Chuck Ranberg

Out in the Redwoods

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Submitted as a Narrative

I came out not long after arriving at Porter College as a freshman in 1973. In that ultra-liberal climate it was a safe place to finally exhale and try to become the person I'd been repressing throughout high school. There were no gay organizations on campus then, so I was still faced with not really knowing how to meet anyone. It was very fashionable to call yourself bisexual (who could forget the Sexual Ambiguity party in B-Dorm?), but in truth, none of my "bisexual" brothers were actually interested in more than friendship; they just liked David Bowie. Eventually my gaydar improved, and by the time I was a senior I had several good gay friends at the college. Curiously, we were all RA's. And some of us were sleeping together. Alex was dating Rick, I was dallying with Bruce--until Alex and Rick broke up, and then I fell in love with Rick, and meanwhile we all cried on Dan's shoulder. Having a gay student union might have spared us a lot of drama. Or maybe not. I'm happy to say Alex and Dan are still in my life and when we talk about those times, we laugh.

© 2003 - Out in the Redwoods © 2004 by the Regents of the University of California. Edited by Irene Reti. Any reproduction of these interviews, including electronic reproduction, is prohibited by United States copyright law.