Gore Vidal and Kate Millett greeted a packed crowd at CLAGS’s October 2nd benefit. Nearly 300 donors attended the cocktail reception at the CUNY Graduate School. Joining Vidal and Millett in welcoming the guests were CLAGS’s Founder and Executive Director, Martin Duberman; CLAGS’s Chairperson, Esther Katz; CUNY Chancellor, Ann Reynolds; and Graduate School President, Frances Degen Horowitz. Paul Monette, winner of the 1992 National Book Award for Becoming A Man, served as Co-Chair with Millett and Vidal, but because of ill-health could not attend the benefit and sent greetings to the crowd.
On display was “Keepin’ On,” an exhibit celebrating and honoring the creativity and strength of the African-American lesbian community and produced by Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Both Chancellor Reynolds and Graduate School President Horowitz spoke about the University’s commitment to lesbian and gay studies and their sense that CLAGS is a cornerstone in the effort to make CUNY as diverse as the city which surrounds it.
Gore Vidal said in his speech to the benefit attendees that he had wanted to attend the benefit in order to convey his “solidarity with CLAGS” and his strong support of lesbian and gay studies. In her remarks, Kate Millett stressed the astonishing changes that have taken place since she published Sexual Politics some 20 years ago — and the need for still greater changes in the future.
“We were very pleased that the benefit raised $10,000,” said David Kahn, CLAGS Development Committee Chairperson, “Contributions from our friends are particularly important since CLAGS doesn’t receive any financial support from CUNY and has to raise all its funds from people who care about lesbian and gay studies.”
At the close of the benefit, each guest was given A Different Light book-bag filled with books donated by Quality Paperback Book Club, Crown, and Simon & Schuster. Once again, the striking invitations for the event were donated by Andy Hughes and Chip Kidd, and the flowers were donated by J.P. & Co.