Carleton LGBT History

Out After Carleton history, as well as some campus and global context:


  • Stonewall riots break out in New York City when police try to close a gay bar on the evening of Judy Garland's death, June 28.


  • Northfield Gay Liberation Front, one of the nation's first publicly-run college student LGBT groups, is formed by Carleton and St. Olaf students and holds periodic meetings at Carleton to address gay issues on campus and to provide coming-out support for Carls and Oles alike.


  • Allan Spear is elected to the Minnesota State Senate. After coming out as gay in 1974, he continued to serve through 2000. He was elected in 1993 to lead the Minnesota Senate as its President and later that year, succeeded in guiding the passage of Minnesota’s gay civil rights law.


  • Karen Clark is elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Reelected by the largest margin in the state in 2004 (88%), Clark is the longest serving openly gay state legislator in the United States.


  • Anti-gay vandalism of student Matthew Brooks’ studio art project sparks vigil and campus-wide discussions on climate for LGBT students.


  • Special reception for LGBT alumni in the Twin Cities organized by Ann Potter '76.


  • Out After Carleton (OAC) started at summer reunion by 18 alumni, led my Matt Fikse '87.


  • Endowed Fund for Issues on Human Sexuality (Human Sexuality Endowment Fund, HSEF) established at Carleton (2005 value approximately $273,000).


  • First Pride Banquet held at Carleton.


  • Carleton President Stephen Lewis speaks out publicly in support of gay and lesbian students and alumni.
  • First LGBT Family Reunion held on campus in October.
  • Matthew Shepard killed in Wyoming as first LGBT Family Reunion is held on campus.


  • Kaaren Williamsen hired as LGBT Advisor.


  • Gender and Sexuality Center opens.
  • Sexual orientation added to RAD (Recognition and Affirmation of Difference) graduation requirement.


  • Second LGBT Family Reunion held on campus.
  • First LGBTQA Retreat held on campus.


  • Tenth Anniversary Campaign for Human Sexuality Endowment conducted to boost the value of the Fund.
  • LGBT film festival held during campus Pride Month festivities, featuring several works from the Seattle LGBT Film Festival.


  • OAC alumnus and partner establish the Endowed Fund for Academic Programs in LGBT studies at Carleton (APLS Fund).
  • OAC Leadership Committee meets for the first time.
  • Queers & Allies House (Q&A House) institutionalized (no longer requires a new application each year).
  • "Transgender" added as a gender option to the housing preference form for incoming students; transgender housing options now available on case-by-case basis.


  • Black Queer Alliance (BQA) is chartered as a new student organization.
  • Forty-five students plus several staff and faculty members attend the fourth annual LGBTQA Retreat, renamed Rainbow Retreat.


  • Third LGBT Family Reunion held October 6-8.