Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Duclod Man

I found fascinating this story in The Advocate about someone who has been sending odd letters to bisexual students at my alma mater. In it, Sarah Aswell uses all her internet prowess to discover the identity of the letters' sender. It sounds like something I'd do--develop such an obsession, a quest for answers. Here's an excerpt. (It's a long article. Be sure to read the rest of it.)

As early as 1992, students at Grinnell College, a small liberal arts school in Iowa, began receiving strange, anonymous letters in the mail. The letters contained homemade greeting cards with crudely drawn pictures—men crawling on the ground, toilets and trash cans, twin closet doors—and jokes that didn’t make any sense. Q: What would a duclod like about the land of the giants? A: Standing in two closets without touching either knob.

In one mysterious letter the sender defined the made-up word duclod as the fusion of two words, dual and closeted, meaning a person who hides his or her sexuality from both gay and straight people. Another letter described the duclod as “bisexual, homophobic, heterophobic, confused.”

The letters were always sent in groups, from four to seven cards reported at a time. They were always postmarked from different, seemingly random parts of the country and always sent during school breaks. Mostly, the letters targeted gay and bisexual seniors. Sometimes they were sent to the student’s school address; sometimes home, possibly in an effort to out the student to his or her parents.

That’s all anyone knew for 14 years.

2 comments:

Anna said...

Wow! That's quite a page-turner. Quite a spooky story with unsettling implications. If she ever finishes the "story" i.e. makes the Grinnel connection, please let us know.

Kevin said...

You should read my follow up to the Duclod story.