Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 9, 1973)
by Adella Wacker
If one expects to see visible emotional scars, she doesn't
show them. If her answers are vague, it may be because her
situation is unclear. She's not a straight heterosexual or a
radical lesbian and refuses to label herself gay or
She's a long-haired, blue-eyed, 22-year-old
scholarship-winning UNL senior.
Being tagged a homosexual, she said, would mean being
thought of by others primarily as a part of a sexual
category. People who adopt that outlook, she said, don't
recognize career achievements and other personal qualities.
"That's the most appalling thing of all," she said.
The fear of losing a potential career if discovered Is
intensely real, she said. The fear is especially real to those
who want to work with children.
She deals with the fear through her work. She said she's
proved herself enough in her field so others will disbelieve
accusations of being homosexual. They'll say, "that's
crazy." Or, hopefully, they would overlook the fact.
The fact that she makes love with both women and men
is not guarded secret. Friends know of her sexual
That's a viable way of working for gay rights, she said,
through people who know her.
Her Nebraska farm parents don't know. She answers
questions about learning of her own homosexuality in an
almost light manner, saying that by the time she was 20
she'd been through "all the philosophical trips."
Her first knowledge of homosexuality came from seeing
the word in Life magazine. She was 16 and didn't know
what the word meant. Neither did her mother.
The two looked up the meaning in a dictionary. She
remembers that her mother responded tolerantly to the
idea of a relationship between two persons of the same sex,
as long as there was love.
She said she thought growing up on a farm gave her a
sense of isolation. It also gave her a broader definition of
sexual roles, seeing her mother do farm chores and her
She remembers her first awareness of another woman's
affection for her. The relationship was one of potential, but
without touching, she said.
Her first homosexual contact was with a woman who
had no such previous encounters and who, she said, "really
wasn't ready for the physicalness of it."
The difficult and ambkjious relationship spawned a
greater awareness her gayness, and the homosexual act
itself, she said.
She had never lived with a man although her first sex
was with a man. She did live with a woman for three
months "in infatuation," she said.
She says, however, that if she decides to live with a
woman again the choice means relating only to that woman
at that time, because she can't carry on two lasting
bi-sexual relationships simultaneously.
A 32-year-old lesbian once told her that if she enjoyed
both men and woman, life would be much easier being a
"But I don't think people make life decisions based on
Within the relationships themselves problems come only
from the individual person, she said. They're never caused
only by the sex of her partner.
Last summer she worked as a dancer in a cocktail
"When you're a go-go dancer," she said, "you are the
American sex symbol."
When she walks into a gay bar, however, she said she sees
the same behavior pattern, hustling for physical beauty,
only this time it's between women.
She also has lived by herself for three years while
attending UNL and another Nebraska college.
Living alone is important in coming to terms with
yourself, she said. "You become aware of yourself, you
hear yourself laugh aloud for the first time."
Many people, she said, recycle themselves through any
social noise or distraction that keeps them from realizing
what they're afraid their true sexual responses might be.
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