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Stanford Report, April 5, 2000

Gay community center publishes first issue of Fire

A new publication circulating around campus may set off some heated debate.

Fire!, the official newsletter of Stanford's Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Community Center (LGBCC), touches on subjects such as unsafe sex, homophobia and transgender people. The publication made its debut at the end of Winter Quarter.

Benjamin Davidson, assistant dean of students and director of the LGBCC, said the publication's goal is to stimulate discussion.

"We're trying to look at the interrelationships and interdependencies of our various communities, and trying to spark dialogue about what that means," he said.

Volume I Issue I is six pages long and is written mostly by student staff. It covers subjects ranging from the LGBCC's speakers bureau to identity issues for African American gays to the International Lesbian and Gay Association's world conference in South Africa. Schedules of upcoming events include Stanford's Queer Awareness Days, "Y2Gay: Frontiers for the Next Millennium," which runs April 3-14; a symposium on body image issues April 29 at Tresidder Union; and the Queer Health and Medicine Lecture Series from noon to 1 p.m. on nine consecutive Fridays beginning March 31 at the Medical School. The newsletter also heralds a new program, the "Beyond Pride Art Exhibition," a rotating show celebrating the diversity of the LGBCC's community and allies that Davidson says will be "an enduring presence" on campus.

The intent of the first issue is to acquaint readers with the overall mission of the LGBCC, which envisions a university "enriched by a diversity of identities, orientations, cultures and subcultures."

Liaisons from three of the four primary ethnic communities on campus -- African Americans, Asians and Native Americans -- contributed articles. The spring issue is expected to feature a story about the Chicano/Latino community.

Printing costs are covered by a gift fund underwritten by alumni. A run of 750 copies was published. Stories from the newsletter can be viewed online at

The newsletter's name is inspired by the short-lived journal published by African Americans about the lesbian/gay experience in Harlem at the turn of the century.

"We borrowed the name -- and hopefully the spirit of that literary experiment," Davidson says. In addition, the fact that the LGBCC is located in the Fire Truck House and that the newsletter explores "urgent" issues makes the Fire! moniker appropriate, Davidson says. SR