Finding Courage

I entered UNT in 1992 as a Denton Mormon mother of five children on academic probation due to my zero-point-nothing GPA from 1970s courses begun at UC Irvine and Orange Coast Community College. I discovered myself and my life changed at UNT, and I was off probation and on the dean's list by the end of my first semester.

By the time I graduated in 1995 and headed to graduate school (history) at the University of Arizona, I had come out as a lesbian, had myself excommunicated from the church I had joined at 16, and been forced to surrender my children to a remarried (in Utah) ex-husband due to financial and legal hurdles. While I was 37 at graduation, I underwent similar changes that much younger students experience -- with added challenges thrown in.

I write because when I was there (1992-1995), I would see flyers for a student organization, "Courage," representing LGB students (at the time TQ* were not as visible in the nomenclature). I never went, but I want UNT to know that those flyers, those students involved who were willing to be "out," and the knowledge that I was not alone were a reassurance that I can't describe and makes my emotions swell even now.

I want to thank those who might remember those days or who were part of Courage -- and it did take courage. And for those who wonder if their efforts matter, they do.

Pamela Stewart ('95)
Senior lecturer, history
Arizona State University
Phoenix, Arizona

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