December 22, 2010

Anonymous Posts (12.13.10-12.19.10)


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 :)

These are superlate, y'all. Sorry about that, but I've literally been sleeping since my Architecture final on Sunday night. I may or may not have ended the semester with three straight all-nighters #greatdecisions. But I'm home now, and it is glorious. I can, like, get hungry at 2am and not have to decide whether I want McDonald's again that day (on a related note, Chocolate Cheerios are much better than one would expect).

Obama signed The DADT Repeal Act this morning, four days after it passed the Senate. You already know this from your News Feed, but John McCain was just The Worst. It was almost a little sad to see him acquiesce that he had lost. JK. IN YO FACE, MCCAIN. IN YO FACE. This is probably the most LOL moment from last week, though:


Hahaha. Totally.

As far as The Blog goes for break, not much has changed since last year (just change "124" to "394"). The bottom line is that things'll be slower these next coupla weeks (we will be with our families and Aris) and We should use this time to catch up on any columns we missed because we were taking some atrociously heinous class on Steel. I tried to make the sidebar as conducive to browsing old posts as possible - let me know if you have any suggestions!

Aaaaaand anonymous posts for the week, yo. Sorry again for the delay. I'm sure Alec'll make me feel amply guilty.

#1
I'm not sure if anyone else has run into this issue, but I am having a heck of a time finding someone who is interested in monogamy. This is not to say that i have any issues with others being non-monogamous, but as someone who is interested in being in an exclusive relationship... it's getting a little frustrating. I've gotten a couple (repeated) responses so far to this concern:
- "you really should try being non-monogamous"
and
-"It's college. people don't want to just date one person at a time. That comes later"

...??

#2
“You are not your bra-size, nor are you the width of your waist, nor are you the slenderness of your calves. You are not your hair color, your skin color, nor are you a shade of lipstick. Your shoe-size is of no consequence. You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from males, females, or any combination thereof. You are not the number of sit-ups you can do, nor are you the number of calories in a day. You are not your mustache. You are not the hair on your legs. You are not a little red dress. You are no amalgam of these things.

You are the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set. You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries.”

#3
i'm really thankful for this blog. it keeps me thinking and hopeful.

that's all i have to say :)

#4
Why do LGB people not put "interested in" on Facebook? It seems like a common thread in most out people at Duke... they're active at the Center, have no problem living openly, but don't reflect that on Facebook. Is it a "I don't like labels" thing? Because it's not really a label, it's just who you're romantically interested in. Men? Women? Both? Put something! I know some people don't feel like that's pertinent information to put online, but that's the point of Facebook. You have the opportunity to portray yourself in the public square, in the manner you choose. Putting nothing just makes you look asexual in my opinion.

21 comments:

  1. #1. It's SUPER frustrating. I'm kind of a serial monogamous. I move from relationship to relationship, but I don't function well in an "open" setting. I have tried it, and it didn't work out too well. But stick to your guns. I know there are more of us out there, and in the long run, they're the ones that are worth it.
    *** I'm not hating on the hook-upers. I'm just saying that we all need someone who has the same boundaries as us. We all deserve that.

    #4. Personally, I've had a bunch of trouble with this one. I know it'll help others see that, but I'm also in a very public relationship with a woman, and if I were to add 'Interested In' I don't want it to seem like I'm looking for someone. And then... What would I put? I'm not totally sure because right now I'm just into Hilary. This kind of ties in with #1 and my monogamy. Maybe I take the FB details too seriously. I'm not avoiding labels... I guess I kind of feel like if I were to put 'Men' AND 'Women' then I would be excluding those who fall in between that binary. But the truth is, I'm interested in those who are in the in-between, and there isn't a box to check for that.

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  2. #4. I understand where you are coming from. I used to have the same train of thought. However, different people are in different situations than ours. For example, there are a few members of our community that, if outed to their parents, would be disowned. Now, this is a very extreme case, but it exists nonetheless. Being closeted through facebook is a choice that might be for the better. We must respect that.

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  3. #1, that may just be a way for you to filter through the people who aren't your type. If they have such starkly different interests, why bother? Somebody who's on your level is probably more suited.

    #2, so true.

    #4, I don't put up anything for a couple reasons. One reason is that I'm not interested in a gender. I'm truly interested in personality, and how everything about a person ties together. To say I'm interested in a gender or a sex or an expression would be a misrepresentation of my feelings. On a related note to representation, I don't want to put certain things on Facebook because I don't think people should have instant access to them. If they want to get to know me they can stop hiding behind the awkwardness-inducing cyber ditch that separates them from the real world, tap into those good ol' fashioned social skills, and talk to my face. Not an attack on you, but these are common circumstances.

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  4. #4: This has frequently been a tough one for me. My info is up because when I was coming out I noticed another Catholic who had it up and was somewhat inspired--I leave it up for the possibility of inspiring others.

    I've taken it down once because I was at a new job and was afraid my conductor might like me less well if he knew. But it had to go back up.

    Though... it seems to me that there's this perception that the less info you have up, the cooler and more mysterious you are. And having recently lusted after such a person from high school, it can definitely be true. In the long run, I think that's harmful (because although it shouldn't matter, it still most definitely does), so I leave mine up.

    Oh! And the worst is the danger of being perceived as gay if you don't have anything up. Because I have (very embarrassingly!) made such a mistake. But seriously, if you don't have it up, it seems fair enough to speculate. Why else would you not say?

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  5. #1: I, for one, am all for exclusive relationships. The person who told you that "you really should try being non-monogamous" needs to realize that THAT lifestyle is not for everyone. Just be aware that there ARE people out there who'd like an exclusive relationship and you're definitely not alone. Keep looking and keep your head up. Duke's hookup culture can often leave you feeling hopeless (that's what I've felt on a daily basis), but I suppose patience is key. Don't get talked into something you have a gut feeling you won't like.

    #2: Lovely quote, lovely reminder. Thanks for sharing this, especially in with all this talk of labels and worrying about being defined by sexual orientation and nothing else.

    #3: This blog is pretty awesome. I check up on a daily basis.

    #4: I recently had this discussion with myself wondering why I haven't actually put up anything for my interested on Facebook after I came out. Before, I wasn't going to put anything because I was closeted and I didn't want to put just "Men" because that would be "not essentially lying, but not being completely honest". Now that I'm out, I was going to put both men and women, but then I realized I had LOTS of family on Facebook. SO, I started the tedious process of slowly adding names to the block list on my privacy settings. And, allow me to say, it wasn't even my parents on Facebook, but aunts and uncles, cousins, and of course, my OH SO SUPPORTIVE sister (note the sarcasm, please). AND, with my sister came her friends and our mutual friends (whom I'd forgotten about, and it just so happened that despite the fact she was on my block list for "interested in" and "relationships" she STILL managed to find out recently that I'm in a relationship).

    I'm rambling, but there is a point to this.

    I'm in NO WAY looking to keep my queer peers at a distance. If anything, I'm in desperate need of connection to them. However, despite the fact that I've finally reached a point that I have absolutely no care if my extended family knows anything about my sexual orientation, I'm still in the "ask me and I'll tell you" mindset. I've always been that way. If someone asks, I won't lie. And even if I was heterosexual, I wouldn't put anything for the "interested in" or "looking for" fields. Perhaps it's a natural aversion to others knowing anything about my romantic endeavors. Or, on a more reasonable note, it's just my disposition. I've always been a personal and closed-off sort of person. I'm not loud and proud about anything. I've also never put any sort of emphasis on my romantic experiences, ever, so why begin now?

    SO, here I've addressed:
    1) Comfort level (and fears of having sexual orientation being the thing that defines you)
    2) Family issues and
    3) Natural disposition (to a number of things that range from secrecy to asexual nature) and ALSO

    4) Facebook gets awful annoying with their advertisements. Once you check those boxes you get all of these annoying/ridiculous dating adds. OR

    5) People just don't want their personal information on the internet.

    I hope this offers some possible reasons for this "facebook" thing. It might be frustrating to others, but sometimes, people just don't want to check the boxes. I suppose the only thing you have left to do is accept that and deal with it. Before there was Facebook or even Myspace (ugh, labels!) how did people let others know they were homosexual or bisexual? I don't really see the importance of checking those boxes. Maybe we shouldn't rely so much on the internet laying out facts for us and actually get to know people for a change.

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  6. (From poster #4)

    I understand all that. I agree that if you're in a relationship, it is less necessary (I meant to add that in my submission). I also think if you have a facebook, you shouldn't worry about private things being on the internet. They have enough privacy controls now so that you can control who sees that information anyway, including parents. @anon 1:04, I also understand where you're coming from on not being confined to gender. But I still think it's safe to put Men and Women. That's as good as you're going to get within the Facebook construct, and I think it explains more about your own identity than putting nothing. And Matt, you're also right. Not putting anything often is a giveaway anyway. Kind of pointless.

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  7. #1: I pretty much agree with everyone who's responded to this. It's your choice. Sure, those "non-monogamous" people will have a slight influence about doubting your beliefs, but really, it's a personal thing. Should it matter either way? If your monogamous, you're monogamous. If you're not, you're not. If you're not sure, that's fine, too. You have time, as frustrating as that sounds, so don't feel like you're in a rush or under pressure.

    I guess I have this opinion because finding someone is not imperative to my life goals.

    #2: Preach it. We need these uplifting, insightful quotes more in our lives (excuse the unintended pun).

    #3: I am too. I am too.

    #4: But what does it matter? It's a personal choice whether or not a person selects out of the "interested in" options. Like Dan said, some of us are in circumstances that stop us in our tracks. Case in point: right here. My family is quite (Read: VERY) conservative (my mother has threatened me, point-blank, that if she ever found out I'm a lesbian, I'd be disowned within a heartbeat), and as appealing and effective the block list is, I'd hate to utilize it simply because I should check a box or two.

    You think it's safe to check these boxes, but to others that's not true. There are never enough privacy controls. People talk outside Facebook. Shit gets around. Not putting anything is NOT ALWAYS a giveaway. It really depends on the person and the circumstances.

    Facebook is only a limited database of a person; it doesn't include every dimension/nuance of a person that makes them complex or unique. Why should you just be limited to what's represented via Facebook? Why not just talk to the person? And you'd probably garner a many interesting conversation/discussion if you did.

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  8. I'm not trolling or attempting to cause any sort of argument, but if " Not putting anything often is a giveaway anyway" and is "Kind of pointless" then why do you care? That's not a good argument, and you can't (and SHOULDN'T) go assuming that if it's absent, it's an indication of homosexuality. To me, that doesn't make much sense and doesn't seem very reasonable. And, as for the privacy controls and Facebook being secure, there's this little theory of 2 Degrees of Separation that kind of ruins that whole thing (I did address this friends of friends with friends of friends with friends etc. issue); you never know who's creeping on your Facebook profile with other people around. And if someone is OUT then what's the big problem of not having it on Facebook? I don't understand this whole reliance on using Facebook to confirm suspicions or facts about people. When I add someone on Facebook, my first instinct is NOT to immediately go check if they have men or women checked off on their "interested in". In fact, I don't usually bother with looking at the info part of their profile.

    So, just out of curiosity, if you know these people and they're out and visit the center and you KNOW they're "LGB" and etc., why is it so important to you that it's on their Facebook profiles? Matt's personal experience with inspiration is a nice answer to this question; what's your answer?

    (*Please revisit Non-trolling or confrontational disclaimer at the beginning of this reply.)

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  9. I mean, I'm straight and don't put "Interested in" on Facebook. I would put that info on a Match.com or OKCupid account if I had one, I guess. But my Facebook is not a tool to show off my sexual preferences or attract potential partners. It's a neutral profile. If you are trawling for sex partners via Facebook, good for you, but don't judge the rest of us. Actions speak louder than words anyway.

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  10. #4 - Hey there! I personally choose to be out on Facebook, because I'm lucky and privileged enough to be in a space psychologically, and geographically, where I'm safe and comfortable enough to do be out online.

    However, maybe consider the following reasons why someone wouldn't be out on Facebook:

    1) Their sexuality is more complicated than FB allows for.
    --Can "pansexual" or "bisexual but more attracted to women" be explained by checking men/women?)

    2) Being open about their sexuality might compromise their saftey.
    --I'm thinking about specific geographic locations, including international students and some areas of the U.S.

    3) Being open about their sexuality might harm their job chances.
    ---It's 2010, but we'd be kidding ourselves if we said some organizations "didn't care". Homophobia is stille verywhere.

    4) This person is a private individual. Maybe they don't want to advertise anything beyond their name and a few photos on Facebook.

    5) Family members or friends have Facebook, and the person would rather come out to them in person-but has not yet had the ability to do so yet.

    6) This person, based on a cultural or religious background, runs the threat of being disowned.

    There are a lot more reasons too, but those are just a few. In other words, I'm saying that I personally believe it's the right decision for ME, but I'm also saying, we can't judge! We don't know that individuals experiences since we're not them.

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  11. #1 - Bull. Complete and total bull. And I'm not talking about the Durham baseball team. Who *doesn't* want a monogamous relationship? Monogamy, in my opinion, makes all the difference. For me, it's what gives me the freedom to care about somebody, maybe someday "THE Somebody", who cares about me, and only me. It's what lets me tell my overprotective friends not to worry, that I have someone to walk with at 2AM when I finally have to go home. It's what gives me the freedom to kiss her without checking for a darker shade of lipstick or smelling for someone else's perfume (yes, I've been there with past sig. others; it's not fun). It's what lets me walk down the street holding her hand and be able to smile and say, "That's my girlfriend. Isn't she beautiful?" Don't give up on monogamy, and trust me - it won't give up on you.

    #2 - I love you. So much truth!

    #3 - Amen. Their LGMH

    #4 - He/she may be scared; not everyone has the courage to come out like you have. For me, changing my "interested in" came concurrently with changing my relationship status to my first same-sex relationship (and after 3+ months, it's still a decision I'll never regret. <3), and that was not what some people wanted to see. The next month or so was a barrage of messages, wall posts, and even comments to our relationship change that sparked an argument...
    Anyway, just know that for you, it may be frustrating, but for those who post it, it can be *nerve-wracking*. When I put my sexual orientation on the Web for the first time, I had to psych myself up with my favorite Hillsong music for three hours beforehand. Don't take it personally; if anything, treat the person in question more gently than you would have, because this might be proof he/she doesn't feel as comfortable or as proud as you.

    With love,
    ~ OneofThoseDamnedTarHeels

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  12. Part 1 of really super long commentDecember 23, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    #4--I have to admit that I had a pretty visceral reaction to your post and the comments following it. In short, they hit pretty close to my heart.

    I'm curious, though, #4, do you feel as though there is some sort of double standard? That straight people will have 'interested in' on facebook but LGB folk won't? In my experience, a lot of people of all orientations and genders don't post "interestsed in" for a number of different reasons.

    Even when I identified as straight, I didn't have it listed. Maybe that's because I got a facebook while I was a junior in high school and "interested in" seemed like something for older people to post. As a high schooler, I didn't date or hook up, or any of that...I didn't really see myself in those terms and so it seemed like a nobrainer to me to leave off. That wasn't what I was on facebook for, anyways. As I got older, still identifying as straight, I never changed it. It was just my policy that that didn't need to be on facebook. Just like I'll never post "in a relationship" or "single" on facebook. It makes things more awkward than they need to be. I don't want people commenting on a break up or whatever. I also have a policy with my best friends that we tell each other things and that we don't want to learn about (super important parts of) each other's lives on facebook (ie: I don't want to learn about your boyfriend/girlfriend, that you're in the hospital, etc) [facebook messages don't count].

    Today, though, as someone who doesn't really know where things stand in my life even though I'm super involved with the center (and therefore the target of your post...or at least, you might see me as being this out and proud person, even though that isn't how i would describe myself...which is interesting to consider, right? how many of these "out and proud" people are you assuming to be LGB, who aren't/don't identify in that way at this point in time?), I've often thought about facebook interested in statuses. I don't think this is something you'll be sympathetic to, given your original post and comment, but I don't feel as though I'm attracted to men and women. I'm attracted to PEOPLE, in principle/theory...but mostly just not attracted to anyone of any gender. If that were an option ('asexual' [is that even how i identify? no.] or interested in 'people'), I'd consider listing it--after I shared that with the people who are important to me in my life (since I'm pretty closeted right now).

    To #4, I think it's sort of ignorant to say that "if you have a facebook, you shouldn't worry about private things being on the internet." There is a threshhold and your comment neglects to recognize that. I don't mind some things being online (that i like chocolate, for example). But there are other things I don't want (a naked picture of me!). Also, to suggest to Anon 1:04 that "Men and Women" explains more about their identity than nothing isn't a fair statement for you to make, for you are not Anon 1:04. Furthermore, like I've explained...being interested in PEOPLE and not a gender is a prime facet of MY identity and principles (I'm not speaking for Anon 1:04). "Men and Women" neglects that.

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  13. Part 2 of really super long commentDecember 23, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    So, @Ebony...I understand your reservations related to asexuality.

    And @Summer and Anon 1:06--men/women doesn't really express my (theoretical) attraction, just like you've shared with us is your experience. Thanks for being open about that.

    @Matt: hopefully I (and a lot of the other commenters) have answered your "why else would you not say?" question. I think there are A LOT of reasons why someone might leave it off.

    @Anon 4:05: cosign to all of your #4 paragraphs.

    @Megan, thank you for recognizing the privilege...especially you mention of being in a space pscyologically. I also, obviously, relate to your first bullet point.

    @OneofThoseDamnedTarHeels: "...if anything, treat the person in question more gently than you would have, because this might be proof he/she doesn't feel as comfortable or as proud as you." So articulate and really spot on.

    Though I didn't address it, because it is not my personal experience or concern, I think safety is a HUGEEEE deal.

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  14. #1: Duke's hookup culture is pretty bad, but there are other people out there interested in monogamy. I know that I am, and I'm a gay male undergraduate. Sure, it hasn't worked out for me so far, but you have to stick to your guns and "do you," as they say. You wouldn't be satisfied with anything less and definitely shouldn't have to settle for as much.

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  15. Ya first time posting so here it goes

    #1 I do not get the whole non-monogamy thing. It seems to be something everyone says you should try in recent times which is funny because most people cannot handle a non-monogamous relationship no matter what they say. Anyways with that being said, do you and do what makes you happy don't listen to what others say when it comes to monogamy. I prefer a monogamous relationship and others here have stated they do as well so you are not alone.

    #4 I remember when I first got to school and only added people on facebook from my college at the time whose profiles said "interested in..." and the same sex. I was young and looking for a connection with someone at my school. Turns out they wanted friendships withe same sex and weren't queer.......I guess I should have read harder.

    Anyways to me facebook is not necessarily the place you want everyone to know your business. Its not an issue of not being proud of who you are its a matter of privacy. Its the internet and not everyone wants everyone to have access to that information. I don't even think I have that section filled out. And if you look through my pictures and at my groups and on my facebook profile you can figure out I am apart of the glbtq community without filling out the interested in section.

    I also agree with what others have said. I do not use facebook as a dating site and I am interested in meeting people regardless of gender or gender expression.

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  16. #! I have known some close personal friends who are truly suited to and warmly situated in poly relationships...I can think of two different triads that are very supportive and loving relationships, but they take a lot of personal self-esteem and self-knowledge (you have to know yourself well and know what you want and need) as well as a lot of communication and trust with your partners. Hell, being in a romantic relationship with ONE person requires that, but adding more people means more of the same. I fully support those who can find and nourish a relationship of any construction...I really think that it's a matter of self-knowledge and communication of needs with others. If an open relationship is not for you right now, then that is your current state; hold out for what you need and want at this point in your life. It might be different or might change in the future, but being honest about what you want and need now increases your chances of finding someone with compatible wants and needs. Same goes the other way...relationships come in all shapes and sizes, gay, straight, poly, mono, casual, committed, you name it-we've got it. Humans are variable and adaptable.

    #4 I understand why some people, regardless of sexual orientation or relationship status or gender identity, would not feel obligated to pick and display a descriptor from the Facebook options. The reasons given by other commenters are good ones: don't want to list "interested in" while in a relationship bc it looks like you're shopping for romance, don't want to list "single" or "in a relationship" bc that is private info for your real life circle and not something you want broadcast to the world, the discrete labels don't fit your identity or interests, don't want stupid ads for weight loss, dating, etc.

    I'm a straight girl and I don't list my gender (I got tired of weight loss, dating, and "fix my appearance" product ads), my "interested in" (ask me if you want to know), or my relationship status (again, ask me or hang out with me). Facebook "privacy" is sketchy and I don't trust it...they sell our info to marketers who try to figure out how to use it to make us feel we need to buy things. Thank goodness sharing with friends is still free :)

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  17. #1: I kind of feel like I have to post again in light of some other comments. I still totally agree with everything I said in the first place, and while I am glad that some people agree with monogamy as the way the to... hooking up and polyamorous relationships are two COMPLETELY different things, and we should be wise to remember that. By criticizing polyamory, we are pushing those people to hide themselves and the way they express their love. We're not all defined by a couple binary, nor do we all wish to be.

    Personally, I think hooking up CAN be dangerous on an emotional level, and on a sexual health level. But polyamory generally comes with hard lines, boundaries, and a shit ton of communication to make it work. I admire my friends in those relationships, it takes a LOT of work.

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  18. #1: I want to echo what the commenter above me said, in that it seems to me like people are wrongly conflating polyamory and college hookup culture. Polyamory can be a stable, sustainable thing. But I have also personally had long-term hook-ups with a single person -- not necessarily an open relationship, but more like a friends with benefits thing. It had none of the emotional connection of a monogamous relationship, but it had the physical exclusivity of one.

    It's not a binary, and it shouldn't be a putatively normative judgment. A good monogamous relationship could be good for someone, while a bad monogamous relationship could be terrible.

    It's tough though. I feel that for a lot of gay college kids (I am speaking for myself, but I have had this corroborated by at least a handful of other people), it is one of the first times when we are around other LGBT people. I didn't come out until sophomore year, and so it felt like my very first time in the "pool." I wanted to find out what and who I liked, so I found the easiest way for me was to try hooking up.

    I honestly think it was the right decision for me, because I learned a lot. And I now feel more emotionally mature and ready for something more sustainable. Obviously the same thing may not work for everyone, but I just wanted to provide an example in which "hook-up culture" isn't The Worst Thing in The World.

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  19. #4, I am out, but I don't put who i am interested in because i think it's stupid. plain and simple. Whether your straight, gay, bi, transgender, whatever, I don't think putting what gender you're interested in matters. Facebook is not a dating site (for the most part). putting up your sexuality is just another way to distract people from the important traits of a person.

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  20. #1 - I have actually gotten confused now. What's non-monogamous about hooking up? Isn't the whole point of a hook-up that it's a one-night-only kind of thing? So maybe the "relationship" is short and low-commitment, but you still end one before you start the next. Right? You're still only sleeping with one person at a time. What am I
    missing?

    I've never hooked up, but only because all my casual sex happens in ongoing friends-with-benefits things. Sometimes at the same time as dating relationships. I'm not monogamous and I'm happy that way - I'm glad my sweetie has someone to have sex with while I'm home for break,
    it would be a long month otherwise. I think life is better without jealousy. I also think you can't choose to not be jealous, so I feel really lucky that I'm not affected by it; poly wouldn't work for everyone any better than monogamy does. So, if you're not a poly kind of person, stick to monogamy! You can't force these things.

    But I just don't understand what any of that has to do with hooking up.

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  21. In response to #4, I have a pretty radical perspective. Surprise, surprise. Personally, I think that every LGBT person has the responsibility to come out. Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, it sucks a lot of times. Yeah, it ruins relationships, but the more public we are as a community, the faster we will be able to bring about a world where people no longer have to "come out." So personally, I get very frustrated when a lot of my LGB friends, who identify as LGB in their daily lives and have no sort of qualms with identifying as being interested in men, women, or both in the real world, refuse to list their sexual orientation on facebook. I think that it slows down progress towards the kind of world that we all want to live in. Yeah it's cheesy and overused, but there's a lot of truth in the Ghandian ideal of being the change you wish to see in the world. If you want a world where people don't need to be afraid of being out, then come out as much as you possibly can--including facebook.

    Also, one of the most liberating moments in my life was the moment when I checked the "men" box on my facebook for the first time. It was by far the most important box I've ever checked.

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