February 9, 2011

Come On, Guys


So, do you remember my blog post from a long time ago (this one) where I voiced my concern about not having a space to have open, thoughtful discussions about what it means to be a gay male on this campus with other gay males? Well, it's happening!

Yes, you read that correctly. There will be a new discussion group starting in the very near future just for LGBTQ-identified men to get together and discuss the issues that we face in our lives. Now, I know that there was some controversy over having a men's group but I feel that this a great, necessary step to take in order to pull our community together and maybe even welcome more into it. I'm going to tell you exactly why I feel like this is so necessary just so maybe those of you who are skeptical can understand where I'm coming from.

Guys, we don't talk. We never talk about the important things. We can easily have a 2-hour discussion about Glee or the classic divas of our time (omg don't get me started), but what about the things that matter. What about talking about how we interact with people who don't conform to gender norms? What about having a discussion about trying to break away from those age-old stereotypes of masculinity that concerned so many of us about coming out? Can we discuss how sometimes we can feel pressure from our friends to be more masculine? And how about the way we interact with the women, trans-folk, and those not conforming to either gender? Oh and don't forget about how we just interact with each other in general.

We never talk about any of these things and it's time that we do. It's the only way for us to be an actual community. It takes more than just being visible and social. We have to realize that in order for us to be able to help the greater Community, we have to fix ours first. I know that we are individually close to each other but as a men's community on the whole, we're worlds apart.

I've never gotten a real sense of unity from the men's community. It's always seemed like everybody did their own thing and never really came together except for special occasions and a trip to Vespa. Is that all we are fellas? A social factor in the community? I certainly hope not. I want to sit down and be able to talk about all the things we are going through because you can't deny that each of us isn't going through something.

Also, we always say how we want more people to feel comfortable coming to events. This could be the perfect place for men who maybe aren't so much into the social scene to come and express ways we could help them feel more comfortable. I feel as though there is an entire segment of the gay male population that is just not being satisfied right now and this could be a step in the right direction to making sure that everyone is welcome.

Simply put: We can make our community better. We can foster stronger, closer bonds between all of us. All it takes is talking.

4 comments:

  1. Men Acting for Change (MAC)

    MAC is a group of Duke undergraduate men committed to supporting the Women’s Center in their work.
    The primary foci of the MAC group are:

    1. Discussions of masculinity and its affects on Duke students
    2. Education of selves and others related to gender issues on campus
    3. Prevention of gender-based violence at Duke (sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner/dating violence, etc)

    http://www.studentaffairs.duke.edu/wc/mens-engagement

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  2. Right. I think that there's something to be said for a specifically LGBT men's student group. There's an overlap, sure, but it's not identical.

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  3. GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT! I absolutely love WLW and am really excited that you guys will have a similar outlet and opportunity to share experiences in a safe environment. This is great.

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  4. AJ, this is a fantastic idea. I'll be looking forward to an email or facebook event in the near future.
    @anon 7:35, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure MAC isn't geared towards LGBT issues, especially not those issues faced by gay males.

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