«Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles» provides light on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people that marked the University of Chicago.
This exhibition is part of a long-term research project on the LGBT history at the University sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. It is based on archival documents found in the University of Chicago Library.
Lauren Stokes, Monica Mercado and seven undergraduate interns collected nearly 100 stories of LGBTQ alumni, faculty and staff.
We discover Esther Newton and others you don't necessarily know, but that marked our community. Newton, for example, wrote the first major anthropological study of the homosexual community.
«Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles» traces the life of the LGBTQ community and its evolution.
It starts from Prof. Sophonisba Breckinridge, who had hidden intimate relationships with the dean of women at UChicago Marion Talbot and with also Edith Abbott, the dean of the School of Social Service Administration; to stop in the 80's, when students wore T-shirts that read: «The University of Chicago is gayer than you think.»
«It’s important to know that we’ve been here since the beginning of the University, and we’ve been here in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different places,» said Strokes.
She added: «Even if you don’t personally see yourself in that story, looking at the University of Chicago through a sexuality-based lens gives you a new perspective on the University of Chicago as not only a place where great thinking happens, but where emotional and personal connections are made and where people learn about themselves.»
«Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles» is open until June 12 at the Special Collections Research Center, 1100 E. 57th St in Chicago.
Note that since the beginning of April, the web part of the exhibition can be found here: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/outinthequads/
Photo from the University of Chicago Library