Mount Holyoke News 1996-1997

October 31, 1996

"My own life reflected"

My own life reflected

As a South Hadley resident, I'd like to add my voice to those responding to Mount Holyoke College's National Coming Out day celebration.

I occasionally visit the MHC campus and was completely surprised by what I saw on October 7th. When I walked through the college's gates, they were decorated with rainbows of crepe paper. when I walked across the green, the trees were wrapped in huge rainbow streamers. On the buildings were posters and other decorations acknowledging and celebrating the lives of lesbians.

Living in a town where lesbians are invisible, this exhibit completely shocked me. For once, I saw my own life reflected in public space. Rainbows greeted me and said "this space welcomes you." It was an incredibly touching experience. I proudly shared my experience with my co-workers and friends. I commend the LBA on a truly meaningful celebration of National Coming Out Day.

It was with much sadness that I read the following week's Mount Holyoke News. Not only did students perceive the decoration of campus a "mockery," but they even labeled the inclusion of Mary Lyon's tomb as desecration. I would hope that Ms. Lyon - be she lesbian or straight - would have been proud to be included in such an important celebration.

I hope some day Mount Holyoke, and the surrounding community, may become the welcoming place I found on October 7.

Dana Gillette

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