March 14, 2011

Anonymous Posts (3.8.11-3.13.11)

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 :)

Hey Blue Devils (and other readers)! It's Risa again...Chris is pretty busy doing the whole second semester senior thing in addition to working on other things for the blog and The Center (READ: TOMORROW NIGHT'S LGBTQA DISCUSSION GROUP AT 6:30 PM IN THE LGBT CENTER), so I offered to help with this week's anonymous posts.

I hope everyone had a fantasically fun spring break. I'm a sports nut, so it's only fair that I plug teams other than our two basketball programs who swept the ACC Championships! Therefore, while we were taking time off from Duke, awesome Duke athletes were representing our school at indoor track and field nationals [shout to Duke's SEVEN newest All Americans...that's a big number, y'all].

Also, I randomly found this cool blog earlier today. It's called College Women Speak and some Carolina students started it. It's a forum for women to share anything they want about their sexual experiences in an anonymous way. I'd encourage any reader of this blog to contribute and help rep queer women's experiences (and allies, too, of course!). Some posts already touch on same-sex sex, but more can't hurt...right? Right. #IWishIWasChrisPerry

Finally, it's Pi Day. Betcyha didn't know that I can recite the first 20 digits of Pi. But I can. Andddd, conveniently enough, we have 3.14 anonymous posts below :-P.

this had to be shared (link) [Moderately NSFW]

Firstly, I’ve had an awesome and relaxing spring break and hope everybody has had the same! I also hope that I’m not the only one writing on this blog instead of being outside enjoying the beautiful weather, but that’s not the point. Anyway, I’m writing this in response to a question I got recently, and I get asked A LOT: Why are you in ROTC if they kick out gay people? Every one of my (now ex) boyfriends has asked me that question, as if maybe there’s something wrong with me for being a gay man who is pursuing a military career. I feel like anytime I tell somebody that I’m gay and mention the ROTC thing, they always make a comment about “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and how “courageous” I am or something irrelevant like that. It’s not that I’m tired of being asked about it, I just hate being put into this box where I have to be the token gay guy in what is an obviously homophobic environment who is always having to either defend myself or the military because of a two decade old law. I hate how people label me as a gay guy doing something normal instead of a normal guy who also happens to be gay. I feel like I should just go ahead and answer the question so that nobody else has to ask. So, why do I want to serve even though the military has a policy against openly gay people serving? How ‘bout we forget about the whole gay thing and just go with why I want to serve period. I love my country, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I love the freedom and opportunity I am guaranteed here, and I love all the good that the people of this nation stand for. Is the USA perfect? Hell no, we have problems everywhere you look—especially when it comes to gay rights. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like a part of my community. It doesn’t mean that I’m not proud to be who I am, whether that means I’m gay, American, white, male, whatever. For me, the uniform means more than just an excuse to dress up in camo (and look good I might add) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it means sharing a connection with the brave men and women who go overseas and sacrifice everything for people they don’t even know and ideals they may not fully understand. When I put on my uniform and see my last name sewn onto the shirt, I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to help protect this land that I love. Not for one second do I ever think about the fact that I’m a man who is attracted to other men. The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s unfair to label me as being an exception for doing what I’m doing. My sexuality has nothing to do with my ambitions, and everyone here, I hope, will agree that there is no way in hell any of us should ever let who we are get in the way of realizing our dreams. Yes I’m gay, and yes I’m in ROTC, but who really cares? I’m doing this because I feel like this is my purpose in life, not because of who I’m attracted to. So please, don’t put me into a box or give me a label because there’s so much more to me than one word and an acronym.

Hi guys... Hope everybody's doing well! So, I actually spent my spring break with an order of nuns (the Sisters of St. Joseph, Philadelphia, PA), and I had the wonderful opportunity to get to know these people (shameless plug for the Christian community: I came out to three of the Sisters individually and only got the "O.O" look before they asked something along the lines of "So, do you like cooking?" xD) I kept a journal over the course of the trip, and as I'm really interested in people (outside of gender studies, even!) I wanted to see how these three girls who pledged to a sorority would say... I'm not into Greek life at all, so I don't remember if it was a social or honors sorority. But the really cool thing was, the more I started to talk to them (and I talk rather rapidly, so they did a good job just *listening* to me without tuning me out) the more I found out we really had a lot in common. There's an inspirational song that kind of sums up my experience: it's called "We" by Joy Williams. Go check it out, and I hope it makes you smile. ~ Summer is coming, blue devils.

Hey shockingly large portion of the gay community at Duke, Why are you still walking around with your Chick-Fil-A bags?
1. Is it because you are unaware? Google it. (link)
2. Is it because you think minority groups can't make a difference through boycotting? Don't tell that to the civil rights movement generation. (link)
3. Is it because you just don't care that much? Did you get upset over this? Or how do you feel when your rainbow flag "disappears"? What if you lost a job because you were gay, and there is no legislation in place to protect you?
4. Is it because you are apolitical, or think things that are outside your Duke bubble don't affect you? Didn't you experience joy because of this? Or have you thought of how many people this would affect? (NC marriage ban that *could* come to a popular vote WHILE YOU'RE STILL HERE AND CAN VOTE ON IT!!!)

Every person who rides the C1 is affected by political messages. Every person also has the ability to paint new ones, or paint over them. I'm not saying that you should necessarily boycott Chick-Fil-A, but please, for the sake of our community, make up your mind before it's accidentally made for you. No matter what your beliefs may be, at least reconcile your actions and beliefs, and give it some serious thought. Sincerely, Concerned


  1. #4 I don't want to get too riled up but there needs to be a distinction between a franchise being boycotted (like the one on campus, where wonderful people work and earn money for their families) or the company itself. Plus it's not like the big bosses of chik-fil-a are openly poor intern probably had to look for charities to endorse and saw the inviting names: Family Institute and Focus on the Family ( Don't we all ultimately desire a Family ?!) without knowing their true intent.

    Instead of pulling out your metaphorical pitchforks that manifest themselves in the lack of food point swipes you'd be better off focusing your zealousness on the bigger fish like the Catholic Church or the Salvation Army (both openly homophobic churches...they still do a lot of good...not as easy as hating on an eatery now is it?) or Urban Outfitters(but where oh where will my hipster clothes come from O_o?!) or Domino's or Walmart or Exxon.

  2. #2 - Thanks so much for writing-it is really cool to get this perspective; I feel like I just read something really personal and open.

  3. To Anonymous at 1:42: I guess I could say that it's lovely how optimistic you are, but the truth is, it's ridiculous that Chik-Fil-A would give millions of dollars to a cause that a "poor intern" basically randomly chose. They knew exactly what they were doing, and you can bet it wasn't an intern. Besides, if we know about the Chik-Fil-A controversy, the top people at the company certainly know about it too...and keep funding these "charities" regardless.
    As a vegetarian of six years, I think it's not at all too much to ask that people shop and eat with their morals. People's decisions to still be Catholic, for example, can't be boiled down to their decision to eat or not eat at Chik-Fil-A because there's much more than consumerism going on there. But I believe in gay rights even more than I believe in animal rights, so that's two reasons I don't eat at Chik-Fil-A (and I still have plenty of food points left). Not to mention, I don't shop at Urban anymore and pretty much anyone can tell you, I still look like a hipster. I think it's very comfortable to explain these things away (and get a bit defensive) when it's convenient for you, but it might be surprisingly easy to stop rationalizing and start boycotting, too. If nothing else it's worth a try.

  4. #2: "My sexuality has nothing to do with my ambitions, and everyone here, I hope, will agree that there is no way in hell any of us should ever let who we are get in the way of realizing our dreams. Yes I’m gay, and yes I’m in ROTC, but who really cares? I’m doing this because I feel like this is my purpose in life, not because of who I’m attracted to."
    I love this. Keep up the good work. I have mad respect for you.

    #3:Reading about your experience with these nuns makes me think of the Sound of Music. <3 lol, I'm glad you enjoyed spring break

    #4: I still eat Chick-fil-a *hides from the angry mob*, but none of the reasons you listed are why I do... or to be more specific, don't boycott them. My responses to your listed reasons were as follows:
    1- No. I'm quite educated in regards to the situation.
    2- No. Minorities boycotting define my life, in more ways than one.
    3- Sort of, though apathy* isn't the main reason... What's that link? OH GEES, that's rude. I'm glad L-Mo handled it swiftly. I wasn't around for that, but free speech tunnels/bridges are ALWAYS a breeding ground for hate speech ( this should look familiar) :( and unfortunately, that kind of thing will happen...hmm, my flag didn't just "disappear", it was stolen. But again, that's a more direct sort of offense than funding a group that hosts marriage conferences... I have yet to lose a job due to my sexual orientation, but if that's the case, I don't want to be working there anyways. That job's not good enough for me. Also, speaking of losing jobs, WHAT ABOUT DENISE?! (and the other friendly people who work at our Duke Chick-fil-a?)
    4- No.

    I think the first line of what Anon 1:42 needs to be emphasized.

    Your intentions are noble, however! :) Continue your boycott, it's for a good cause. Just, be aware that just as you have reasons for boycotting, people have reasons for not boycotting.

    *My apathy stems from my opinion of these marriage conferences in general. Are people REALLY needing to go to conferences to LEARN how to be in a healthy relationship/marriage? That's kind of ridiculous, right? If it's not working... then, I doubt Chick-fil-a nor "Focus on Family" can fix it for you. Maybe you should try a REAL marriage counselor.

  5. #2:
    Love this post, also admittedly I am totally guilty of saying that people are brave for being in ROTC. But it's never really been because of homosexuality, it's really that everyone in ROTC is brave in my opinion, everyone in the military is brave to leave their family at the drop of a hat. People can go put themselves in peril, while I'm just happy to only work away at diseases at my lab bench. Rather, it's peoples ability to do rather than to think that I respect more.

    Also, I could never be that patriotic, so mad props.

    I love this kindasorta a lot, and I totally agree with Ebony that it reminds me of sound of music. Glad break was good!

    I don't eat at that franchise and I haven't for years, however, Anon 1:42, it's important to know the differences between boycotting gas stations and fast food restaurants. They are all corporately owned, which is why they follow the same rules. Also, to boil Chick-Fil-A's funding decisions to a lowly intern is to greatly underestimate the power of the opposition to this movement.

    However, #4, I think that instead of being mad at others for not boycotting as quickly as you do. You REALLY must just do as much as you can. You will never get anywhere by forcing people to conform to your ideas of what companies are right and wrong. To be so critical of people within our own movement is to fragment the movement itself. You'll never get anywhere by yelling about every Chick-Fil-A bag. The small movements and shows of faith are good, but the big picture is what we're really aiming for. Don't expend all your energy ranting people, do something about the policy instead.

    Just a thought.

  6. RE: #4

    If everyone was just a vegetarian, this wouldn't even be a problem. If you think that you should boycott Chick-fil-a for it's social policies, you should be outraged enough by the meat industry not to eat meat.