The Gustavus Adolphus College Student Who Hates Seeing Freshman Learn About Queers

Even I LOL’d a bit watching students at Gustavus Adolphus College — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America liberal arts school in Minnesota — acting out mock sexual scenarios as part of freshman orientation. But fresh from high school, the kids have to learn about dorm etiquette somehow, and that includes alternatives to leaving socks on the door knobs. Oh, and what to do if they encounter a homosexual. Luckily there are students on campus lobbying to remove this propaganda!

Called “Inside Scoop,” the hour-long orientation seminar is mandatory, claims Phil Cleary, a Gustavus student and the executive director of Gusties for Restoring America, which has its own Facebook page so you know it’s official. (They have 38 members!)

Cleary, a Minnesota native, has been blogging on, which is where he uploaded these secret tapes after “infiltrating” the event.

In the above clip — captioned, “Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors in those first few days or even hours after you drop your son off for their first year of College at a Lutheran institution of higher education?” — we see freshman learn about the ridiculously long acronym “LGPBBTTQ&A,” which includes pansexuals!

Blogs Cleary, writing in the third person:

This second event [top clip] goes a bit further than the first, educating students about distinctions between gender and sex (as well as how to celebrate “LGPBBTTQ&A”), testimonies from gay, lesbian, and atheist students, and a call censor the content of speech after screaming cuss words at students in the dark.

Cleary commented, “This is propaganda that one might expect be taught in a Gender and Sexuality course at a secular, state institution. However, Gustavus is a Lutheran school in southern Minnesota founded by Swedish immigrants in the 1800’s, and these shameful seminars are presented during the first few hours and days that students are on campus before classes even begin.”

I guess that’s something you’d expect from a group that wants to “promote the conservative worldview and its principles in the community at Gustavus Adolphus College, and to produce constructive dialogue on campus to foster a more holistic understanding of differing political issues and ideology through education and awareness.” Translation: It’s kosher if you don’t talk about gays or sex.

But then it’s like: What’s the point of going to college?

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  • Cam

    Ok, so another self hating closet case freaking out because any mention of homosexuality makes them think they will get found out.

  • TommyOC

    Not every homophobe is a self-hating closet case.

    Sometimes they’re just hating.

  • Jeff M.

    I don’t really get the impression that anyone is advocating banning queers. As much fun as it would be to back him into a corner, from what I can read he seems to’ve done a decent job choosing his words carefully enough to avoid condemnation of the content of this skits and only is left to taking issue with the tactics. thoughts?

  • UMB

    Clearly is clearly confused: Gustavus is a very liberal Lutheran college (it is affiliated with the homo-loving ELCA), he should have gone to a Baptist or Mormon college if he wanted to feel at home with his bigoted friends.


    Phil: You “clearly” seem so very comfortable in that particular position in that photo…… :p

  • Kurt

    Yummy. Blond Lutheran boys!

  • Jack E. Jett

    Such a nice group of glory hole abusing closet cases.

  • Blake J

    The majority of bigots are just straight people with deeply depressing lives and only tiny amount are closet cases.

  • Phillip

    As a Gustie alumnus and a former member of the I Am We Are theatre company, I think that the Gustavus community has nothing to fear from a few fringe elements wanting to stifle free speech and open mindedness. And I think it’s good these videos are out there insofar as they provoke discussion and thought on the subject, especially in a student community that may not always recognize its own privilege. IAWA has always performed these sort of socially aware productions, not just for incoming freshman but for the student and regional communities at large… well now it seems that we have an even larger audience. Bravo!

  • Disgusted Gay American

    wow- the tragedy of having to sit in the audience – maybe learn a few things you didn’t know…have a few some new people…and then continue your college life…oh the horror…((SNARK))….sounds like this kid is having “personal issues”

  • Vman455

    OK, I taught at an ELCA university last year, and graduated from an ELCA university a few years before that, and they are pretty much the most liberal, open atmospheres I have ever seen. This guy just needs to go to a different school if he can’t handle it (can we say LCMS?).

  • Miguel

    ” . . .we see freshman learn about the ridiculously long acronym “LGPBBTTQ&A,” which includes pansexuals!

    This is fucking insane. We have allowed deranged people to assume that they have the moral authority to rename and redefine the gay community to the point of absurdity. And amazingly, even the 9-letter/1 ampersand monstrosity used at Gustav Adolphus could be considered “exclusionary” because there are no separate letters for intersexed, two-spirited, same-gender loving, and the asexual.

    Every minority group has subgroups and allies. But none feel the need to continuously redefine themselves on a whim. Latinos consist of Americans with origins in all of the states in Central and South America, as well as Mexico. Does the Latino community rename itself to include a letter for each of these subgroups, with more letters allocated for sympathetic Spaniards and Gibraltans and still more for “questioning” and “allies”?

    We need to call ourselves “gay” or “gay and lesbian” or at the very most “gay, lesbian and bisexual” and leave it at that. Everyone else can have our friendship and support if they want it and deserve it, but they can’t have our identity.

  • Phillip

    The kid is of no consequence. You’ve made a non-story into a story by covering it. Now please let it go away…

  • Gustie

    Most anti-gay bigots are just close-minded. But in this case Phil happens to be a closet case.

  • DuhaimeC

    I would just like to mention, this event called the ‘Inside Scoop’ is not mandatory as Phil states. As a current student of this institution, who has worked closely with the orientation process, I can state for a fact that these programs are more so ‘highly encouraged’.

    We never force students to attend any of the orientation programs. Many students on this campus believe these programs to beneficial to the incoming first-years. It opens their eyes to the world around them, and allows them to understand that everything isn’t always as fine and dandy as we like to think it is.

    I know as an incoming first-year student, these types of programs opened my eyes to a world I hadn’t known before. I appreciate the work of these groups/programs!

  • Michael

    So “GA” on underwear is short for Gustavus Adolphus? What if you’re not a Lutheran?

  • Syl

    @Miguel: Way to snub us trans folk, Miguel. Our fight for rights, our fight against religious bigotry and outdated gender roles and stereotypes is the same fight. And yet we are a distinct category. We face many of the same legal and societal issues, but also some distinct ones. Being gay isn’t in the DSM as a mental illness anymore, but being trans still is. No one forces you to go to a shrink to get approval for being gay. You’ll never have to deal with the headaches of getting all the “m”s on your paperwork turned into “f”s, or disclosing to a date “oh, btw, I’m trans, fyi”. You’ll never be told “oh, you’re not really one of us” because of the genitals you were born with.

    Our fight is the same. Don’t exclude us. We need each other.

  • mecsportif

    As someone who went to Gustavus Adolphus, I thought the I Am We Are productions were great, as did everyone else I knew. They were a series of student directed and performed skits, designed to allow discussion and break the ice concerning a variety of issues that college students face. And they were perfect for it.

    When students see these issues (dating, diversity, religion, sexuality, body image, substances, academics, depression) brought up via sketches easily accessible to them, they feel more comfortable thinking and talking about issues that apply to their lives and the lives of everyone in the community. And THAT is the point of a college education! Discussion! And how to make it enjoyable and effective! The skits are also a form of creative entertainment (hmm, whodathunk that creative skits put on by students about life at college might be more racy than an executive board meeting?!) designed to make students think but also laugh – perfect for the first week of school. A great ice-breaker in every sense of the word. We spend the entire semester in the classroom doing Serious Business and having Serious Discussions. The first week can be a little less on the Serious, and little more on the dramatic, fun, and college life-applicable.

  • Ryan

    SYL, you just pointed out all reasons why our fight is not the same at all. (And you don’t think people should have therapy before a major life-changing and permnant gender-reassignment surgery? Really?). I think transgendered people should have all the same rights as everyone else, but let’s not kid ourselves. Not only do we not “need each other”, but you’re holding us back. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s true.

  • P.

    Re: the long string of letters, we liberal minnesotans can get a bit ridiculously inclusive. I heard that the queer seminar at the U of M is now called just Alphabet Soup.

  • the crustybastard

    I’m more concerned about those stone-humping petraphiles

  • Phillip

    @Ryan: Am I the only one who recognizes the joke inherent in their use of “LGPBBTTQ&A”? It’s sort of a reference to the part of the Midwestern/Lutheran psyche that tries to be inclusive and agreeable to the point of neurosis. And within the college there was always the debate about what to call the GSA group for the very reasons of inclusiveness noted above. To take it seriously is to completely miss the point of its usage in the skit…and really not related to this (non-)story at all…

  • Syl

    @Ryan: Oh, we’re the ones holding the cause back. Great to know! I guess it’s not the fault of the DNC, RNC, Catholic/Mormon/Evangelical leaders, or the “weirder” elements/subsets of homosexual male culture which just squick out middle-class straight America. It’s just us stubborn trannies tacking that “T” on the end of your little acronym and daring to try to combine our effort into a single fight for rights!

    Sorry! I guess we’ll quietly wait at the back of the bus like good little niggers until YOU have complete equality, because God knows America won’t be able to handle transexuality/intersexuality-genuine, anatomical, medical conditions people are born with-until they’re 100% okay with buttsex, circuit parties and your average Pride parade!

  • Phillip

    @Syl: Yes yes, let’s fight about acronyms, can we, please?

  • Hilarious

    We need to go into these areas and educate them if we want to quell the latent homophobia in the white community and the white church.

  • Screaming Conscience

    That’s rich – – – a gaggle of leftist bigots calling the kettle black. Well done, tolerationists.

  • BenR

    @ Miguel I love how insecure gay men can turn even the most peripherally related of topics, like this one, into a rant against including trans people.

    Dear insecure, self-obsessed gay men: Go fuck yourselves. We trans folk will be hanging out with the rest of our gay friends… you know, the ones who aren’t wetting themselves about competing for tolerance… while we wait for you to locate your moral fortitude and get over yourselves.

    Transphobia, homophobia, misogyny… all these things go hand in hand. The idea that we can defeat one without defeating the others is stupid. In fact, attempting to defeat one while defending the others will only set all of our goals back. If you were really smart about being self-interested (and it’s clear that you’re not), you would be working for ways to create alliances with those who share your interests and goals, rather than trying to cast them aside because you think they hinder “your” movement. All of us need all the allies we can get. Only fools spurn their potential allies, those who have been fighting alongside them in the movement for decades, because of some perceived shortage of tolerance and acceptance.

    If all you do is suck up to “normal” people by attempting to cast aside those “weirder” than yourself, all you are doing is reinforcing the notion that white, straight, and male really is normal and normative.

  • Anonymous

    As an individual that attends Gustavus and knows of Phil Cleary, he’s absurd. He does things on campus just to stir things up, however he does them in a very unproductive manner. He knows its his senior year and his last chance to cause “chaos” so he just makes up a bunch of nonsense. I’m not sure how he as all of this time to do this. I find it fascinating. And I agree with several of these comments. But honestly. If you really hate so much about a school, then don’t go there. Cause I surely don’t want him here anymore.

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