We reached out to Professor John Quigley after his name was mentioned in The Lantern in connection to the Gay Activist Alliance--it turned out he's still a faculty member at Ohio State, and he was willing to speak with us about his involvement with GAA in its early days. Professor Quigley was the first faculty adviser to the organization, joining the group in 1969. As a law professor, he was able to provide help to the students in a legal capacity, as he was familiar with the interworkings of Columbus legislation that dealt with gay rights.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Professor Quigley, and he allowed us to record our second interview with him. Professor Quigley has been instrumental in our understanding of GAA and the time period; he was able to fill in some of the gaps in The Lantern articles, and explain what it was like to be around in some of the earliest instances of gay activism on campus and in the community. In the interview, Professor Quigley mentions supporting the students by helping set up a bail fund to support students and community members who were arrested, usually by antagonistic police officers who targeted gay bars. After the interview, Professor Quigley followed up and recounted the story of a GAA social event in which some of the members were arrested for cross-dressing, which was against the law per a Columbus city ordinance. However, being familiar with the law, Professor Quigley fought their case and the men were not charged on the groundsof cross-dressing without the intention of presenting as a female. Stories like these get lost without people who are willing to share pieces of their personal histories, and we are grateful to Professor Quigley for sharing his unique experience with us!