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Biography

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Cornell students created Direct Action to Stop Homophobia (DASH) in the spring of 1999 after the Cornell Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Coalition folded the semester before. The Coalition was the decendant of the original Student Homophile League, the second gay student organization in the country. DASH had a political focus and revived the earlier ZAP! panel program as its educational arm. DASH inherited the Coalition's offices and its records. The name may have come from something students saw in the records about an earlier group with the same acronym. The organization ceased in fall 1998. In spring 1999, two new groups formed: Haven, an umbrella group for social support groups, and Direct Action to Stop Homophobia (DASH) for political and educational activities.

DASH was active sporadically and held occasional office hours. In 1999, it organized a "Live Homosexual Acts on Campus" event, for which queers and allies performed "live homosexual acts," such as gayly talking on a phone or bisexually shaking hands with passersby, and passed out cards explaining that actions generally do not have sexual orientations. It resurrected "Gay Jeans Day" and several times advertised with posters "If you support LGBT rights, wear blue jeans on Wednesday." Follow-up information explained "You never know who's LGBT or who supports LGBT rights; you can't tell by looking." One of the Gay Jeans Days prompted the Cornell Review to respond with "Conservative Khakis Day." In spring 2000, DASH held a National Day of Silence rally on Ho Plaza. In fall 2000, DASH sponsored a blood drive, "Give Blood because We Can't," paired with a letter-writing campaign to the American Red Cross and the Federal Drug Administration. DASH was mostly inactive during 2002, until students revived it in spring of 2003. It held an action to bring attention to violence against transgender people. It ceased in spring 2006.