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continued from page 5
Jonathan Is a North Carolina native and
founder of the Jargon Society. His
works Include poetry and amusing
expressions, signs, and Incidents from
his life. He started with a string of
humorous, short, but complex llmerlck-
llke poems called Clarahews. This was
followed by a wonderful Crown Poem (by
Tom) and some stories from the north of
England and Highlands, North Carolina.
Key Note Address
The key note speaker for the eleventh
annual Lesbian and Gay Awareness Week
was Tom Duane. Tom Is a candidate for
the New York City Council. He spoke to
one of the largest groups of the week
about his life, his political career,
and Issues he thinks should be given
Tom spoke on how he started a gay
student group at his very small and
conservative alma mater, Lehigh
University in Pennsylvania. He
described several of his major
accomplishments as a Democratic
District Leader in New York, and Issues
he will work on if he is elected to the
City Council. Tom feels that the time
has come for life-partner legislation.
Such legislation would ensure lesbian
and gay couples the same rights that
married straight couples take for
granted. This legislation would make a
lesbian or gay spouse the next-of-kin
for inheritance purposes and would make
her or him eligible for inclusion in
emplo3nnent benefits such as health care
Tom is a very likable guy and we wish
him luck in November.
Rap Session on Substance Abuse in the
The gist of this session was that "more
lesbians and gay men die from substance
abuse than will ever die from AIDS."
Our discussion was led by Jim, who is
the leader of Chapel Hill's only gay AA
group. The group meets every Thursday
night at 8:00 PM in the Carolina Newman
Jim said that there are few social
outlets for lesbians and gay men that
do not involve alcohol. To be gay and
live as a gay person has become
associated with drinking. This is
borne out in statistics that indicate
that 40% of the lesbian and gay
community but only 10% of the general
population is alcoholic. Jim called
alcoholism a disease of denial.
Alcoholics often refuse to admit that
they have a drinking problem, and Jim
saw a correlation between this denial
and the refusal to admit one's
homosexxiality. "Drinking took care of
all the secrets in my life," Jim said.
"For gay people to become sober they
must first accept themselves as gay."
Rap Session With a Gay Couple
Jeff and Stanley have been living in
bliss for the past nine years and they
came to speak as a long-term couple.
In fact, some remarked that they were
so happy together they didn't really
qualify as role models!
Stanley did not realize he was gay
until he fell in love with a man. He
uses Christ as a model for loving,
since he describes Christ as
affectionate, forgiving, and able to
make sacrifices. The day Stanley and
Jeff met, Stanley knew he loved Jeff,
and they have been together ever since.
Jeff said that he seeks security and a
sense of continuity from relationships.
His previous relationships involved
reaching out and giving, but did not
Include the reciprocity he needed.
"The person I loved most while growing
up was my grandmother, and Stanley
loves me like my grandmother does. It
is a demanding love."
Factors which have contributed to their
success include the proper level of
"togetherness." They know the limits
of topics of discussion, and each has
time to himself, without the other
partner, every week. Finally, they
accept the fact that at times they will
be annoyed with each . other. Jeff
suggests, "As long as you strive for
balance in the relationship, you will
succeed." continued on page 7
-The Daily Tar Heel
News & Record
110 N. Columbia St.
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