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 this 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. :)
What a week! The blog "relaunched" and welcomed its first 2015 writer, BDU met and is well on the way to doing great things, Dorothy Allison rocked the socks right off of my feet, and PRIDE happened!
College sports are finally "getting it." Northwestern University's AthleticDepartment released an "It Gets Better" video featuring the football(!!), softball(!!) and women's tennis coaches and men's and women's basketball and softball student-athletes. Seriously, Duke, Coach Cut, Coach K, student-athletes...What are you waiting for? Also, slightly outdated, but the NCAA recently adopted a policy about trans athletes! 'Cause, yeah, trans athletes need our support and recognition so that they can go on to REPRESENT THE US AT THE PAN AM GAMES. We see you, Keelin Godsey!
And now, for notes from Our Community (OC...#ThisWillCatchOn)
I'm a woman. I was (assaulted? taken advantage of? severely misunderstood by?) a woman at a party. She was cute. I was up for kissing and flirting, but not much more than that. Lots of drinking was involved. Pro tip: saying "I don't want to do anything you're uncomfortable with" and then going ahead and doing it without giving the drunk, confused person you're with time to process? Doesn't count as getting consent. I'm scared that no one will take me seriously because there was no penetration and no force involved. And, of course, girl-on-girl is hot. Someone who was at the same party and who knows her promised he would talk to her about it, and hasn't. It's been months. He's seen me crying over it, freezing up at parties/in sexual situations, on and on. And I can't shake the feeling that if it had been a guy, he would have been all over him the next day. I don't want vengeance or anything. I just want to be taken seriously, and for her to know that it wasn't okay. Mostly I want to stop hurting over this. I think I've processed the assault itself, but the lack of response aches. At party monitor training, they mentioned that men could be victims, but not that women could be perpetrators. It happens. It happened to me. And it wasn't hot. It was scary and confusing and it hurt me.
[Editor's Note: #1, Thank you for taking the risk and sharing your experience with us. If you are looking for in-person support, please see the resources at the bottom of this post. Also consider making an appointment with the Women's Center's Sheila Broderick, a feminist therapist who specializes in sexual violence. Sheila can also help inform you of what your options are when it comes to reporting your assault and seeking academic relief, etc. ]
This post is a little long, and a little rambling, but bear with me because I think my point is an important one. LGBT activists are driven to their activism because they see or experience discrimination first-hand and want to change the status quo. I would hope that no one has objections thus far. The passion that some activists take to their goal is both admirable and exemplary. I would like to highlight, however, that their dedication to their mission is produced by the effect that they hope to have on their own lives and on the lives of themselves, their friends, loved ones, and co-members of the LGBT community (I understand that there are straight activists. That's why I said "friends" and "loved ones"). Many LGBT people and straight people are not gay rights activists. THIS IS NOT A SIN. The people who do not attend parades are not anti-gay, nor are they sustaining the status quo. They have lives outside of the LGBT community (I do not mean a criticism of those who do, but I do intend to stress this point). Many of these people are intensely academic, on sports teams, or passionate about another aspect of their lives. They may be environmental or civil rights activists. They may be busy. These otherwise preoccupied people suffer inappropriate disdain from the LGBT community at Duke. I believe that this disdain is at the heart of the "heterophobia" that riddles the campus. I am writing this post because I want you to think about it. The battle for gay rights is not a "with us or against us" struggle. There needs to be room for a part-time supporter. For someone who will speak up when presented with inappropriate homophobia, but will not attend a rally. For all of you stuck in Duke's LGBT center bubble, I urge you to remember your straight friends. Are they really that bad?
Please remember that there are a number of resources available on campus and in the local community. These resources are available over breaks and throughout the school year. If you or a friend are experiencing thoughts or urges to harm yourself or somebody else, please reach out to the following resources: 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).