Astronomer, 1975

These are the clippings from Choragos, the Mount Holyoke student newspaper, concerning lesbianism at MHC in the mid-1970s and the first organized group of lesbians, beginning with the original articles and letters from and about "Astronomer" in the fall of 1975.

Click on the thumbnail of the clipping to access a transcription of the story and a full-sized scan of the original article.

  1. September 25, 1975:

    In the "Bulletin Board" -- the personals section -- of the college newspaper, Choragos, the editor-in-chief, Susan Horsman, ran this item in response to an anonymous letter received by the editors.

  2. October 2, 1975:

    This is the famous Astronomer letter which sparked the beginnings of the first lesbian organization at MHC. Apparently assured that Astronomer was indeed "serious," Choragos published her letter in haruspex, the commentary section of the paper.

  3. October 2, 1975:

    In the same edition was a reprint of an article from the UMass paper, The Collegian, which described a visit from T-Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who had been given a controversial discharge from the Air Force earlier in 1975.

  4. October 9, 1975:

    Astronomer was the lead story of the paper. Sue Horsman, editor-in-chief, wrote a lengthy interview piece with the anonymous lesbian.

  5. October 9, 1975:

    A variety of women responded to Astronomer's request to send her messages in the Bulletin Board section of the paper, and the first informal gathering of lesbians was scheduled for that night at 8:30 at Eliot House.

  6. October 9, 1975:

    Two letters were also published side-by-side in haruspex that week, offering support to Astronomer. Thirteen of the signers of the second letter formed the senior group living in Pearsons Annex that year, according to the 1975-76 College Directory.

  7. October 9, 1975:

    The following editorial, signed only by "seh," responded to the items in the Bulletin Board.

  8. October 9, 1975: Marcia Blomberg, Feature Editor of Choragos, contributed this piece about lesbian organizations throughout the 5-College area.

  9. October 16, 1975:

    The group of seniors living in Pearsons Annex in 1975-76 renamed the house "Emma Goldman Hall," after the lesbian anarchist.

  10. October 16, 1975:

    The Bulletin Board began to carry weekly messages to all "astronomers."

  11. October 23, 1975:

    Choragos published this letter from Michael McHenry, in support of Astronomer.

  12. October 23, 1975:

    The Bulletin Board contained another message.

  13. [Article] October 30, 1975:

    Marcia Blomberg wrote this lengthy article, including interviews with women who had participated in the first three gatherings at Eliot House. [The scan of the clipping is not yet available.]

  14. October 30, 1975:

    And yet another message in the Bulletin Board.

  15. November 6, 1975:

    Finally, the Gay Support Group became official, with this announcement in Choragos.

  16. February 12, 1976:

    A terrific Whizzer Buschbumper cartoon by Beth Epstein '76.

  17.  February 19, 1976:

    The Gay Support Group continued to meet with the beginning of Spring semester.

  18. February 26, 1976:

    The weekly announcements continued in the Personals column.

  19. April 8, 1976:

    After Spring Break, there was a renewed call for women to come to meetings in Eliot House.

  20. April 26, 1976:

    Meg Christian, lesbian singer/songwriter, performed at MHC that spring.

    Note: Marilyn Hacker, poet and lesbian, was one of the three Glascock judges at MHC this spring as well. (Audre Lorde and Susan Griffin were judges in 1979.)

  21. October 28, 1976:

    This guest commentary, published the following academic year, promoted a very political definition of lesbianism.

  22. November 11, 1976:

    The previous commentary sparked this response, appearing two weeks later.

  23.  September 27, 1979:

    Among the various student groups on campus profiled at the begining of the fall semester in 1979, there was an announcement of the new name of the group on campus: the Lesbian Alliance Group.

    Note: The name listed in the Bulletin Board had been "Gay Support Group" through Oct. 14, 1976, but on Oct. 21, 1976, the name changed to "Lesbian Support Group."

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