Finals week! It is officially finals week. For some, this means watching over three hours of Modern Family in my room last night instead of studying. You know who you are, All Those People That Were There.
But for serious. I'm more than a little nervous for my Concrete exam tomorrow. We're allowed to bring in 6 cheat sheets, which, uh, doesn't exactly comfort me. It's almost exactly like this scene from Kill Bill Vol. 2, where Pai Mei is like, "Pick a sword, but I do not need one" and Uma is like "Tihs is gunna B EZ!" and then it is not easy.
Captain Appropriate Cinematic Allusions, over here. This is exactly what being an engineer is like, with zero exaggeration.
Anyhow! Anonymous posts!
So I’m a gay UNC student and I must say I’ve noticed lately that a lot of my conversations with friends have been driven by my sexuality. I like rating men as next as the other person and I welcome these discussions dealing with who I want to date and such, but I keep fighting to try to let my sexuality define my life. Also I have received some heat from my friends when it comes to dating because they were discussing what my preference is. I told them my tendency was not toward my own ethnicity but towards others. I don’t know why, I just have not found that many black men attractive. It is not that I’m racist or anything it is just that my tendencies aren’t toward them. Get me started on Italians...:) but see this is where the problem comes in...now I’m generalizing ethnicities to certain traits which in itself is a form of racism. But I would never consider myself racist against my own ethnicity. Talk about intersection of identities...I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person navigating this difficulty in their life right now. But it may just be that I hate falling into stereotypes. I understand that majority of stereotypes are based on generalizations. I believe it bothers me when I see ethnicities dating the same ethnicity. Something in me just goes, yay, we’re all falling into the stereotypes. Blacks don’t date anyone else besides blacks. Indians date Indians. Whites date whites. Ugh cultural stereotypes.
As I was talking to my mom the other day on the phone, I decided to mention to her some of the things I was involved with recently at Duke that didn't really involve schoolwork or organized groups. I mentioned to her the Day of Silence pictures that went up over campus and on Facebook in which I was participating, as well as the "Do I Look Illegal" campaign that a lot of friends were doing. Instead of the expected response of pride in her child for taking a stand on something so important, I got asked, why do I always go looking for trouble? What if someone sees those pictures and tries to hurt me? I was taken aback. I responded instinctively that no one would try to hurt me, especially at Duke, the whole point was to take a stand for something that was right to me. She asked, yes, but aren't there crazy people at Duke? After this, I just shut down and pretty much ended the conversation by switching topics.
After thinking it through a few days later, though, I guess I can understand her point and fear. That's the kind of environment my parents grew up in. And that's the environment that they see on TV and on the radio. There are crazy people everywhere who harm others for being different or expressing their views. But not at Duke. Right? Nothing would happen to *me*.
I think that at Duke the situation, place, and experience for the LGBTQA community is getting exponentially better, but that doesn't mean that the world is moving right along with us. When we leave campus, we are not surrounded by a private institution that will support us no matter what. Or by bright, generally left-leaning twenty-something-year-olds. Or by an environment that caters to a population that actually cares about these issues and wants to "save the world" in whatever capacity that means. We are very lucky here at Duke to have this environment, but there's a lot more to be done in the greater Community. I just hope that fear will not be the cause or effect for not pushing for change in what is right.