April 6, 2010

Anonymous Posts
(3.29.10-4.4.10)

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 :)

So last night we won the 2010 National Championship in Men's basketball. Cameron Indoor was packed and went absolutely nuts when we won. It was exhilarating to participate in my 3rd bonfire celebration at Duke.

Having said that, I feel as if this is an appropriate venue to express how bittersweet it is for me to beat Butler. Y'all might not know this, but two of my husbands are actually on their team - Gordon Hayward and Coach Brad Stevens. It's tough to console them after a loss like this, but what's really important is that we have each other (I hope Scheyer doesn't read this. It'd make for a pretty awkward date tonight).

Anyhow! Lot's of anonymous posts this week. Keep 'em coming!

#1
Hi BDU blog,
Firstly, let me say how much I enjoy reading this blog. Keep up the good work! Now, I would like to address a recent anonymous post and the discussion it seems to have stirred up. Let me give you my perspective: I'm a gay guy who has been out for a while, and I'm someone who is quite secure with my own sexual and social identity. I have a couple of gay friends who have all urged me to go to Fab Friday, but here's the thing: I've heard a lot about the cliqueness of the LGBT Center. What especially worries me is the angst I hear from a couple of regular attendees about how even they feel really excluded sometimes and how the entire environment oftentimes seems to be pretty Mean Girls-esque. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I am very happy socially with both my close friends and my extended social circle, and I suppose one might classify my social life as that of a stereotypical/traditional Duke student, except for the fact that I'm gay. My question that I would like to pose is this: as someone who is generally socially content, what reason do I have to go to the LGBT Center? It seems like there's a whole lot of y'all that are really passionate about the place, but I don't want to have a horror-story experience. Moreover, I really just don't get what my motivation should be for going. What do I stand to gain from going? I would really appreciate a response from anyone who has an opinion on this.
Thanks!

[Ed. Note: Great question, Number 1. A lot of us do really talk up The Center quite a bit. For me, personally, it is a place where I can always find some of my friends. The staff there - Peg, Janie and Chris - are so much fun and helpful. Always. It's hard to articulate, but I guess it's sort of an on-campus home for me, replete with parents and siblings :) As mentioned, we're truly working on the cliquiness - we don't mean to be!

But! But. The Center is not the only way to get involved with The Community on campus. It might not be for you right now! Clearly it's not the easiest thing to walk in to your first time without knowing anyone. But there is also Blue Devils United, our advocacy group on campus that meets every other Wednesday at 6 in The Center (not this week, but next). Those meetings are much more low-key in my opinion. Also! There is also the LGBT discussion group (I'm not sure if those are done for the semester, though, I'll ask) and of course our awesome BLOG that is meeting TONIGHT TOMORROW NIGHT (stay tuned for details!).]

#2
I am so frustrated. Don't get me wrong, I like being gay. I love loving women, because they are amazing. But so often I find myself falling for straight girls-or really, just girls in general on this campus, and it's SO FRUSTERATING because I have to just accept that it will never amount to anything. I feel like I am in a continuous cycle of liking girls who don't, and could *never* like me back, for reasons that they can't even control.

It's like I'm getting burnout. I'm burnout of always liking straight girls. Falling in love and just knowing that it's not reciprocated. Period. I know that, yes, maybe a nice gay girl will come along and I'll like her as much as I like all these straight girls, and then maybe I'll be lucky enough to have her like me too. But it's not too likely. And I'm not too keen on dating a girl I meet at the Center because there's so few of us and it would just make things so awkward.

And while I sit here and wait for me to meet that special someone, my heart just feels like it can't take this eternal singledom anymore. But it has to.

And in the mean time, it's falling left and right for straight girls.

[Ed. Note: This is kind of superfrustrating. I hear you, #2. You are describing, uh, all of high school and a good chunk of Duke for me. Patience I guess is really all that I can preach, as shitty as it makes me feel doing so. But bah! to being reluctant to date someone you met at The Center. They're My Favorites, and HOT COMMODS. You'd be doing yourself a disservice!]

#3
i compulsively submit anonymous posts.

[Ed. Note: Haha, I compulsively love you? All the time? Is that possible?]

#4
Even though you're gay, everytime you affirm my role in the community as an ally (implying/assuming that I'm straight) it just means that I'll be less likely to talk to you about my sexuality. There's a reason I don't flaunt my heterosexuality--and it isn't just because I think that that's a shitty thing to do. It's also because I don't really know if I am.

[Ed. Note: Oh, hey, #4. This is really important, and to be honest, this is a perspective or sentiment that I'd never thought of before. I've actually heard the opposite, more often, I think - that straight allies are constantly assumed to be LGBTQ. But definitely your situation is just as, well, oppressive. I really value posts like this because they help us as a Community improve in ways that I don't think we'd come up with on our own. /mush]

#5
So... I'm a little late, but I wanted to thank everyone involved in the no hate speech campaign recently. I went to a rural high school where one of my good friends was almost daily confronted with hate speech because of their sexuality... though I'm afraid it happens every where. =\ I was glad to see such a well put together event/posters bringing this problem to everyone's attention. Also, I was pretty impressed/ mesmerized by the rainbow cupcakes!! They were amazing. How did you get those perfect layers!?! ...my baking skills (i.e. boiling water) don't quite compare. =) Good work BDU!

[Ed. Note: NUMBER 5, I KNOW. The cupcakes! Apparently it was a very involved process and hopefully someone who was involved in the baking process can explain what went down. Thank you, though! Everyone did do an absolutely great job with what was like you said, a very important campaign.]

5 comments:

  1. #4 - this is definitely a wake-up call for me. I guess I always assume that our allies are....straight. but I don't want to assume anything on anybody-especially since that is why I'm here at the Center. this is a hard habit to break though, especially at the Center where it is oftentimes the only space for us to share this collective identity. maybe help us by reminding us gently that we shouldn't assume? I'll try my best to stop implying others' sexuality when I don't really know it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel you, #4.

    I don't know your gender, but I remember being "the straight guy" in my high school GSA. I was in the closet and looking for a community where I could affirm my support and get comfortable with that side of myself on my own time. I was always active in progressive politics so it was easy to continue hiding the fact that I was gay under the guise of support for the cause.

    Then some of the girls in the club started to become interested in me...really interested. That was my wake-up call and I couldn't run anymore. I was still living a lie. I was rendered incapable of talking with ANYONE about my own sexuality without it being super-awk.

    But having that pre-existing network made the coming out process much easier for me. It sounds like you have that at the Center and when you decide that your time to come out has come, I hope you have the same experience.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. #1: I definitely understand why you would feel that way, especially since you seem to be someone who is comfortable with their sexuality without needing much community support. Even though I've been a regular at the Center for the past three years, and know/recognize almost everyone there - I can feel I'm not part of the clique. I think in a way this is inevitable when certain people are really committed and spend a lot of time together; maybe knowing that they already have such a family there, they don't feel the necessity to say hello to a newcomer. BUT, at the same time, I have made some great friends through the Center, and have great memories from some of its events - so I think it's worth stopping by sometime to see for yourself what it's all about.

    #4: This isn't necessarily a reply, but my own experiences. I've always felt like people assume 1) I'm bisexual but quite about it or, 2) must have an obsessive crush on one or more of my gay friends. In reality, none of them are true. The allies really have a wide-range of experiences and it's difficult to suspect which one category any one of them might fall into. But don't be afraid to talk to people about your experiences - I'm sure they'll be understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i feel as though my interests are far different from those of typical duke students (in regards to relationships, hooking up, casual sex, etc.). i'm pretty sure i skipped the whole hooking up phase and i don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. many of the people that i've met who want real, long-lasting relationships and who abstain from hooking up/casual sex usually indicate that the main force driving them is religious belief. seeing as though i'm not at all religious, i really don't have anything to hide behind. sometimes it feels like discussing my lack of hook ups makes others think i'm just a "prude," or one of those overly-emotional types of people (especially since i'm a guy). just thinking about love in relationships (or lack thereof) at duke makes me sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. damnit i missed cupcakes??

    ReplyDelete