Gay Lesbian Alliance: 1990-1993

Gay/Lesbian Alliance Logo

Logo for the Gay/Lesbian Alliance student organization

The G/LSS became the Gay/Lesbian Alliance following an internal debate about the exclusive nature of the G/LSS name. The replacement of Support Services with Alliance indicates that the membership preferred the name of the organization to more accurately reflect the reality the organization’s role in their lives. In the February 1990 issue of The Lavender Tide, the organization’s president acknowledged the need for a new name that represented the broader nature of the group’s membership and work.

“A motion was placed and seconded at our January 25th meeting that the name of our organization has outgrown its usefulness. It was discussed that ‘support services’ does not adequately describe who and what we are. The name Gay/Lesbian Alliance was offered as an alternative because it better reflects the many facets of our group working to for a better society.”[1]

The change indicates that the group was more willing to change the name to Alliance than to live up to the Support Services name. This shows that they had firm ideas about their identity and the purpose they set out to enact under the G/LA name. The purpose laid out in the G/LA constitution said,

“The purpose of the Gay/Lesbian Alliance is to aid in the further education of the University and surrounding communities concerning the myths and truths of gay lifestyles and to offer a peer counseling and support group to members of our community.”[2]

Though there is still a mention of supporting community members, it is clear that the group is taking a more public turn and stressing its role as educators and advocates.  They were largely concerned with education and politics to try and improve their conditions on campus. During this time period, the G/LA was also faced with a constitutional crisis that sought to defund them on the assumption that they advocated for the violation of state sodomy laws. Within this context, it makes sense that the group became more political and focused on working with their allies rather than being internally focused.

1 Hoole Special Collections Library, Miller-Stephens LGBTQ UA Student Organization collection, Box 2, Folder 9, The Lavender Tide, Volume 1, Number 5

2 Hoole Special Collections Library, Miller-Stephens LGBTQ UA Student Organization collection, Box 1, Folder 8, G/LA Constitution