Finding Identity and Expression at WSU
Department: Gender Identity, Expression, and Sexual Orientation Center
Bob Dlugosh says that he and his roommate, Al, “were always chumming around Pullman together.” Best friends, Bob figured Al for straight, but he liked the guy so much he didn’t let it bother him. Bob did wonder if Al knew he was gay. In 1968, “gay” felt like a brand new word. So it probably wasn’t the one used on the sign Al and Bob found tacked to their Stephenson Hall door: “Bob and Al are gay.”
But that’s what Robert Dlugosh ’71 recalls decades later. The noun was probably something from the much crueler vernacular of the day: They were being called faggots, queers, fairies. Al brushed it off, Dlugosh says, and the friends roomed together until graduation. In recalling the sign of aggression, Dlugosh, too, brushes it off. Others had it much worse than him. He has “warm and fuzzy feelings” for the University. Dlugosh, an activist-through-education and Seattle architect, and his husband, Don McKee, now endow a scholarship for LGBTQ—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer—students at Washington State University.