October 18, 2010

Anonymous Posts (10.11.10-10.17.10)

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 :)

I think it's safe to say that Friday saw a most colorful, dancey and successful Coming Out Day. Everybody really stepped up to help set up in the morning and then stuck around to hand out tee shirts (or, in Justin Harris' case, to throw stress hearts at random, unsuspecting passerbys (passerbies?)). I didn't hear any complaints about the music, which I'm pretty proud of. The LGBT demo is a tough crowd when it comes to song selection, and I was necessarily meticulous with my choices. I got away with playing just one Britney song (I'll admit "Stronger" is pretty awesome) and, like, Beyonce's entire catalogue. Probably the most fun I've had in a very long time, so thanks to Megan Weinand for letting me DJ, not to mention organizing the entire event!

In other news! The second Women Loving Women discussion group will be held tomorrow from 6-8 PM in the Center, and this Monday'll see the second LGBT discussion group of the semester that I'm co-facilitating for the Center. There were so many people there last time, it'd be awesome to see just as many if not more this time around. As I said after last meeting, we're thinking of breaking up into smaller groups when a thousand people show up on Monday? Maybe that'd be more conducive to a more intimate, personalized discussion?

Also, uh, this dropped today:

You crazy for this one, Gays. Though it's kind of weird to hear a 9 year old talk about haters.

Anyway! Anonymous posts for the week, Everyone.

I just have something that I need to get off my chest.

I'm a first year student here at duke, and I was thrilled when I realized that the gay community is as strong as it is. I know I definitely chose the right school. However, to me, the 'hook-up' culture here is somewhat disturbing. I feel like within the first few weeks, the gay community as a whole acted like a ravenous pack of sex-deprived animals. I couldn’t go a day without hearing news of a new hook-up after any number of the scandalous parties here. Eventually, as the excitement depleted and classes started getting harder, the community either hitched up with a single mate, or became content with their lack thereof. I am, in no way, complaining about what I presume to be a current state of dormancy. I am wondering, however:

Is it just me, or has the rate or amount of hook-ups generally gone down since O-week?

I love the acceptance that I've found at Duke when being perceived as a lesbian. There are so many resources here and such a vibrant community for queer women that if I were gay and female, I know I would be happy. But here's the rub: I'm not a lesbian, I'm pre-transition. Where are all the trans folk? It's strange, in a place with so much acceptance and tolerance for GLB men and women, to still feel like I'm the only one like me.

I'm an ally who's begun to realize that my group of friends here wouldn't accept me if I were gay. As many times as I tell them "that's gay" isn't an acceptable insult, or any kind of insult at all, nothing changes, and at this point my telling them it's not okay is becoming a joke to them. I'm a junior and it feels like it's way too late in the game to make any changes (as I've been actively trying to for a long time) and I'm wondering if this is just the way Duke is for some people. It's hugely important to me not to let the issue go, but at what point do I just give up on my friends and spend the next two years in the library?

So, there's all this news about DADT enforcement halting (link) and the injuction from the 9th district, but apparently SLDN is still advising servicemembers to stay in the closet, claiming we're "still in a vulnerable place." So, my question is, how much longer do I have to wait before I can act on my God given right to snog in front of the Chapel in broad daylight? Can I go do that right now? Because that would be cool.

What do you do if you've tried to be part of the community, but you just don't fit in?


  1. #2 I've been dying to tell someone that on top of being gay, I'm also trans for forever but have yet to find a SINGLE person on this campus who I think will accept me. And on top of that, I'm scared to death that if I don't get strong enough to start telling people now and I start my life off closeted (I'm a senior now) that I'll never be able to come out as trans. Hopefully one day we'll meet (although it's likely we already have) so I can finally find a true ally to help me through these lonely times.

  2. #2: I could have written the exact same thing! But with me and the anonymous commenter above me, maybe we're not as alone as it seems. We should have a trans party!

  3. #2 and anonymous...you need to figure out a way to meet each other or identify yourself to each other. perhaps through janie?

  4. #2 - Thank you so much for sending in this anonymous post. I think trans visibility is so important, but admittedly as a lesbian woman, I don't know if I'm doing enough or even how to do enough. I guess the best thing I can say is that, I absolutely support you in everyway, and I hope that you feel comfortable here while we work for some changes. I know in WOMYN we featured an openly transgender individual as our main editorial interview, and there are also some other non cisgender pieces, but I hope you keep letting us know how we can do more.

    I know we're not there yet as an institution or a community, but I'm really excited to see transgender visibility on the blog. =)

  5. #1 - I think what you're describing is probably more indicative of Duke's hook-up culture in general rather than anything unique to the LGBT community. Maybe because the LGBT community's smaller it's more noticeable?

  6. #5 -- I hope you don't feel bound to the community in any way, whatever the community is. I'm sorry if you don't feel a connection, no one likes to feel that way. Personally, when I feel disconnected from a group I look to others to find people I can relate to. There are lots of good people at Duke and lots of opportunities to find common interests and experiences. Make friends where you can =)

  7. #3: I would like to speak to you brutally as one ally to another. I try to hold any straight folks to the same standard as LGBTQ-identified folks. Simply put, you don't give up. You can't give up. Allies are SO SO SO SO important on this campus because the bridge so many of us together. If it weren't for you, progress won't be made in the minds of these people.

    We need to celebrate our allies, whether that is straight allies for the LGBTQ community, gay men as allies for queer women, LGB allies for our trans community....

    You said yourself that this issue is very important to you, and I know how exhausting it gets. But we should always push ourselves further than we think is possible. I challenge you to challenge yourself.

    Especially to the LGB out and identified: it seems evident that a few of our trans folk don't have the same access to the community that others do. So what are you doing to make your spaces more trans inclusive?

    Just because they're not outing themselves and it seems like they're not there, doesn't mean that's the case.

  8. #2: I just wanted to let you know that if you need anyone to talk to about being trans, and if you want someone who you know will be accepting, you have someone right here. Personally, I don't identify with either gender (I'm actually a gender abolitionist), so while I may not be in exactly in the same position as you, I'm at least in a position to understand. Come find me! Or facebook me! My name is Jacob Tobia :D

  9. #1 I agree that it has slowed down. I also know from my two years here that it will pick up again at the beginning of next semester (though on a smaller scale) then settle back down mid-semester. The straight hook-up culture works on the same calendar.

  10. #2: I've noticed the lack of trans visibility around the Center and on Duke's campus, as well. I'm not trans, but if you want someone to talk to or just hang out with, drop me a line. My netID is aff2.