UCLA Graduation 2007: the Lavender Graduation

June 17, 2007

I went to two graduations this year: the Lavender Graduation — for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and friends of, and the School of Arts and Architecture. The first was a two and a half hour ceremony — much elation, hugging, description of donors, staff founders, and faculty and all for maybe 30 students. This was the 10th anniversary. The last one I attended was very small. The momentum is building. Judging by the students represented there, gay and lesbian students at UCLA are people of color. Mark, Mitchell and I really didn’t see any white students in the whole batch. We know there are queer white students at UCLA but why weren’t they there? Hmmm, curious. Sheila Kuehl was the keynote speaker (Zelda from the TV series “Dobie Gillis” now CA State Assemblyperson) and she was terrific.

We lauded Al Aubin who was a pioneer for LGB rights in the UC System after being screwed around by the administration after his lover died. My partner was cured from bacterial meningitis through terrific health care under MY insurance plan that covered HIM in my insurance plan. That happened because of Al Aubin’s action. So I owe Daniel’s life in part to Al Aubin. Al was one of the many people celebrated this year (he is “retiring”). Thank you Al.

I only knew one of the students in the ceremony, but I was touched by the support of “biological and extended family” who showed up not really knowing what to expect. To those who were there: thanks for taking a risk.

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