"This Group Isn't Just for Queers"


An advertisement for UBGLAD, published in the Concordiensis on November 2, 1995, which emphasizes the idea that heterosexual allies are welcomed and encouraged to join UBGLAD as active members.

It appears that upon Letriz’s 1991 graduation, the GLBA became inactive, following a very similar lifespan to its predecessor, the Gay Discussion Group. However, new life would be breathed into the club within a matter of two years. When Meredith Miller, class of 1997, arrived on campus in the Fall of 1993 and found the GLBA dormant, she took it upon herself to reinvigorate and lead the group.The following year, Miller renamed the group U.B.G.L.A.D., an acronym standing for Union’s Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Defenders and Advocates. This name change represented Miller’s goal of engaging heterosexual members of the Union community in LGBTQ+ activism as allies, growing the scope and size of the club. Many of Miller’s advertisements for the club focused on attracting a wide audience to the meetings, such as a 1995 ad aptly titled “This Group Isn’t Just for Queers.”     

A May 1996 piece in the Concordiensis celebrating Miller being awarded "Student of the Week" describes the various facets of Miller’s campus involvement, including tracing the history of UBGLAD. The piece then discusses the fact that Miller searched for a video aide on LGBTQ+ topics that was aimed at college students, but was unable to find one, so she applied for a Pew Grant in the fall of 1995 in order to secure funding to make her own. According to the interview, Miller knew little to nothing about filming or editing before undertaking this project, so she began her work by self-teaching herself video production. During the winter of 1996, Miller interviewed college students at RPI, Skidmore, Saint Rose, and SUNY Albany. Notably, the article states that “no students from Union were willing to partake in the project.” 

After Miller spent her spring break in the editing room, the final product, a video titled Queer 101, was shown on campus in the Spring of 1996. Miller presented on the process of creating her video at that year’s Steinmetz Symposium.

An interview with Meredith Miller celebrating her being awarded Student of the Week, featuring a photograph of her sitting outside in front of Schaffer Library. The piece discusses her widespread campus involvement, including her leadership of UBGLAD and her creation of Queer 101. 

An advertisement published in the Concordiensis advertising a showing on campus of Miller's film that reads: On Thursday, April 18, at 8:00 PM in the Multicultural Room, CC 306, Union College - Queer 101 - A video on the lives of gay, lesbian & bisexual college students. Directed, edited & filmed by students here at Union College, about students in our area. Refreshments to follow.

Queer 101, Concordiensis Advertisement

A piece published in the Concordiensis the week after Queer 101 was first shown on campus, discussing the pervasiveness of homophobia on Union's campus. 

UBGLAD cemented itself as a very active presence on campus. In October of 1996, the club hosted “Queer U,” which they described as “a month of education and action.” The calendar, shown below, was filled with a myriad of events, including film screenings every Wednesday, condom handouts, talks and workshops focused around particular topics, an LGBTQ+ alumni and parent reception during homecoming and parents’ weekend, and a dance party scheduled for National Coming Out Day. 

A still from the film Torch Song Trilogy (1988, dir. Paul Bogart), shown on campus on October 2, 1996. 

A second still from Torch Song Trilogy. 

A still from the film The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls In Love (1993, dir. Maria Maggenti), shown on campus on October 9, 1996. 

A second still from The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love. 

A still from the film The Wedding Banquet (1993, dir. Ang Lee), shown on campus on October 16, 1996. 

A second still from The Wedding Banquet. 

A still from the film French Twist (1995, dir. Josiane Balasko), shown on campus on October 23, 1996.

A second still from the film French Twist. 

A still from the film Strawberry and Chocolate (1995, dir.  Juan Carlos Tabío and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea), shown on campus on October 30, 1996. 

A second still from Strawberry and Chocolate. 

As demonstrated through her formation and leadership of UBGLAD and her creation of Queer 101, where Miller did not find the resources she desired, she created them. 

< Previous page Next page >