The perceptive person walking through the general dining area may notice that there is another newsstand in the College Union. Within the squat wire structure rests several copies of the special interest newspaper, The Gayly.
The Gayly is an Oklahoma-based newspaper that features news articles and editorials aimed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered community and their supporters.
One of the people instrumental to the process of bringing the publication to campus was Tennent Emmons, academic adviser and sponsor for the Gay Straight Alliance.
“I was at a community round table of LGBT organizations and a Gayly representative was there,” Emmons said.
He then explained that after a conversation with the representative he “initiated having the Gayly at OCCC as an institution.”
“I had to talk with Student Life to make sure we could have the paper, but we have other community journals, magazines, and newspapers so I thought it’d be all right,” Emmons said. “I gave them [Student Life] a copy so the could see if it was within standards for educational purposes.”
Emmons also said that while he has “the usual concern about acceptance” and “possible controversy,” he believes the Gayly has been well-received.
Learning Support Specialist Mary Turner, another GSA sponsor said, “This is a college campus with a rich diversity and publications geared toward other populations.”
“If it is a quality paper,” Turner said, “It should educate heterosexuals operating on myths about different, potential possibilities.
“I think there is room for this publication with the wide spectrum of publications we have.”
Turner then explained that the subject matter the paper addresses should “be a non-issue on campus.”
GSA president Nikki McKiel said she hopes “it will make people more open.”
“I think that this will broaden people’s horizons,” McKiel said. “Seeing that it is there, it opens possibilities to people.”
McKiel also recommends it to anyone.
“I think that people unfamiliar with the community should give it a chance,” McKiel said. “Pick up a paper, read it. It’s not just for gays. Its topics are important to the community and important to everyone.”
For more information about The Gayly visit their website at www.gayly.com.
For more information about the Gay Straight Alliance, email Nikki McKiel at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit occc.campusgroups.com/gsa.
To contact Mike Wormley, email email@example.com.