February 19, 2011

Why Do You Do What You Do?


When I was deciding whether to contribute to the BDU Blog, I asked myself the question that I always ask myself when I am deciding to do new things or need to reflect:

Why do you do what you do?

After much reflection, I came to a conclusion: I want to contribute to the BDU Blog because I love cultivating pluralism.

I love listening to different stories, and believe that the pluralism that is cultivated from doing this makes me a more understanding and educated individual.

Maybe my own story would help you understand what I mean by “cultivating pluralism”:

Even though I am a Tar Heel, I visited this blog a little more than a year ago, at a time when I was cultivating my own courage to come out to my friends at UNC.

Chapel Hill is a very accepting environment and, though I didn’t entirely realize it when I first came to UNC, expressing your identity and feeling comfortable in your own skin is embedded in the Carolina Way.

Even so, I decided to explore via the nifty interweb the LGBTQ resources at Duke. As a first-year, I knew I would be spending a semester at Duke during the spring semester of my sophomore year. Thus, as I was deciding whether or not to come out at Carolina, I wanted to make sure I could also be comfortable with my identity at Duke. My search led me to the BDU Blog.

The blog was amazing…I spent the entire night reading all the posts—I laughed and teared up, feeling so passionate and connected to the strangers who were courageous enough to share their stories to the world.

I decided that very week to come out to my friends at Carolina, and it was one of the most challenging and best decisions I have made in my entire life.

Now, as a sophomore spending his semester at Duke, I look back and look at the importance of this blog to people not necessarily involved or connected with the Duke LGBTQ community. This blog is full of stories, and the sharing of stories gives people hope…it gave me hope a little more than a year ago when I was making a tough decision.

I look back and see how these stories made me feel safe at a time when I was really afraid, and how they made many of my friends and allies at UNC more aware of the LGBTQ environment at Duke.

I look forward and see how I will share these stories with my family when I cultivate even more courage and come out to them, proudly introducing my mom and dad to the support systems in place for members of the LGBTQ environment, a support system they could be a part of.

Finally, I look at the stories I have in the present as a sophomore, one who is proud of his identity and honored to be among those contributing a collective of stories that are reaching communities within and outside Duke.

Through my blog posts, I hope to use my Tar Heel lens to reflect upon by experiences as an out member of the LGBTQ community at Duke; ultimately, I hope to share these stories to people who are willing to listen. (it should be fun, thrilling, and uber exciting—if not any of those, it can give more reasons for Blue Devils to resent us Tar Heels)!

I kind of already have my first story imagined…so get excited!

Till then, be amazed and be amazing, while cultivating pluralism along the way—

Yours truly,
A Tar Devil

6 comments:

  1. This is awesome!
    I hope you are enjoying your semester switch!

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  2. JAGIR!

    I am so proud of you! There is truly no amount of words that can express how happy I am for you and how far you have come! I am honored to have been a part of your journey and I cannot wait see your future contributions to this amazing blog! :)

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  3. Welcome to the blog! :D With the dual perspective of a UNC and Duke student, I'm sure you'll have a lot to contribute to the blog and the community.

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  4. I really appreciate the folks who step up and share their voice. It is wonderful to see how a reader of one year has been affected by the blog. I'm so grateful you're blogging! Having all these writers just extends the various points of views we all have. welcome fellow writer!

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  5. I can't wait, Jagir! Hope this makes you come to more GLBTSA meetings when you get back. Also, you'll be seeing/hearing a lot more of me via this blog <3

    Love you bunches! Med Deli sometime soon?

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