coalition of Another lifestlyes (C.O.A.L.)

Coalition of Another Lifestyle (COAL) was a lesbian, gay, and bisexual organization at the University of Texas at El Paso. This organization provided support for students, faculty, and staff who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or an ally.

COAL was founded in 1992 by students Norma Montellano, Bonnie W., George G. Johnson and a student by the name of Charles. The organization was sponsored by UTEP faculty member Dr. Emma Perez. COAL was organized with the purpose of providing support to its members as well as coordinating campus events that would educate the community on homosexuality in efforts to change the attitude towards gay individuals. Members of COAL were limited to students, faculty, and staff at UTEP, and meetings were held every Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. throughout the school year. In March of 1993, UTEP hosted its Twist and Shout event in which funds were raised for sponsoring student organizations. COAL was among one of the organizations to participate in the event. The event asked for a $5 (United States Dollars) fee for each organization for the first twister mat (four dots per mat) and $1 for each member afterward. Individuals without an organization to sponsor were charged $1. The object of the game was to outmaneuver opponents and be the last player remaining on the mat, and money was earned for every minute a member remained on the mat without falling.

COAL continued to be active within the community for the remainder of the year, officially ending in 1993. COAL was one of the earliest UTEP organizations to fulfill the purpose of providing support for faculty, staff, and students who were lesbian, gay, or bisexual. The impact of COAL left a legacy on UTEP and set a precedent for upcoming LGBTQ+ organizations years later. 

Sources

  • Montellano, Norma. “C.O.A.L. Coalition of Another Lifestyle, Constitution”. UTEP Library Special Collections, MS 441. 1992-3.

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