The Oberlin Review

Papal Support for LGBTQ Issues, Evolution Misleading

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 20, 2015

As a former Catholic, I can tell you that the pope is a big deal. He’s the head honcho, second only to Jesus, in modern Catholics’ “What Would _____ Do.” So what the pope chooses to endorse or to condemn is a sign of what direction the mainstream church is heading. I grew up in a liberal African-American parish in St. Paul, MN. So while more conservative white Catholic churches were solemnly singing along to an organ and sending white savior mission trips off to less- privileged nations, we clapped our way through gospel songs, danced in the aisles and had much more enjoyable Sundays than any other Christians I knew growing up. In an environment that so heavily immersed me in African- American and African...

Tabloids Promote Harmful View of Transgender Identity

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 6, 2015

Recent headlines in gossip magazines like InTouch, People and Us Weekly proclaim the news that former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner is transitioning to live openly as a woman. While I tend to regard tabloid news with as much respect and credibility as Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine movement, the story has created enough controversy for major news outlets like The New York Times to cover the story. Jenner’s changes in appearance have been widely publicized. There are countless slideshows and photos depicting the more feminine aspects of their look: Jenner’s increasingly longer hair and painted nails along with signs of a shaved-down Adam’s apple have been used as evidence that they are in the process of trans...

Equality Movement Must Push Beyond Marriage

Sophie Kemp, Contributing Writer

November 14, 2014

On Nov. 6, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on marriage equality in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. Now, before we all stand around singing along to “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and flaunting FCKH8 apparel, it’s important to have a discussion about the direction in which the mainstream movement for marriage equality is going. I think if you were to walk around Oberlin’s campus and ask people about their thoughts on marriage equality, the issue would have overwhelming — if not complete — support. Before the Sixth Circuit ruling, I was convinced that there was near-universal support for marriage equality. We live in a society that is progressively warming up to accepting...

The Irony of the Human Rights Campaign’s Logo

Simone Christen

April 26, 2013

Have you ever seen a bumper sticker that’s a yellow equals sign on a blue background? In 1980 an organization named the Human Rights Campaign Fund was founded. It started off small like most start up grassroots organizations. Eventually it snowballed into, according to their own website, “the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans ... 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide.” The HRCF would later evolve into the organization that you may know today as The Human Rights Campaign, and in 1995 would adopt the famous equals sign logo that many people may be familiar with today. Due to a variant of this logo, this particular organization...

Queerfest Events Kick Off

Madeline Stocker

April 5, 2013

Over the next four weeks, campus will be home to a variety of workshops, art exhibits and guest speakers as part of Queerfest, an annual celebration of LGBTQ identities. This year’s events, which began April 1 and will conclude May 5, serve as an outlet for students to engage with the many facets of queer communities on campus. Coordinated by numerous campus LGBTQ organizations and individual students, as well as by the Multicultural Resource Center staff, the festival’s events cover a range of topics including a panel discussing the sexuality of pop-culture boy bands, an art exhibit featuring body modification and an international festival of queer tango — all focused on providing students with a deeper engagement...

Off the Cuff with MRC Community Coordinators Caitlin O’Neill and Lorena Espinoza

Tania Mukherjee

February 22, 2013

After the MRC was targeted, how did the Center respond in terms of organizing or communication? Lorena Espinoza: I was the one who found the sign at the Center. The first thing we did as a staff and a center was to group together and find the best way to address [the situation]. [We’re] condemning the act without allowing it to cause a lot of panic and discomfort among our students. We reported it to Safety and Security, and then, as a staff, we wrote the statement that was sent out to all our communities and put [it] up on Facebook. We want to say that we are standing strong and [are] there to support you. And [we’re] not going to let this take away from what we do every day. It was really nice to see the sup...

Thoughts on Appropriate Action in Face of Racism

Mandy Hogan

April 20, 2012

To the Editors: I write this letter to call for recognition, for acknowledgement, for responsibility. I recognize the gross injustices against communities of color on campus, in the town and in greater society, along with the historical and current repression of LGBTQ people. I acknowledge that I am privileged by my race, perceived class status and gender identity. Society calls people who do this “allies,” but I take responsibility for the fact that I am not an ally — because the word suggests that I am making things better, and while I strive to practice an anti-racist politic, all too often I am able to be silent, and silence is complicity. I am a white, queer woman who has lived in Third World House and...

Out Spoken Provides LGBTQ Student Support

Kasey Cheydleur

February 17, 2012

Out Spoken is a support group for LGBTQ students started last semester by Katharine Hahn from the Counseling Center and Asher Kolieboi from the Multicultural Resource Center. “It is really designed to be an open support group. We don’t cover content or read articles or have speakers or anything like that. Every week people just bring in what’s up for them that week — what’s happening that they want support for — and they offer support for each other,” said Hahn. Kolieboi said that while there are many groups on campus for LGBTQ students, there is no group that is purely geared toward support. This group fills that void. “A lot of the groups on campus that are LGBTQ folks are either politicall...

LGBTQ Website Promotes Awareness, Answers Questions

Nancy Roane, Staff Writer

October 14, 2011

The founders of the website visited Oberlin this week to speak on making change in the LGBTQ rights movement. The Oberlin Queer Wellness Coalition, a new group on campus formed to increase awareness about wellness issues facing the queer community, hosted the event in King on Monday night. Everyone Is Gay is an advice website that was founded by Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid in April 2010. The site provides answers to questions dealing with LGBTQ issues and beyond. Using "humor, personal experience and occasional kitten pictures," Russo and Owens-Reid work to give struggling or confused youth a safe space to ask questions anonymously. “We just want to reach people [who] don’t think...

Letter to the Editors: Lawyer Discusses Pivotal Gay Marriage Case

Clayton Koppes

April 29, 2011

To the Editors: David Boies, one of the country’s most prominent attorneys, appeared at Oberlin on April 5 to discuss his role in the California gay marriage case. I appreciate the Review’s invitation to report on his appearance. The case Perry v. Schwarzenegger has attracted attention not only for its importance as a major civil rights matter but because of the novelty of the two leading co-counsel. Boies and his co-counsel, Theodore Olson, were on opposite sides of Bush v. Gore, the case in which the Supreme Court determined the outcome of the presidential election in 2000. Boies is a liberal. Olson is a leading conservative lawyer and served as solicitor general under George W. Bush. Boies joked that he...

Obies: Too Progressive for Our Own Good

The Editorial Board

March 4, 2011

Last Wednesday, noted feminist and progressive activist Gloria Steinem came to speak at Oberlin as a part of our Convocation series. The Editorial Board applauds Steinem and her contributions to promoting women’s rights and addressing various forms of discrimination. Reflecting on her talk, however, we found that her ideas and points were hardly revolutionary; in fact, Steinem’s brand of feminism and the values she expounds seemed dated in relation to the strongly liberal ideas commonplace at Oberlin College. Steinem and her rhetoric are a time capsule, a peek into a time when women were married with kids by their early 20s and only men could pursue a lucrative career. Her brand of feminism predates even Bett...

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