November 7, 2011

Anonymous Posts (10.31.11-11.6.11)


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 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. :)

Hey Blog!

I spent the weekend kicking it in NYC with staff friends from my summer job and having the best time ever. Hopefully you feel the same way about this weekend's blog content, brought to you by Ryan and Jonathan.

We've got a lot of events going on this week! The Our Lives Discussion Group is meeting on Thursday, followed by the Drag Show! Spectrum and Athletes United are also meeting this week and there is an Ally Training workshop TODAY (see the sidebar for info).

Perhaps most importantly, though, is This Blog's Birthday on Wednesday! We're turning two!! A special thanks and shout out to all of our writers, you readers, anonymous posters, and other supporters. We would not be here celebrating without you.

Our friends at the Duke Disability Alliance are working on a campaign to make accessibility issues more visible. If you'd like more information, please email their president, Megan.

And now, for the actually exciting stuff:

#1
Before coming to Duke, I had a friend in undergrad who described herself as a lesbian even though she was in a serious relationship with her boyfriend, a relationship which was lasting longer than my longest one ever (which was a 3-year middle school relationship, don't judge). Now, they're cohabiting, and, I expect, getting pretty close to popping the question (my money's on her to be the one who asks). I remember being quite confused at first. "Shouldn't you call yourself bi?" She looked at me, exasperated, having told this story to all her closest friends 1,000 times. "No, I'm a lesbian. All my sex dreams and most of my thoughts are about girls. But I fell in love with [boyfriend]. And the sex is decent, and I would never want to be with anyone else." The reason we are such good friends is because she and I are so similar. You see, I identify myself as bi to other people (it's just easier to explain), but really I'm as gay as my friend is a lesbian, which is quite gay. Yet I fell for this one girl back in 2008, and I've never gotten over her. We've been close ever since, and now, it looks like we'll finally start dating. I've never been so happy. I know what's about to happen. My fb status will change to "In a relationship with [girl's name]," and all my friends and exes will be quite confused. People will think it's either a joke or a phase or a Marcus Bachmann-esque attempt at denying my sexuality. I'm expecting to have to delete several people's comments. The joke part doesn't bother me. Only my closest friends really understand me, so I can't blame acquaintances for thinking I'm kidding. Usually I don't even understand me. People are complex and have multiple layers, like an onion. A donkey told me that. Or an ogre, I forget which. Oh well, they'll be confused, but that's no big deal. The phase part bothers me. People like to deny that bisexuality exists, especially in men, which is one of my big pet peeves. Who are we to tell anyone else what's going on inside his or her head? When we do that, we act just like the conservative bigots who tell us that we're just choosing to be homosexual and that all we need to do is accept the light and touch a vagina. Let people be who they are, and don't stop them from loving whomever they want to love. The Marcus Bachmann part is the big issue though. I'm out to my parents and a good deal of relatives, and all my friends. I'm active in the lgbt community, and I love it. Starting a relationship with a girl feels a little like turning my back on the community. To which I can say only that I'm still right there with you. I'm still identifying myself with the community. I'm still applying to jobs as an lgbt individual. I'm still telling my parents that they need to be accepting of anyone I love, regardless of that person's gender. I'm still helping my friends who are struggling with their sexuality so that they can learn to accept that being gay or being bi is okay. And I'm still going to go to Legends and Stir, although, with a nod to fidelity, my dancing will be a lot less raunchy. I just want people to remember that everyone is complex. Rarely can anyone's sexuality be defined by a simple label. We as a people are supposed to eschew these stupid attempts to categorize people, and we are supposed to accept them as they are. Let all your friends be who they are and congratulate them when they start a new relationship, no matter the sex of the other person.

#2
I found this very interesting list of all the things the Obama administration has done for the LGBT community since 2009.

#3
I am a girl dating a girl. I'm not comfortable with the term "lesbian" because I'm not sure that is the best term to describe me. All I know is I fell in love with my best friend, and our relationship is the best thing that's ever happened to me. This whole 'coming out' thing has been really difficult for me, and is complicated by the groups I'm involved in on campus (including a sorority). The past few months have been some of the happiest of my life, but also some of the toughest. Sometimes the only thing that holds me together is reading this blog and knowing that I'm not alone, even if I'm not comfortable yet coming to events at the LGBT center and meeting some of the bloggers. Thank you to all the bloggers who have been so open in sharing their thoughts, emotions, and experiences!

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).

3 comments:

  1. #1:
    So much love. I'm really happy for you and I hope that relationship brings you as much happiness as it should. I appreciate you highlighting the fact that dating a girl does not make you any less queer or mean that you've abandoned the LGBT community. Love=Love works both ways.

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  2. Dear #3,

    First off, I think it’s great that you submitted to the blog for this week. Even anonymously, I think that takes a lot! (I remember when I submitted for the first time and was closeted, and it felt really monumental.)

    Also, while there may be a lot of pressure to “come out” while dating someone of the same-gender, I think coming out is such a personal decision! I would be really hesitant of anyone or anything that suggested you should do anything other than your personal choice to come out or not-and if you did come out, how. I think you’ll figure out what’s right for you-and regardless of what you decide, I am really excited for that you’re in a relationship right now and discovering more of what this means for you, by reading the blog, etc. Congratulations! I think it’s awesome.

    Lastly-just like coming out, I think deciding to be involved with the BDU Blog and/or the Duke LGBT Center are also personal decisions. I definitely would feel remiss though if I didn’t invite you to WLW! Women Loving Women is a monthly dinner/discussion group for LGBTQ/questioning women who are grad or undergrad students at Duke. I really liked it a lot and now facilitate it, but I appreciated it the most when I was closeted because it was exactly what I needed at the time; the group is confidential, in the sense that while out women do attend, members of the group are not discussed beyond that evening’s participants (we make sure to announce it everytime) and the listesrv is also confidential. So when I was closeted it was a wonderful medium in between REALLY wanting to meet other queer women (it felt amazinggg ☺, but also REALLY not wanting to come out. So I know it made a really positive impact on me. But that being said, I still think any decision you make is valid simply because it’s yours. I hope that you find the direction you’re looking for! If you ever want to meet up and talk about women’s community here I’d be more than happy to talk (through email or in person), or you can email myself or Janie if you might want to join the listserv. My email, if we haven’t met yet, is meganweinand@gmail.com and Janie’s is Janie.long@duke.edu . (Our next meeting is Nov 15th, a Tuesday, from 6-8pm) and we also do quite a few informal events.) Lastly, the LGBT Center itself has a confidential entrance-just use the stairs near the Duke Card office to go downstairs below to the Center’s inside entrance.

    At any rate, best of luck! Again thanks for writing on the blog,
    Megan

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  3. #3- I admire your bravery in posting on the blog. I'm in a similar situation, and even though I feel confident that my Duke organizations and groups of friends will accept me no matter whom I love, I am hesitant to embrace the 'L-word.' I find myself fighting my own negative stereotypes about a group I now seem to belong to. For me, it's comparable to thinking of myself as a feminist. It's like I want to say, "I'm a feminist/I'm a lesbian, but not the scary kind" even though I know the scary feminist/scary lesbian is not an accurate portrait of anyone.
    It's entirely possible that we'll never feel comfortable identifying ourselves as lesbians except in superficial contexts. Maybe we don't even know whether we're lesbians or bi or 'queer.' Maybe you'll continue to think of yourself as straight, while acknowledging you fell in love with your best friend, who happens to be a girl. Rather than getting hung up on which label suits you best, I just want to say congratulations and I'm happy for you.
    In the wise words of Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

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