January 11, 2010

Anonymous Posts

Every week, we collect anonymous entries sent in using the link on our sidebar and post them all on Monday. We post anything as long as it doesn't contain personal attacks or hate speech. Feel free to submit your thoughts and questions :)

By the time this post is up, I'll be on the road with Ari making the 8+ hour trip back to Duke. I'm not going to say that we're going to be listening to the Glee soundtrack* and Bad Romance on repeat, but I sort of just did.

Our post from this week:

Recently I've been thinking about how I can be moral and gay. Let me preface this quickly (since this is an anonymous post an you have no idea where I'm coming from)-that I'm gay and I understand being gay is inherently good.

But morality in terms of gay relationships is not as cut and dry as heterosexual ones. I recognize that because we are not heterosexual, a lot of the heterosexual rules got thrown out the window after Stonewall...but sometimes I wonder if a lot of the moral ideas also got thrown out the window. I am trying to figure out how morality can play out in my gay relationships. The gay joke is always "what 2nd date?" While funny, it kind of makes me cringe. At what point is sex in a relationship chaste and respectful? How can I look at same-gender attractive people in a way that doesn't objectify them? How should I approach my LGBT relationships with a sense of common humanity?

I get angry about this problem because so many religions take the easy way out and just label the whole LGBT lifestyle as immoral. We all know this isn't right. So I'm wondering how other gay people my age take this. Duke doesn't give me a lesson in gay relationship morality. Religion doesn't either. So I'm trying to navigate this question on my own. It's not really a popular one though, in college, but that doesn't make it any less important. So my question for this community is...How are you gay and moral at Duke?

[Ed. Note: Good question, #1. I have a feeling you're going to get quite a few responses on this one. Hopefully The Readers can provide some effective guidance :)]

*You should see us during "Don't Rain on My Parade." Ugh, but can we talk about how Ari is obsessed with the It's My Life/Confessions mash-up? I'd prefer to skip it, but he insists on me playing it over and over. And because it's his car, I must oblige. But it is my iPod and more importantly this song is one of the weakest to come from the show. I would like some empathy on this. Wait, can I just

My friend "CARrIe Bradshaw" is obsessed with the It's My Life/Confessions mash-up. I'd prefer to skip it, but he insists on me playing it over and over. And because it's his car, I must oblige. But it is my iPod and more importantly this song is one of the weakest to come from the show. I would like some empathy on this.

[Ed. Note: Your friend has no taste and you seem like a handsome, awesome person who has an ear for good music.]


  1. You can't always get what you want :)!!!

  2. Sex without love (note: love not mere infatuation) is immoral. Period.

  3. #1:

    Okay. I've done a lot of thinking about this, and while I probably don't have the best answer, I've at least wrapped my head (I think) around the breadth of your question.

    While I immediately agreed with your assertion that hetero ideals got trashed, after a little more thought I wonder why it has to be that way? Chaste is a reference to extramarital sex, which obviously is all that most of us can, um, participate in these days. However! This does not mean that it cannot be respectful. Just as, though, I believe that heterosex (is that a thing? That is not a thing) can be respectful extramaritally as well. I think we're kind of in the same boat with them on this one and wouldn't be too quick to draw a line. I don't think that anyone can outline The Criteria For Respectful Sex , but I think that for most it's kind of a visceral thing. It is personal for everyone.

    The above anonymous comment is a very blanket statement that I'm hesitant to agree with. Maybe for you, Anonymous! But I think that in 2010 we have made enough progress to recognize that issues like this aren't so black and white. Also, I mean, we are animals, still. Just saying! I sincerely doubt that we can attribute LOVE to every sexual act in Nature. But ugh. Does that make it moral/Moral? I guess I'd say so, if only because that proves we're wired this way. Must we smite people who just have sex because it feels good?

    I feel the same way about the second half of this question, about LGBT friendships with attractive people. Sexual tension is unavoidable. It occurs in heterosexual relationships, too! A straight guy and girl aren't going to just chill all the time and NEVER have it cross their minds. It may happen in the LGBT community more, just because, listen. It's an unavoidable fact that the numbers aren't in our favor! At any point, it is just about possible to name every out gay person at Duke. This is a completely un-PC statement that is Chris Perry the random guy speaking and not Chris Perry the editor of this blog, so don't take my word as something official or whatever. Anyhow! This is not testament to there not being many out gays at Duke because trust me, there are. But there is no way that one person could even come close to naming all of the straight people on campus. My point is that when you meet a new LGBT person, it's a big deal! Considering the pool, this person represents a pretty decent *percentage* increase in the number of potential partner.


  4. The It's My Life/Confessions mash up is one of the strongest songs to come out from this season of Glee. I'm not surprised that you have the worst taste in the world, but more importantly I don't get what's wrong with combining the terrific musical stylings of two of the greatest artists of the last decade, Bon Jovi and Usher. Please refrain from taking cheap shots at Carrie...she is quite sensitive (and yet strong).


  5. Haha, anonymous post #2 seems oddly similar to the editor...but I digress. Well, I'll say one thing about the post. As much as I LOVE glee, I have to agree with the edi..i mean #2, I just didn't get into that mash up as much as the other songs from that season.
    As for #1, because I don't go to Duke, I'm a little reluctant to give a response but I feel oddly compelled to share anyway. I have to say that it is more than outrageous that society has made it so that we as gay individuals have to question the morality of our relationships with other gay people whether or not those relationships are romantic, sexual, or just platonic. I think all relationships gay, straight, or otherwise have the potential to be either of the three I just mentioned and to assume that just because someone is gay means that he or she is only capable of sexual relationships and is thus immoral is demoralizing. At this point I'd like to point out what you said about people not really considering this topic in college. I think it is true that in college there are a lot of students who feel like, 'these are the best years of our lives, let's just have fun and not consider the consequences' and others who are aware of the consequences and just don't care. At the same time there are those students, like I assume you are, who consider the consequences and are frustrated by the fact that others don't. But what I think is most important is that I include all types of college students. It is simply silly to say that gay college students are more sexually rambunctious than any other type of college students. Trying to make such a distinction doesn't seem to be worth it. I think all that matters is that you form your own personal views about your morality and how you apply that to your relationships and let others do that for themselves too. I think it's a great thing that you are thinking about it but I don't think it's worth your time or your anger to think about it on such orientation dependent terms. Forget what the gay joke is and figure out for yourself what you feel is right. Personally, I can't see myself engaging in sexual activity before I feel a certain level of closeness with someone else. That is a facet of my morality. Whether or not that is right is not up to anyone else to decide but me. It doesn't make me any better than anyone, gay, straight, or otherwise, who doesn't feel the same way and it also doesn't mean I don't have sexual urges. As chris said above, we are animals. So how am I moral and gay? I do it by trying my best to be myself and to consider as many view points of certain issues as possible and to formulate my views based on those viewpoints and my own personal experiences. These views are affected by my morals and also simultaneously shape my morals. Morality, at least in its descriptive senese, implicitly assumes that it is based solely on personal reflection and choice.

  6. #1 - you might find this article interesting: http://whosoever.org/v14i4/shame.shtml

    I don't know your religious views, but maybe some of what it says will be applicable. It obviously doesn't answer your question directly, but I do think that parts of it are relevant.

  7. #1. This is a question I've struggled with a lot myself. I wish there were some correct answer, but then again, if someone had the audacity to say that there were, it would be kind of like what the Catholic Church has been to me — trying to make something fit that just doesn't.

    Many of the moral guidelines for relationships are based on the assumption that a good relationship will result in marriage. With this in mind, knowing that marriage isn't possibly for many of us at this point, I think morality becomes an incredibly personal thing, as there are very few guidelines.

    For me, I think about what every action means in the context of friends versus a relationship and when it is and isn't appropriate. But although this list is hypothetically sound, it often fails — and just as often, I fail it.

    Argh. And I wish it were as easy as saying something like "love thy neighbor" or "do no evil." But it's not. It's impossible to know exactly how an action will be taken by others and it's just as hard to be completely consistent. It's frustrating.