April 1, 2011

Anonymous Posts (3.28.11-4.3.11)

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, hate speech, or express or insinuate that one is at risk for hurting themselves or someone else. Please read further for an explanation of this policy and seek help if your or a friend find yourself in that position. With those exceptions aside, please feel free to submit your thoughts and questions. :)

First things first: WHO SAW LAST NIGHT'S WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL FOUR GAMES!?! The end of Stanford-Texas A&M!?! And then UConn goes down?! Danggg. (Shout out to Chris Purcell for having a game thread going on his facebook!)


Other exciting news from the Duke world of gay: the last LGBTQ and Ally Discussion group is TOMORROW NIGHT in the LGBT Center at 6:30. We’re going to be talking about fitting in at Duke (and in life), so please bring your varied experiences and perspectives. Perhaps take a few minutes to reflect on Janie’s post from earlier this week and the comments left there.

THE LARAMIE PROJECT OPENS THIS WEEK, too! Performances this weekend Thursday the 7th, Friday the 8th, Saturday the 9th, all at 7:30pm, and Sunday afternoon at 2pm. Shows continue next weekend. Sheafer Theater in the Bryan Center and tickets are $5.

Also, confession: I'm a big PostSecret fan. I read them every week and anxiously await Sunday just as I used to anxiously await anonymous posts every Monday (now that I'm editor, I don't really have to anxiously await for them). Sometimes I think of this as our community's own PostSecret forum (maybe we'll find a way to let people get more creative on here, if they want?). But I digress. With each post, PostSecret provides resources for individuals who are suicidal. As I take over as blogger-in-chief, I want to remind everyone that it is vitally important that we remember to look out for ourselves and for each other.

Since this blog’s inception, anonymous posts have been the single constant. We know that there are countless students who do not read the blog daily but look forward to every Monday’s post. Even for those of us who do read the blog daily, we love when Mondays come around because of anonymous posts. As a blog staff, we value anonymous posts tremendously. Aside from the fact that several of us have written in anonymously before, we love the discussion in the comment section that they generate and the way that they give readers a chance to contribute, even if they can’t or don’t want to be an identifiable regular writer. That said, please understand that the purpose of this blog is to build community. From the beginning, the only things we said we ever wouldn’t post were things that violated our community standard of respect, like hate speech and personal attacks. Additionally, we will not post submissions that communicate or convey that the person submitting the post is expressing or insinuating suicide, another form of self harm, harm to others. We are very concerned for the well-being of the entire community, and our decision to not post such entries should not be interpreted as a rejection or as that we are ignoring you. Quite the contrary. We will take steps to identify any person whose submission suggests harm to self or somebody else in order to reach out and offer help. There are a number of resources available on campus and in the local community, and if you or a friend are experiencing thoughts or urges to harm yourself or somebody else, please reach out to the resources below:

In an emergency, please don't hesitate to call CAPS at any time, including "after hours" at (919) 966-3820. Ask to speak to the advice nurse and tell them you are a Duke student. You may also call the Trevor Project, a national hotline specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning youth (college students included). Their number is 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). Don't be surprised if you see these resources listed in following weeks.

Now, for this week’s anonymous posts!


Lupe Fiasco gave a shout out to Gay Rights activists at his concert on Thursday. In that moment, however brief, I felt alive with acceptance. Usually, hip-hop/rap artists' songs are littered with homophobic remarks and hate speech. I have yet to come across a single lyric of his that has even the slightest hint of that.


This community makes me want to hide who I am. I fear I will lie to the LGBT community about who I really am for my remaining years here at Duke just to be accepted. I feel so pathetic and like I'm betraying myself, but really I'm just trying to survive amongst you all [Editor's note: Please consider coming to tomorrow night's discussion group. We're going to be talking about this issue and would really like to hear your story.]


  1. ...and yet again, the people who need help the most are silenced, their voices smothered, because we are "concerned for the well-being of the entire community." When this community is being exclusive, is being self-righteous, is purposely isolating people, where shall these "other" voices be heard?

    God forbid people in this community be called out for what they're doing. God forbid this community learn from its mistakes. GOD FORBID PEOPLE REALIZE THE MAGNITUDE OF THEIR ACTIONS AND WORK PROACTIVELY FOR A BETTER COMMUNITY. If you were really "concerned for the well-being of the entire community" you would have taken a very different course of action with this. I'm so, so, so incredibly disappointed.

  2. I wonder why there are zero comments - probably because they're being screened/censored as to protect this sacred view of our community.

  3. we all have to survive in different ways. i just hope you've given this community a chance, too.

  4. Hey #2!

    I just wanted to reach out to you and try and respond to what you wrote.

    When I first came to the LGBT Center, I could not have been more nervous or more intimidated. I definitely didn't feel like I fit in (quite the opposite, really). I think it's actually really normal to feel this way.

    When I got to eventually know the people at the Center for LGBT Life, (and I promise I'm not just saying this) I absolutely fell in love with the community; it's the reason my junior fall semester was so incredibley awesome. Even a semester away in Spain, I still email them almost everyday for advice, etc. (thanks to everyone who replied!), especially when I needed a support system. They've become my family.

    How I entered the Center a year ago, to how I would enter it now are so different! Spring 2010 compared to Fall 2011. Let's see. Spring 2010: nervous, intimidated, scared to death, wanting to leave every second...vs. Fall 2010, when I'd go to the Center when I was having a bad or when I was exhausted because I knew the people there would make me feel so awesome. (Plus the free candy/cookies from Janie and Peg during the holiday seasons...haha, or just ANY season, really help too.)

    So, that has just been my experience! That the Center for LGBT Life was VERY intimidating to me at first, but that it has since become the best thing I ever did at Duke. I can't say what your experience is/will be. But maybe it would be better (read: slightly less scary), if you maybe take a friend? I had a "wingwoman" (HI!! I love you!), my first 5-6 times. She had to text-convince me to attend Fab Friday almost every week so I didn't chicken out. And maybe after giving the Center a try (I'm not sure if you have already-your post didn't say), for a month or so, you might end up with a similar experience to mine. But whatever experience you have would be legitament-I realize it's difficult, and I empathize with you. I had a lot of support along the way and I could have never done it alone.

    Feel free to contact myself or anyone else on the blog with more questions about the Center or this community-I don't even know who you are, since this is anonymous, but I am positive the community would be much richer and better with you in it. meganweinand@gmail.com

  5. Anonymous 4:46,
    Thank you for your comment. I understand you’re frustrated with the policy, as it’s been outlined. However, I want to reassure you that this policy isn’t something I wrote alone nor a decision I made haphazardly. Rather, this policy and explanation are the result of many conversations with students and staff members over the course of several days. I’m sorry that you’re disappointed by our decision.

    Please know that we’re really not in the business of censorship, which is precisely why I posted your comment and precisely why Chris has posted critical comments and anonymous submissions in the past. We welcome criticism. However, we do not welcome criticism that contains threats to harm another person or one’s self.

    When you write that “the people who need help the most,” are you referring to people who may be a danger to themselves or others? It seems reasonable to me that those are the people you are referencing, which is why I want to assure you that their voices are not being silenced nor smothered. To reiterate the policy posted above, we will attempt to identify any person who submits a post that contains reason(s) to believe that the poster may be a danger to one’s self or others and we will do our very best to reach out to that person as quickly as possible. That person is certainly permitted to resubmit a post which voices the same critical opinions but does not threaten anybody. We may disagree, but I do not believe that that policy silences that person.

  6. #1: Interesting observation, about the lyrics and whatnot. I think this all goes back to the ever-so-absent dialogue on race/ethnicity and sexuality. Hip-hop and rap music tends to reenforce the heterosexual black male archetype. I never really bothered to think much about Lupe's lyrics in that sort of way, mainly because I don't group him with other rap artists, but that could be a reason why.

    #2: That's really unfortunate; I'd like to echo what anon 1:58 said. Though, with what little you've written, I could assume (oh, danger, assumptions!) that you have a good reason for this. With that being said, the opinion of this community shouldn't be what you allow to define who you are. I used to have the same plight, but honestly, it's come to a point that I realize that, while a lot of them are great people and it's nice to be a part of something (though, I could argue I'm not really "a part" of this community), it's not worth denying who I am. Survive if you must, but LIVE if you can.

  7. Risa, I think the way you wrote the disclaimer at the top of the original post makes it sound very unclear. It basically invites people like anonymous commenter #1 to claim censorship is occurring. In reality, you're not turning away posts from people who are expressing feelings of despair. You are in fact just choosing not to publish threats of violence against members of the community, which is very different.