Rainbow Rams and the Culture of Diversity

29th June 2018

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Lgbt Pride Month

At this year’s Jubilee reunion, more than 40 members of Fordham’s LGBTQ alumni affinity group, the Rainbow Rams, gathered for cocktails and camaraderie on the terrace of the William D. Walsh Library. Jerold Kulik, FCRH ’93, caught wind of the get together after a young alumnus draped a rainbow flag over the banister.

“It was like seeing the bat signal,” said Kulik, who quickly alerted his college roommate Tom Penna, FCRH ’93.

For three years Kulik and Penna were roommates, and neither told the other they were gay.

“It was a difficult time; I was very scared of AIDS,” said Penna. “It was a different world back then.”

Kulik and Penna’s not-coming-out story was a familiar one to most of the alumni gathered, even recent grads from the Class of 2013, and certainly to those from 50 years ago. (Read the full story.)

Rainbow Rams are not just limited to the club, or students, and alumni at Fordham. They touch all walks of life—from the bucolic campus of Rose Hill to the hustle and bustle of Lincoln Center.

Richard Giannone was a professor of English at Fordham when FUP published his searingly honest and richly insightful memoir, Hidden: Reflections on Gay Life and Spiritual Desire. First published in hardback, then re-issued in paperback, Hidden eloquently captures Giannone’s transformation from a solitary gay academic to a dedicated caregiver, as well as a sexually and spiritually committed man.

Patrick Hornbeck (Chair, Department of Theology, Fordham), Christine Firer Hinze (Professor of Theology, Fordham) and Michael A. Norko (Yale University School of Medicine) spearheaded the two volume set, More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church. More than a Monologue aims to promote informed, compassionate dialogue about issues of sexual diversity within the Catholic community of faith, as well as in the broader civic worlds that the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic people inhabit. It received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

FUP’s, Director, Fredric Nachbaur received his certificate from the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs for successfully completing training to be an ally of support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Network. He is available on campus to offer support to any students or community members who are feeling anxious, unsure, or unsafe about their sexual identity and how it affects their life at Fordham. Nachbaur said this was “very cool to be happening at a Catholic university. . . [It] promote[s] an understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of all our students that is rooted in the Jesuit tenet of Cura Personalis and the principle that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, which is explicit in Catholic teaching.” (Read full story.) You can follow Fred Nachbaur on @fnachbaur.

As Pride Month winds down this month, here are our top picks for summer reading:

Giannone HiddenHidden
Reflections on Gay Life, AIDS, and Spiritual Desire
Richard Giannone

” [A] thoughtful and gracefully written book.”—The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide

 

 

 

A Scarlet Pansy9780823272563
Robert Scully
Edited by Robert J. Corber

“A dizzying mix of low camp and high drama, A Scarlet Pansy is at once laugh-out-loud funny, startling, odd, and ultimately—through the lens of our queer world today—very moving. Robert J. Corber’s insightful and astute Introduction places the novel in a clear historical context while continually highlighting the emotional power and the camp glory of the novel and the erotic adventures of its hero/heroine, Fay Etrange.”—Michael Bronski, Harvard University

9780823280391 FcOut of the Ordinary
A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions
Michael Dillon/Lobzang Jivaka
Edited by Jacob Lau and Cameron Partridge
Foreword by Susan Stryker

“A suspenseful and heart-breaking tale that begins at the English seaside and ends with a mysterious death in the Himalayan mountains. In his gripping autobiography, Dillon finds new answers to enduring questions about gender. At the same time, he never manages to solve the puzzle of his own identity and dies in the pursuit of transcendence. Dillon’s memoir deserves a place alongside the great spiritual narratives, from Augustine to Merton.”—Pagan Kennedy, author of The First Man-Made Man

9780823266043Gay Fathers, Their Children, and the Making of Kinship
Aaron Goodfellow

“Queer kinship is far from ‘virtually normal’: it remains uncanny. Aaron Goodfellow’s in-depth study of gay fathers gives voices and faces to these precarious families. Individual stories illustrate how these men painfully strive to embody norms that leave them at the threshold of family life.”—Eric Fassin, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Paris-8 University

 

9780823274611Sexagon
Muslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture
Mehammed Amadeus Mack

“Sexagon vividly portrays the context in which many French LGBT immigrants live now, under pressure for self-disclosure.”—The Gay & Lesbian Review