November 21, 2011

Anonymous Posts (11.14.11-11.21.11)

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. :)


Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...Dr. G, our faculty blogger, wrote a fantastic post on Saturday.

Sunday was Trans Day of Remembrance. I hope everyone got a chance to check out the posters in the Bryan Center and Perkins over the last week. HuffPo had some good coverage, too.

The sports world is eating up this Penn St. scandal...but not many people know that this isn't the first time Penn St. put winning above ethics and the welfare of the community and its students. This article is a salient reminder about Penn State/Rene Portland's homophobic past.

Finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to thank all of the writers on our staff, our anonymous post contributors, and our readers like you for making this blog possible and successful! So much BDU Blog <3.

Now, notes from OC!

Janelle Monae (Motown-y, soul type singer) popped up on my iTunes shuffle today and I remembered the blog entry the other day about black queer women in pop culture. This is a quote from her in an interview. (Answering a question about if she dates): "I do. I think that love is very beautiful and it’s an energy that I love having. I do date and I do have someone that I love. Someone that understands me very well and encourages me to be the best person and artist I can be. I couldn’t ask for a better android." So playing the pronoun game, am I right? Or maybe I'm just wishing. But then again, she is pretty cagey about answering sexuality questions... This is her.

Why do straight women gravitate towards flamboyant gay men? I'm openly gay but sometimes I wish I hadn't bothered to come out-- I honestly can't tell you how many times my friends (friends?) have asked me why I can't be more "stereotypical." I don't know if there's a niche for guys like me, and it makes me so goddamn frustrated.

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).


  1. #2- I'm sorry that you have that experience with your friends. I'm not really sure why they want you to be more "stereotypical".
    Anyway, not only do I think that niche exists, I think it's the majority of gay males at Duke (myself included). Sure, I love Lady Gaga and Glee but I'm really into Duke Basketball, I'm not overly flamboyant (at least a lot of the time :) ), and I have my own unique interests. Will many gay males here have parts of them that are a bit "stereotypical" - yup. But the sum is greater than the parts.
    I encourage you to go to the center just to meet people - and not just for the purpose of finding a guy for you but also just to see what the community is like, meet new people, and make new friends. I only recently began to visit the center and my experience has been very positive.

  2. #2- if by "like you," you just mean not-flamboyant, there are definitely lots of guys out there just like you; you just don't notice them because they're not flamboyant

  3. #1: I wish all the strong beautiful black women in the world were part of OC kind of...Wishes can be wishes, so long as they don't turn in to assumptions. I'd wait on her.

    #2: As a cis-hetero female I feel like I can answer this. (FINALLY I can do something with total confidence)

    I feel like a reason that I gravitate toward this community is because it's goal is so understandable. It's Love, plain and simple. It's the wish to love and to be loved by anyone. I gravitate toward community men no more tan community women at this point, but when I was first involved I went toward men first. This is because Gay men seemed to be a safety net for me.I could have male friends without all the consequences that hetero men brought with them.

    At this point, I don't discriminate at all. But it took a lot for me to get there and to feel safe with anyone.

    The whole "stereotypical" thing is probably due to media influence on what mainstream america sees as what gay men should be like. I'm sorry if you've ever felt discriminated against because you never felt "gay enough" for your straight friends. Even if they were only joking, they should be more thoughtful. If you're comfortable, you should talk to them about it and about how the SGM Community (sexuality and gender minority) and the Hetero Community are equally broad in the people that they identify. I'm sorry if you've never felt loved the way you are. I promise, we're not all like that.

  4. hey! I don't know if she's queer, but it seems like the blazer is her standard gear!

    nice, thanks for this

  5. #1: Love her music. But, what Swati said is very accurate. With the uncertainty, we're left only assumptions. It's like that with a lot of her fellow, black celebrity peers. :/

    #2: By the responses given above, you can tell there are lots of gay men who aren't "flamboyant" that exist at Duke peacefully and happily, so I won't comment on that. However, I will comment on the glaringly obvious (dare I say, MAIN) problem here: Your "friends?" that you mentioned. By the way you've written your post, I can tell you're already deliberating whether or not you should even associate with them; you question whether or not they're your friends. A friend is someone who shares similar interests with you, hangs out with you, talks with you, and MOST OF ALL respects who your are and doesn't try to change you into someone you don't want to be or dictate who you should be. You need to either talk to your friends and iron out their control problems and help educate them to dissolve their ignorant views on how gay men act... or just find new friends. Hopefully it won't come to the latter. I'd say a brief talk with them about it should be enough. Hopefully. :P (So, best of luck to you on that, if that's what you decide).

    On a side note, I think the media has over-exaggerated the "straight women with sassy gay friends" thing a bit much. I'm sure there are just as many women who are friends with gay men who aren't flamboyant as there are women who are friends with gay men who are flamboyant.

  6. Hey #2:

    Ditto what Dustin and Ebony said. I would say that there are significantly more gay men on campus that aren't very flamboyant (Ugh. I hate that word because it's usually used in a derogatory manner towards us gay men. There's got to be a better word to use. I'll keep thinking about it.) as opposed to those who are. I think that Ebony is exactly right in that it comes down to you talking to those so-called friends who are trying to pressure you to be something you're not.

    Also (shameless plug full of shame), there is a discussion group for queer men. It's called Man to Man. There actually hasn't been a meeting this semester because this semester was a logistical nightmare for myself and the other facilitators. I promise things will get moving immediately next semester. I really hope you join us because this is a topic that I feel would lead to a very productive discussion for us.

  7. #2- I am a straight female and literally all my close guys friends at Duke are gay (except for like 3 because of PWILD)and if I have ever said this to you then I hope you know it was a joke (just like my friends like to joke around with me because of "petunia," my stroke hand). I love my friends not because of their sexual preference but because of who they are inside (corny, I know).

  8. #2, I completely agree. I love my flamboyant friends, but there is this idea that once you come out you have to "join the community," "find your repressed sexuality," and "be gay" in the modern Jack from Will & Grace way. I think these kind of suppositions are exactly why so many LGBT people still struggle with their sexuality, even once they have accepted it personally. Society imposes this stereotype that all gay men want to march in a pride parade and watch glee, and it's just BS. Same-sex attraction A) Is not absolute, there is a reason it is the Kinsey scale B) Not one's only identity, and possibly not even an identity at all if you so chose C) Full of extremely diverse people (bears, twinks, left-leaning intellectuals, hipster-types, modern family-esque dads, bikers, cowboys, artists, gymrats, etc. and even then these are all stereotypes themselves)

    While I don't regret coming out, I understand your frustration. Sometimes coming out has seemed pretty pointless, but by defying stereotypes of flamboyancy you broaden people's perspectives.

    In that vein, I love the idea of the center and everyone is so nice, but it's not my scene and the guys there aren't who I would otherwise hangout with (and I'm not just going to hang out with someone because we're both gay... being gay is not the monolithic identity people assume it be).

    The Duke LGBT scene definitely does scare away a good amount of less flamboyant types (just as every LGBT scene does, it's is definitely not Duke specific) because of exactly what you said. It feels like you are a niche, when really more masculine types are just as numerous as more effeminate types. The issue often is that more effeminate men often face harsher persecution and things like the center help them structure and stabilize their lives (which is an amazing and incredible thing, by far the most important thing any LGBT organization can do), but for the rest of us that just want a place to hang out and meet other guys that's not really the center's scene. We need a bar/lounge/club [which major cities have, pretty much every gay bar has some sort of niche so trust me, you can definitely find yours!] not a support organization. Additionally, it is much easier for masculine guys to blend in with "heteronormative" society than more feminine guys, so many chose running with straight circles over mixing with the gay community.

    Obviously some of the above contains sweeping generalities, so please, don't be offended [whoever may be reading this]. These are entirely my opinions, and no mal is intended (and I do apologize if it was caused).

    Essentially, don't despair. The gay world is huge and while Duke may not have the ideal LGBT diversity, a ton of other places do (we are just so small/have so many people still in the closet that it's also hard to get a wide swath of the LGBT community, so we distill down to the most typical groups). I recommend checking out UNC too if you haven't already.

  9. @Daniel.

    I'm offended to say the least. I don't understand - you admit that you love the Center and like everyone there and then you turn around and say you don't want hang out with the "guys there." It seems as though you, as a 'straight-acting' gay man who doesn't have to deal with the "harsher prosecution" that 'gayer' men face, seem to think you have no need the Center's support and would prefer to use it to "meet other guys." I think you were spot on when you said "sweeping generalities" - at least you got that part right.

    I'm by no means saying that parts of your argument aren't valid, but I find it personally offensive that you are bemoaning the fact that there is a dearth of masculine gays on campus and, furthermore, attribute it to the fact that feminine guys somehow scare them away, with their (our?) glitter and pixie dust. It's a personal choice to not be affiliated with the Center, unlike the pitch of one's voice or the 'flamboyance' of one's personality. However, I totally agree that LGBT status doesn't have to define one's entire person.

    This is not meant to be a personal attack. Our opinions would likely be very similar if we sat down and talked about it, but thoughts are easily misconstrued and misunderstood in a written medium.

  10. Dan - I think the premise of your comment - this strict dichotomy of "flamboyant" and "straight-acting" guys - is pretty way off.