Astronomer's Heritage

I am in the process of posting the clippings from Choragos concerning lesbianism at MHC, beginning with the original articles and letters from and about "Astronomer" in the fall of 1975. Eventually making there way here will be more articles from Choragos and the Mount Holyoke News, as well as a fascinating sequence of letters to the Alumnae Quarterly in 1986-88 about the formation of the Lesbian Alumnae Network. (For more information about the Lesbian Alumnae Network, please contact Donna Albino '83 dalbino@mtholyoke.edu.)

When you click on the icon of the article below, you will go to the full text of the article accompanied by either a full-size scan of the clipping or, in the case of very large clippings, an icon of the clipping to take you on to the full-sized scan.

If you have any comments, please fill out a feedback form.


New! = New addition on May 6, 1996. (These additions are primarily all the messages which appeared in the personals columns of Choragos.)
  1. [Bulletin Board, 09.25.75]Sept. 25, 1975:
    In the "Bulletin Board" -- the personals section -- of the college newspaper, Choragos, the editor-in-chief, Susan Horsman, ran this item in response to an anonymous letter received by the editors.

  2. [Horsman article, 10.09.75]Oct. 2, 1975:
    This is the famous Astronomer letter which sparked the beginnings of the first lesbian organization at MHC. Apparently assured that Astronomer was indeed "serious," Choragos published her letter in haruspex, the commentary section of the paper.

  3. [Bulletin Board, 10.09.75]Oct. 2, 1975:
    In the same edition was a reprint of an article from the UMass paper, The Collegian, which described a visit from T-Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who had been given a controversial discharge from the Air Force earlier in 1975.

  4. [Anniversary in loneliness, 10.09.75]Oct. 9, 1975:
    Astronomer was the lead story of the paper. Sue Horsman, editor-in-chief, wrote a lengthy interview piece with the anonymous lesbian.

  5. [Bulletin Board, 10.09.75]Oct. 9, 1975:
    A variety of women responded to Astronomer's request to send her messages in the Bulletin Board section of the paper, and the first informal gathering of lesbians was scheduled for that night at 8:30 at Eliot House.

  6. [haruspex, 10.09.75]Oct. 9, 1975:
    Two letters were also published side-by-side in haruspex that week, offering support to Astronomer. Thirteen of the signers of the second letter formed the senior group living in Pearsons Annex that year, according to the 1975-76 College Directory.

  7. [Editorial, 10.09.75]Oct. 9, 1975:
    The following editorial, signed only by "seh," responded to the items in the Bulletin Board.

  8. [Blomberg article, 10.09.75]Oct. 9, 1975:
    Marcia Blomberg, Feature Editor of Choragos, contributed this piece about lesbian organizations throughout the 5-College area.

  9. [photo, 10.16.75]Oct. 16, 1975:
    The group of seniors living in Pearsons Annex in 1975-76 renamed the house "Emma Goldman Hall," after the lesbian anarchist.

  10. New![Bulletin Board, 10.16.75] Oct. 16, 1975:
    The Bulletin Board began to carry weekly messages to all "astronomers."

  11. [haruspex, 10.23.75]Oct. 23, 1975:
    Choragos published this letter from Michael McHenry, in support of Astronomer.

  12. New![Bulletin Board, 10.16.75] Oct. 23, 1975:
    The Bulletin Board contained another message.

  13. Oct. 30, 1975:
    [Article] Marcia Blomberg wrote this lengthy article, including interviews with women who had participated in the first three gatherings at Eliot House. [The scan of the clipping is not yet available.]

  14. New![Bulletin Board, 10.30.75] Oct. 30, 1975:
    And yet another message in the Bulletin Board.

  15. New![Notice, 11.06.75] Nov. 6, 1975:
    Finally, the Gay Support Group became official, with this announcement in Choragos.

  16. [Whizzer Buschbumper 02.12.76]February 12, 1976:
    A terrific Whizzer Buschbumper cartoon. by Beth Epstein '76.

  17. New![Personals, 02.19.76] Feb. 19, 1976:
    The Gay Support Group continued to meet with the beginning of Spring semester.

  18. New![Personals, 02.26.76] Feb. 26, 1976:
    The weekly announcements continued in the Personals column.

  19. New![Personals, 04.08.76] Apr. 8, 1976:
    After Spring Break, there was a renewed call for women to come to meetings in Eliot House.

  20. [Meg Christian 04.22.76]April 22, 1976:
    Meg Christian, lesbian singer/songwriter, performed at MHC that spring.

    Note: Marilyn Hacker, poet and lesbian, was one of the three Glascock judges at MHC this spring as well. (Audre Lorde and Susan Griffin were judges in 1979.)

  21. [haruspex, 10.23.75]Oct. 28, 1976:
    This guest commentary, published the following year, promotes a very political definition of lesbianism.

  22. [letter, 11.11.76]Nov. 11, 1976:
    The previous commentary sparked this response, appearing two weeks later.

  23. [haruspex, 10.23.75]Sept. 27, 1979:
    Among the various student groups on campus profiled at the begining of the fall semester in 1979, there was an announcement of the new name of the group on campus: the Lesbian Alliance Group.

    Note: The name listed in the Bulletin Board had been "Gay Support Group" through Oct. 14, 1976, but on Oct. 21, 1976, the name changed to "Lesbian Support Group."


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Thanks to Donna Albino for proofreading my transcriptions of these clippings! :D
This page last updated Monday, May 6, 1996, by Margo Burns, MHC '79, burnsm@mhc.mtholyoke.edu
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