December 13, 2010

Anonymous Posts (12.6.10-12.12.10)

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 :)

It's finals week, y'all. For me, this means catching up with whatever Steel lectures I didn't understand and reading tons and tons of feminist essays. The Center'll be open all this week, with designated quiet zones for studying. Seriously, I've never seen this place this quiet. And with Perkins just PACKED, it'd be smart to capitalize on this. All are welcome!

Last week I made an attempt to get Everyone to use the "Share!" and "Like" buttons at the bottom of our posts in order to spread The Good Word. And then, uh, You did. Like, the most. The anonymous posts were shared 95 times (up from none times) and while our previous record for number of visits was at 456 (excluding the day a certain scandal went public in April), we had 943 on Monday. That's ridiculous. A third of those were new visits (hi, New Visits!). Great work, y'all. Let's do it again? Let's do it again.

Beyond Monday, really just loving all the posts from this week. Feel free to procrastinate with those, yo. For your convenience:

For even "the most closeted" of Frat Stars :)
- Edie
LGBTQ Female Role Models: Alice Wu + [MOVIE NIGHT!] - Megan
Hey Feminists! - Chris
Study Abroad the LGBT Way - Veronica
"Hir" Poem about Transgendered Youth - Megan
It Gets Better (Really) - Dan
Freedom - Eric Furst
It Gets Better - Ian
Over the Rainbow - Robert
In which I talk about some terms - Lawrence

Anonymous posts for the week below!

Sometimes when I read stories like this one I have the fleeting thought that maybe if I started abusing drugs or alcohol, or acted out in some other way, my parents would finally take seriously the effects their non-acceptance has on me. I won't do it. But sometimes it's tempting.

I'm just a freshman and I'm not out yet because I'm just not sure. I feel like I need to be in a legit relationship with a girl before I can ever really know if I'm a lesbian. But it's a catch 22, I'm not out so I have absolutely zero chances at getting with a girl. Girls turn me on like magic, but I'm not gonna let lust determine my sexuality. I have no idea what to do.

I have read this blog nightly for the past 4 consecutive days, and tonight I finally realized that, for about a year now, I have been in denial about a huge aspect of my life. I think I'm in love with my best friend. She has no idea (at least, I hope). We met three years ago and we're now so close that sometimes I have trouble distinguishing where my life ends and where hers begins and vice versa. We spend almost every waking moment together, and tell each other everything, yet I still can't get enough. We go out together almost every weekend, and a couple times I've been drunk enough to where I even considered letting all my feelings for her slip out. At first, I only entertained the possibility that I was in love with her in my head when I had been drinking, but now, stone-cold sober, I am staring my denial in the face. At this point, there's no way I'd ever reveal them to her soberly; if I did, I wouldn't be able to deny them later. I'm scared to death that one day I will, accidentally and stupidly after a few too many drinks, and that it will ruin the amazing friendship we have. I'm not sure what scares me most... That I'll tell her, and she'll say she knew all along (because that will make me feel stupid for unsuccessfully trying to hide it all this time), that she won't take me seriously, or that she'll be shocked/appalled. She's the only girl I've ever felt this way about. I've had boyfriends, I've hooked up with guys, and I continue to be attracted to men... So I'm not sure what this makes me, or if I need to come out, or whatever. I know very little about LGBTQ life. I try so hard to portray myself as put together and strong on the outside that I feel ashamed for hiding behind my computer screen to do this. I know I shouldn't feel shame, but I'm not sure why I still do. I am in awe of those of you who have the courage to be yourselves in a world that is so often hateful and intolerant. I wish I had even the tiniest fraction of your bravery. Maybe finally admitting these feelings to myself, and saying them aloud (or at least typing them) for the first time is the first step for me. I'm not even sure I'm looking for responses or advice... I'm just glad someone is reading. Thanks for being there.

I am exhausted.

I am exhausted from trying to fight a battle within myself and society, losing all along the way. My biological legacy should not a battle at all, but that's what it's been.

Choosing to live certain ways that are potentially harmful to one's life is one thing, while speaking through the heart is a completely different topic. There are ignorant folks all across the nation that insist homosexuality is a horrible lifestyle. Unfortunately, they are beginning to prove themselves correct. It IS horrible for someone's natural love and personality to become an every day battle. It is horrible to lie in bed for countless hours, crying oneself to sleep. It is horrible to be discriminated upon by one's peers, friends, and even family. The significant question is, "should it be horrible?" No.

Although many will never grasp the idea of biological legacy, I just want to reassure everyone reading this that it does exist, and being gay is NOT A CHOICE. Personally, my question to propose to all of the foolish people of the world that claim homosexuality is a choice: "Why would I want to torture myself and go through hell on earth, as I have one, for something I had control of?"

I apologize, but words such as DEPRESSION and SUICIDE aren't common words that go along with your typical choices life. Why would anyone with any sanity at all chose to be neglected, hated, and betrayed their entire life? It doesn't sense. Why? Because it isn't a choice.

It will get better.

You may spend all of your life hiding from the ignorant and skeptical, but you cannot hide from your DNA and biological makeup.

I'm sorry, sad, and disillusioned to see such a divide between gay men and gay women on this campus. What's with that?

I’ve been spending the first semester of college coming to grips with my sexuality. I think I am bisexual. But—duh duh duh duh, this is what everyone says, I know it is really cliche—I’m not sure.

See, I really like this girl. She’s wonderful and has nerves of ice and is shockingly sexy and hot, hot, hot and absolutely amazing. But she is very, very lesbian. I don’t mind that at all! I know that she likes me as a person, and finds me attractive, but I am afraid that she might not like me anymore if she knew that I am sometimes attracted to men.

It’s just an interesting dynamic I need to learn to strategize with—how to be my own person and be bisexual and straddle two different worlds. I know that theoretically my dating pool should double, but I think it may shrink a little. It’s like—in the media and stuff, if a woman is bisexual, it is supposed to make her really hot. But only because it is hot to men. And for me, I really don’t want my sexuality (if it is the case) to be used as a weapon that way. I especially don’t want to be wrangled into some unwilling threesome with someone else’s girl, or be dropped by a lesbian woman out of fear that that is what I will do to her. I am not like that! And that is not a person I plan ever to be.

I was just wondering—does anyone have any advice they could give to me? Or be willing to give to me? I would love to hear it, or talk to someone about it.

Within the LGBTQ community here we talk a lot about hooking up, but at the same time, I know I'm not a small minority when I say that I've never done it. I usually have thought that it was just "wasn't me". But lately I've been reconsidering that-maybe I'm just viewing sex too puritanically. It might be the right thing. I'm wondering how others here decided when sex (or more colloquially, "hooking up") was right for them. I'm seriously toying with the idea of doing it next smester, but I want to get feedback from those who have done it before.


  1. yo, numba sleven. hookin up dont gotta be bout sex it can be bout kissin 2. werd.

  2. Christopher, I am sososo happy that the Blog is now booming more than ever! However, I know it means so much work (like no really, so much) for you and I love you through and through for it.

    Drug and alcohol abuse is an extreme form of acting out. I don't know if you would really need to push yourself to the brink of oblivion to get your parents to accept you, but if you show them the ways in which their non-acceptance hurts you and show them the ACTUAL ramifications of their actions, maybe they'll understand. I know you're not seriously considering it, but I would hope that you wouldn't feel the need to push yourself to the limit in order to gain approval from your parents.

    You have the feelings, so I think you can safely say that you are questioning. I don't think it's really so much of lust determining your entire sexuality but I do believe that it's a huge part of it. How do you create a relationship with someone unless you start out noticing how they "turn you on like magic" ? I can't tell you exactly what to do, but I can say that this blog is a huge step up for you. I'm sure that someone else will have advice that will help you so much more =)

    I would consider it a poor choice to reveal your sexuality to your best friend by starting a sentence like "So I think I'm in love with you." She knows you so well and seems to love and accept all of you, this may be a shock (or not, as you said) to her, but I don't know if she'll totally dump you as a friend for telling her that you think you may be bisexual/questioning/a lesbian. You have felt so comfortable with her for the past three years, why should that change?

    We are all so very exhausted at this fight. It's not like there's no progress though. Take the wins with the losses and know that we're gaining ground. Just because something impressively stupid just happened in the senate doesn't mean that the majority of the country isn't starting to support LGBT rights.

    Don't give up, we're getting there. Just try to find solace in the small things.

    It happens with any group. Every group has smaller factions within it and the LGBT Community isn't excluded from it. Duke's taking BIG steps in order to bridge the gap though and be all inclusive, it's really quite nice.

    Sorry #6! I'm not a lesbian, so I can't really accurately answer this. I personally wouldn't have an issue dating a bisexual male though. It's not as if you change just because you like men and women, I would hope that this girl you like would understand it and understand that even if you may be attracted to men and women, you are committed to her and at the end of the day that's all that matters.

    Also, kind of not qualified for this section and I won't pretend to know. Hopefully you get the information you're looking for!

  3. So many great posts!

    #2- You're right! It is a catch-22, if you really feel that you need to date a woman before you can be sure of your sexuality. I think that's an interesting idea, but I don't agree with it completely. Personally, I've never really heard of straight individuals confirming their sexuality by dating someone of the opposite sex. So in that sense, maybe it’s more of a double standard, if you're queer. One other idea-you definitely don't need to identify as anything to visit the Center (really, absolutely everyone is welcome!) and visiting the LGBT Center at Duke simply to find community has been really common for a lot of students, regardless of how they identify. So that is good news! You don’t need to identify to find community, and so it might not turn out to be a Catch-22 after all. =)

    #6 - My gut reaction? If someone "doesn't like you because you like men"....that's biphobia! Really simple! Period. We don't tolerate transphobia, homophobia, and in the same way, we can’t tolerate biphobia either.

    I don't identify as bisexual, but when I ask other bisexual women about their experiences, it definitely sounds like biphobia is very prevalent in society today, like you mention. One thing I've noticed is that a large number of the women who visit the Center identify as queer, bisexual, or simply nothing at all. So you're lucky in that you can definitely find a vocal (and awesome :) bisexual female community here at Duke.

    I wish I could articulate a better sentiment here on the blog on biphobia, but here's the best I have: it's ingrained in our society, even within the LGBTQ community, and I know it must really, really hurt. Sometimes though, I even catch myself saying stuff (stupid stuff really, and it's not okay), but it's a product of the fact that the LGBT Center has a pretty big focus on same-sex attraction. Gay/lesbian is just more on my mind, but I need to be aware of how language includes/excludes and so this is a great reminder. Good luck!

  4. Hi Number 6 (I feel like I'm on Kids Next Door, here, but I know y'all Duke students are too mature to watch that, right? ^.~),

    Look, even if she has "nerves like ice", she's a person inside. And being a lesbian doesn't mean you don't ONLY like lesbians (case in point, my girlfriend of 3 months is lesbian, and I'm bi. She never seems to care...), being a lesbian means you only like girls!

    Also, honey, take it from someone who crushed on the same [STRAIGHT] girl for 2 consecutive years: sitting there agonizing over whether she'll like you if you admit to liking guys is so very much NOT the solution. Not sure what you meant by “finds me attractive”, but if she likes you now, and decides upon hearing this that she doesn't, it's just as bad as not liking you for being black, or white, or Christian, or Muslim. i.e: it's prejudice, and it's wrong.

    As to the media and its portrayals of bisexual women - forget that! I'm a bi Christian girl [waiting for people to stop gasping as I say that] who put up with a lot of crap from people at my former church family after I came out. Just like being gay, being bi (or AC/DC, as the Brits say) is not a choice. It's also not a sign of promiscuity; being bi has never stopped me from defending my position on abstinence (I know not everyone agrees with me there, so I’ll leave it at that). So no matter what anyone--culture, friends, or this chick--says, you are you, nothing more, and nothing less, and you come equipped with some inherent (what I’d call “God-given”) rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident", that sexual orientation is not a choice, nor is it something that can be turned on and off (no pun intended xD).

    Also, at Megan's eloquent (as always) comment about biphobia: honey, you are NOT biphobic. I have never met a person LESS inclined to prejudice than you. Being focused on gay/lesbian issues just comes naturally to you, and personally, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Biphobia is so much more than language; it’s largely centered in fear—for me, the fear of being taken for a promiscuous girl (“Hey, bro, I heard she’s bi… Wanna see if she’ll make out with your girlfriend?”), or not being taken seriously by girls (“Oh, she’s doing it for attention; she wouldn’t really date another chick exclusively”). If you want to focus on names and terminology, maybe it’d be better to think about the fact that we always call everything LGBT? Where’s the S? If we leave out straight people (who comprise 90% of my friends), then we’re almost as bad as the haters we love to hate.

    The Lone Tar Heel

  5. #7. If you're looking for advice on if you should or not, you're personally not ready to do it. You'll regret it later and blame the people who told you to do it. Besides, make-out sessions and grabbin' ass by themselves are fucking awesome! ;)

  6. #2. I don't have advice, but your post really resonates with me and I wanted you to know. I'm sort of all over the place and I feel as though having a relationship would help me to sort out things. I feel like it's especially difficult, though, because if you admit that to someone who is really out, they won't date you. And if you go into a straight relationship and decide it isn't for you, people judge you for being involved with someone just to try to convince yourself that you're not gay/lesbian. It isn't just a catch 22 in that if you're not out you have a much harder time finding another person to date, but it also seems that if you're in some sort of in between place nobody wants to be with you...and if nobody wants to be with you, then how are you ever supposed to sort all of this out?

  7. #7. Thanks for your questions. I definitely agree with Anon @ 5:32 and I feel like I have to respond because folks who feel pressured into sex...well, let's just say I've got a bit of history with that and a big ol soft spot in my heart for talking about it. There's definitely nothing wrong with getting advice, but I think the best connection you're gonna make is with your friends, ones that are honest and true and care about your well being. Not saying that the general LGBTQ population doesn't care for you, but since we don't know you, I wouldn't be all like, GO ON! DO IT ALREADY!

    There are so many times that my mind has been blown when sex comes up, because the spectrum of hooking up means so many things to so many different people. I kind of assumed that women would come up with a variety of definitions for sex, but even within the gay male population there is so much that I have no idea about.

    Anyway. What I'm trying to say is, I'm sex-positive, but sometimes, when you rush it, the consequences can be terrible, or, some have been in my past. It's just not worth it, to check it off a to do list. Trust your gut.

  8. #3. In your post you only explore the negative responses she might have, but there is another possibility: that you share your feelings with her and she shares with you that she feels similarly. I know of quite a few couples who started this way. I don't agree with Swati's comment, because to me it seems to ignore the fact that you don't identify as anything and that you're "simply" in love with your best friend. I don't think you need to identify as anything other than you to share with her how you're feeling. You don't need to come out as anything, except as thinking that she's an amazing person and you want to be with her in every way. You could try to test the waters before making a grand statement about your feelings, though, if you wanted. Have a conversation about whether or not she'd ever date another girl, if she felt strongly for her. See how she reacts when you explain that you're attracted to men but that you think love is more complicated than that and that sometimes it's about a specific person, and not their gender, etc. You could mention to her that you think if you fell in love with someone "by accident" that you wouldn't be opposed to it.

    Best of luck.

  9. @#7: It's never to early to start experimenting. Life is about experience, and college will only last so long--do you want to miss a large junk of it? Though you should always make sure you're comfortable where you're at, hooking up can be very freeing and allow you to explore a whole different side of yourself, giving you the opportunity to grow as a person in the process. If you're worried about finding the right man, there are some great sites out there to help you out. I personally recommend craigslist and adam4adam. Good luck.


  10. True that, anonymous at 5:32... I guess all we can do is wait for something to happen. I'm just letting fate take over

  11. #3,
    I fel in love with my best fried too. I waited a month and then I finally told her. She led me on because she had a bf at the time. Then they broke up. She led me on even harder for a whole year and then she cheated on me. But it wasn't really cheating cuz even though she told me she loved me and called me her babe, we weren't official. No one was on my side. I was in the wrong for being jealous. She played me like a banjo. We aren't friends anymore and I miss her everyday. Don't tell you friend, sometimes you just have to settle for what you can get.

  12. #3. You are so not alone, it's not even funny. After coming out, and stopping whatever denial zone I was in forever, you know what I realized? I was pretty much in love with all of my best girl friends! It happens ALL THE TIME.

    But the rejection, the fear of rejection, and the sometimes crazy horrible blow out (& loss of friends) are all realities. Coming out as 'questioning' is a great step to get to, or even if you don't want a label for wherever you are, there are a TON of people that you can talk to.

    My recommendation is to have support to deal with whatever positive or negative collateral there is. We can't do anything alone, especially for really scary stuff. I also think Swati has supergreat advice on this one. :)

  13. 12:58: sad troll and impostor, though I appreciate the attention, you made me giggle with delight.


  14. @ #1 - First, don't give up on your parents. Second, (and most importantly), don't give up on yourself. You have the ability to help your parents. As much as you probably don't feel that they deserve or need your help (yes, they've hurt you a lot), it's worth a try. I want you to Google "Stephen Covey Habit 5". Read everything written about Habit 5. Be sure that you fully understand Habit 5. Then try again, using what you've learned about Habit 5, to have a talk with your parents. If your parents have questions and concerns (rational or not), really listen to what they are saying. Really... I mean REALLY... listen, and then respond to their questions and concerns - logically and calmly, as best as you can. If your parents continue the same attitude towards you, then hold your head up high, tell them that you love them, and tell them that you hope one day they will change their minds. Ace your classes. Immerse yourself wholly in your activities. Fall in love and be happy. Surround yourself with people who love you. One day, your parents' eyes will open, and they will be full of regret over the time they lost with their fabulous child. Don't give them any reason to gloat that they were absolutely right about everything they initially believed.

  15. @ #7 - I can't tell you whether or not to hookup. Every situation and every person is different. Like most of the posts before me have said, it depends whether or not you are ready for the experience and possible consequences, good or bad, that come along with that experience. That being said, I will say (and this goes for anyone that is "hooking up" or sexually active at all for that matter) PLEASE BE SAFE (use condoms), GET TESTED, and SCREEN YOUR PARTNERS! It may seem odd or weird to do an "in depth screening" of your random hookup - especially if you're hooking up off of a site such as craigslist or adam4adam - but do it anyway! Durham county has one of the highest number of reported cases of HIV in North Carolina and over 25% of people that are infected with HIV don't know it. Although Duke is a low risk population, using such websites as craigslist or adam4adam for random hookups puts you in a high risk category - especially if you have multiple partners OR your partner has had multiple partners. All I can say is that if you choose to hook up be educated, be cautious, and be safe! The student organization Know Your Status provides free and confidential HIV testing in the Bryan Center - Room B every Monday from 10am - 6pm. You can also get free condoms from Know Your Status or Student Health. *sorry for the rant and impromptu informational seminar*

  16. #3 - this happened with me and my best friend. We ended up having a sort of DTR discussion in which we both agreed that 'friend' or 'best friend' were not adequate to describe our relationship. You might want to start out with that and see where it leads. Worked out for me!