“We just want to end discrimination of all types because nobody’s going to be free until we’re all free.”
“I think if everyone got to know someone who is gay, there wouldn’t be all this homophobia,” says Dave Rollet, past president of the Gay and Lesbian Student Union, who plans to study marketing at San Francisco State. He has been very vocal in his club’s work and very proud of its accomplishments. “We’re the more political of the two gay groups on campus, and we’ve been fighting for our rights, both at school and in Southern California. But we’re also a social group that wants to let gays and lesbians know they’re not the only ones out there. I’ve been very ’out’ on campus, personally,” he continues. “So if someone is still in the closet, they’ll know that there’s someone they can approach to help them face their reality.” And facing reality—for the gay population—is even tougher these days than it was 15 years ago.
“We brought a part of the Aids quilt in campus, which is really something,” says David. “The last time the whole thing was displayed—something like 90,000 panels—was at the March on Washington. It’s grown so huge by now that you’d actually have to go to the fields of Nebraska to lay it all out.” But David says that such demonstrations, using such symbols, are one of the most effective tools in confronting fear and prejudice. “In the past, we’d had problems being the only gay and lesbian group promoting Aids awareness on campus,” he says. “But since we displayed the quilt, other groups and clubs have contacted us. And I think it’s inspired some people into realizing that this is an issue that we all have to face together.” But David is determined to promote tolerance and saw evidence of societal changes during the Washington March.
“With over a million gays in the city demanding equal rights, we were suddenly a majority. It was amazing!” he says. “And one day, on the train, I saw a heterosexual couple kissing and it was, well, kind of a shock.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the
SMC Student Spotlight Archive.