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October 31, 2005
Contact: Michael Franklin, KU LGBT Programs and Services, (785) 864-2802.

KU gay student services office to distribute 'gay? fine by me' T-shirts

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas' LGBT Programs and Services office, located in the Student Involvement & Leadership Center, will distribute 225 "gay? fine by me" T-shirts on campus to promote a positive environment for homosexual students.

The shirts, which originated two years ago by Duke University students after a college guide ranked their university as the most unfriendly to gays, will be handed out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Wescoe Beach. There is a suggested $5 donation to fund the purchase of additional shirts.

"The purpose of the project is to provide a simple but effective way to open up dialogue between the LGBT community and the heterosexual community," said Michael Franklin, LGBT Programs and Services resource coordinator at KU. "Wearing one of the 'fine by me' T-shirts is an excellent way to show support and create a welcoming environment."

Frankin said students, staff and administrators who pick up a shirt should wear it Thursday, Nov. 3, and take part in a group photo at the Kansas Union. The photo will be taken at 3 p.m.

The Gay? Fine By Me T-shirt Project began at Duke in 2003 after the Princeton Review had named Duke the most gay-unfriendly school in America. To test whether the ranking was accurate, 10 straight and gay students printed "gay? fine by me" shirts to see how many of their peers would wear them. After 10 days, the students had distributed 2,000 shirts, and the next year Duke didn't appear on the Princeton Review's list.

The project has since expanded to more than 100 other schools, churches and communities, and organizers have distributed more than 25,000 shirts in almost all 50 states. Fine By Me Inc. is a nonprofit organization.

For more information, contact Michael Franklin at mfrank77@ku.edu or (785) 864-2802. For information on the national Gay? Fine By Me movement, contact Lucas Schaefer at lucas@finebyme.org or visit www.finebyme.org.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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