January 31, 2011

Anonymous Posts (1.24.10-1.30.11)

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 rush is finally over, which makes me so happy. This is consistently just the most self-serious and arduous process filled with stress over whether you said goodbye to every person at Trivia Night after Skiing in Paris or something. I would also imagine that not getting a bid anywhere is kind of a frustrating blow to one's confidence that nobody who is taking more than zero classes at Duke needs. But whatever! I am clearly a jaded, introverted 80 year old that will go back to watching 60 Minutes (Andy Rooney *swoon*) while eating Butter Pecan ice cream and sitting with All The Cats Ever.

Anyhow! A project that we're working on for The Center/BDU is to get albums of events posted on our Facebook pages/websites. We want to make sure that there are only photos of people who are comfortable being pictured at LGBT events, though, so we're having people sign off on a release of sorts. Send me a quick email at cjp14@duke.edu if you're okay with photos of you going up and I'll add you to the list :)

Aaaand don't forget that today (from 3-4) women-identified students are invited to The Center to watch the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Anonymous posts, y'all.

Everyone should read this. (link)

Some inner turmoil...

I've been out as bi since April of my junior year in high school. I am now a freshman in college. Yet, I have only talked to my mom twice about this (and hardly at all either time) and not at all to my dad. all my best high school friends know and a few of my new college friends. Is this really "out"?

After I first came out I felt immensely relieved, as if a weight had been lifted off of me. But now, I more often doubt myself. I think, "i haven't been into a girl recently. maybe I just THOUGHT I was bi" and then two days later its "wow that girl... i just wanna...". So I'm confused. I wonder if this is normal for people who identify as bi. Do you really feel "bi" or do sometimes you like women and sometimes you like men?

I think I never feel "bi". I don't know what that it is. I just am attracted to men one minute and women the next.

I think I should go to women loving women dinner but im scared and i keep missing it.

What do you think about this? I'm now boycotting Chick-Fil-A and I'm thinking we should make this (link) happen at Duke.


  1. #1: Thank you for that. I agree, I think everyone should read it.

    #2: The definition of "out" is not very definite. I don't like the term at all. Instead, I think what should be considered more is living a life of honesty. None of this out or closeted business. Those metaphors are fairly inaccurate in regards to what a lot of us do/go through. Honestly, is there a way for EVERYONE to know without you saying to strangers or people you first meet, "Hey, I'm bi. Also, my name is..."? No. So, don't stress too much about that. You tell who want/need to tell and you do so in a way you're comfortable with. "Coming out" is a continuous process. It's never just done with. Just live you life honestly, and you'll be "coming out" effortlessly.

    As for the second part of your post, bisexuality differs for a lot of people. There are some people who prefer one sex to the other, or there are some who prefer men one day, and then women the next. As for as sexual fluidity goes, bisexuality has got to be the epitome of it. Regardless, it can easily be confusing if you choose to question what's going on instead of leaving it beneath the umbrella of "bisexuality". Regardless, what you've said you're experiencing isn't rare at all. I'm like that sometimes.

    Your third point about going to a WLW dinner; DO IT! I've gone once, and I loved it. I missed the last one they had because of schedule problems, but I'm going to try to go to as many as possible. Of course you'll be scared to go somewhere you've never been, but I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it once you get there.

  2. #1: I actually just read that and it's absolutely fantastic. Very well written...

    #2: Coming out isn't just a lightswitch, I would consider you as being out as long as you don't feel scared to tell people your sexuality. You don't have to broadcast it or validate your sexuality to some higher power. Also, (and I'm not bi, so I'm just going off of observations) you don't have to be attracted to men and women in the same second. You are attracted to people that you are attracted to, and you happen to be attracted to both men and women. Sexuality is complex, you dont ever have to have it all figured out.

    #3: Totally already doing that at UNC, its an actual mini restaurant on campus so I don't think that we can really get it completely kicked off, but damnit all if we're not going to try.

  3. #2!

    Hi! It seems like I identify differently than you do, but I would really, really recommend that you go to WLW. You remind me a lot of myself. Guess how long it took me until I stopped "missing" WLW and just went? Over a year! I can't even begin to wonder what my time at Duke (and life?) would have been like if I had started going to the Center sooner.

    I remember for me, my whole first year at Duke I chickened out, and then again in September, October, and then I FINALLY went in November of my sophomore year. But up until then I sent Janie a bunch of frantic and nervous emails talking about how I wanted to go...but needed help, etc. Janie assured me (via email, waaaay too scared to talk to her in person) that most all women who attended had felt some sort of nervousness or hesitation on the way, but that after attending they were extremely glad they did!

    And I think that's the truth. The best thing I can tell you about WLW, is to literally, "just go". I remember the first time I went to WLW I could barely even breathe. I was so nervous I couldn't eat (dinner is free, provided, and you should eat it!!), and when I walked to the LGBT Center doors, I pratically ran (okay, super power-walked), because I was so worried ALL of my best friends would have somehow picked that one night to eat outside at the Loop. (There's an inside entrance with the stairwell below the DukeCard office...do yourself the favor and avoid the fear of bumping into someone if you have it like I did).

    Also, I can relate a lot to you about wondering "am I really a lesbian"? To me, the question was never really, "am I attracted to women"? (Because my crazy, amazing, intense crushes on women aren't a figment of my imagination...they're the most real thing I know!) But I think the lack of knowing other women who identified like I did made me think, "oh damn it, it's just me!" But going to WLW helped me with this-and perhaps it will help you too-because I soon came to realize I was simply another LGBTQ woman at Duke, a single woman in a collection of many wonderful, amazing (and dateable :) queer women at Duke.

    Lastly, I've really enjoyed WLW. It's still my favorite thing at the Center, despite all I've done with BDU and WOMYN. It's just a group of women, who become friends, essentially, over the course of the semester. The atmosphere is very unique-it's *much* more relaxed than the mixed events, and I think in some ways more intimate because it's simply a dinner conversation around a table. (It sort of feels like family. =) There's no pressure to do or say anything, and you end the hour or two usually with a group of friends, and an invite to another women's event later in the month, whether that is WLW or a movie night, etc!

    If you have any questions, I'm abroad, but please, please email me (if you feel comfortable), because I'd love to talk to you more about WLW, anonymously or not, if that's what you think might help. This is just an issue super close to my heart because I had a lot of fears going into my first WLW meeting, and now it's my favorite event. It was my bridge to the LGBTQ community at Duke, and I hope that if you want, it's yours too.


  4. OH! And I don't know how I forgot this, (because it's one of the few things I've worked on as a Center intern!!) but we have interviews from past alumni participants in WLW! Here they are if you haven't seen them yet:

    (Scroll down)

  5. #3: pick your battles.

    why not speak out against the anti-gay organizations that chick-fil-a is funding? the chain may be homophobic at the national/corporate level, but i have had nothing but positive experiences with the workers at the duke restaurant. they tend to be the most respectful, friendly, upbeat, service oriented food servers at duke. i'd hate to return this favor by attacking their livelihood. (not to mention i don't know what i'd do without my thrice weekly grilled chicken sandwich)


  6. #2 plz come to WLWomennnnn. no srsly. It's like the highlight of the days I can stay. It's so wonderful. And you don't even have to talk if you don't want you! You can totes be a fly on the wall and laugh at all the ridiculous things that are funny and/or make you nervous to think about.

    also: lol@denver

  7. #2- We would love love LOVE to have you at WLW. I went to my first one and haven't missed one since. But, I do remember how hard it was to get started, and I had a really good friend nudge and nudge and nudge before I would go. Don't waste that time, really, just come and get some free foooood and great discussion! It's my favorite two hours of any month, and the safest and most understood I ever feel on campus. Hope to see you! :)

    #3- if you want to make that happen, I will fully support it.