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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ian Thomas Palmquist, June 27, 2001. Interview K-0848. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

B-GLAD becomes the Queer Network for Change

Palmquist describes how B-GLAD decided to change its name during his years of participation in order to be more inclusive to transgender people. Ultimately, the organization chose to embrace the moniker Queer Network for Change (QNC). Palmquist discusses use of the word "queer" and describes briefly how QNC primarily focused on awareness-raising.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ian Thomas Palmquist, June 27, 2001. Interview K-0848. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHRIS MCGINNIS:
So why did you change the name?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
So why did we change the name. [Laughter] That is an interesting question. We changed the name becauseߞthis was toward the end of my senior yearߞbecause there was a strong concensus among the whole executive board that we wanted to be inclusive of the whole transgender community.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
There were not many transgenders around?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
There were not many transgender folks on campus, although there were a couple that we knew, although some had been active in the group before, one was incredibly active before she transitioned and we felt like we should be clear that we are supportive of the transgender community.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
This was a male that wanted to become a female?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
female to male. Yeah, sorry.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
I can never keep the genders straight.
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
Pronoun problems, yeah. So, we went through a million different possibilities of names and everything with LGBT in it started to get really klunky. We would end up with these incredibly long names. I had theߞ
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
So they did not like be classified as allies?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
Yeah. [Laughter] One of the assistant editors at the DTH begged me not to make our name any longer. [Laughter] She was like, "Your name already takes up three lines, don't make it any longer." So, we started making a discussion about whether we should use the word "Queer" instead of LGBT or LGBT2-sprited. There was a lot of discussion on it and it finally ended up coming down to choosing between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Alliance and Queer Network for Change. Which, is a name that I came up with and I was the person that lobbied against it the most, probably.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Against QNC, was it because it sounded like it like shopping network for gay people?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
Well, I actually did not think about that at the time, I thought, "QNC, UNC this is cute." Butߞ
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Did it come up for a general ballot?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
It did come up for a general ballot and QNC ended up passing unanimously at that meeting, which surprised the hell out of me. I personally love the word "queer" One of the things that I miss about being out of college is being able to use that word so freely, but it is not something that is very welcoming for people that have just come out. A lot of people still find that pretty threatening. I felt like too switch to a name using queer instead of listing everything out. This was essentially admitting that we were not offering many social and support options anymore. Which, I did not want to do. I was much more interested in the political stuff.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
What kind of political stuff did you do with QNC?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
We did a lot of different kind of projects. Most of our stuff was kind of in the visibility awareness raising category, we did not have a bigߞ
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
There were not any big causes?
IAN THOMAS PALMQUIST:
There was not any big cause. We were working on non-discrimination or anything that big, which was dissapointing. I always wanted to launch a big campaign, but there didn't seem to be a big?