Marijane Meaker), 2013.105
Meaker has also published several non-fiction books on lesbian culture in Paris and New York in the 1950s and 1960s. Later in her career she began writing young adult novels, including Night Kites, which is written from the perspective of the younger brother of an AIDS patient.

Photograph courtesy of The Maneater, October 17, 2013
In 2003, the University made sexual orientation a part of the UM System's non-discrimination policy. In this picture, Struby Struble (BA '04) celebrates the announcement with her friends at a press conference. Struble is now the coordinator of Mizzou's LGBTQ Resource Center.

Surrounded by his teammates, Michael Sam kisses the Field Scovell Trophy after winning the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic against Oklahoma State. (Mizzou Alumni Magazine, Spring 2014)
In February 2014, Mizzou football player Michael Sam announced via The New York Times and ESPN that he is gay. Sam's outstanding performance at Mizzou earned him the title of SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and in May 2014 he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. Sam was the 249th pick of the NFL draft and was the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL.

Authored by Sarah Horne, PhD Student in Art History and Archaeology