Maps and invitations to parties hosted to and for students and faculty at the University of Alabama in the 1990s point students off campus, into the rural south, removed from campus culture. UA’s queer student group, called the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Alliance and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Alliance during the decade under examination, began in 1983 as a group primarily focused on assimilation into campus culture. Invitations featured are to the Zodiac Love Dance, a house party, and a cookout hosted at the group’s faculty advisor’s home. Members often hosted parties off-campus and in rural areas of Tuscaloosa County, issuing maps and invitations intentionally opaque and decipherable only to those with prior knowledge. Later invitations are clearer, more open and public.
The growing clarity and directness of the maps and invitations to social events hosted by queer students and faculty reflect a growing local acceptance of queer rights and culture. It also is a product of a shift in the character of the queer student groups themselves, one bolder and more aggressive in demanding acceptance and legitimacy.
1 W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, the Miller-Stephens Collection, Box 3594.001, Folder 10
2 W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, the Miller-Stephens Collection, Box 3594.001, Folder 10
3 W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, the Miller-Stephens Collection, multiple items