February 20, 2012

Anonymous Posts (2.13.12-2.19.12)

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. :)

It was a great week for the LGBTQ Community here! On Friday, The Vote Against Project staked out in the West Union and snapped hundreds of pictures (according to my unofficial counting). Even more exciting, Duke University and Duke Med issued a statement of support in favor of the LGBTQ Community.

Now, for notes from OC.

What's the best way to respond to a close friend who's just come out to you? I know I should be supportive, accepting without treating them any differently... but I mean at the ACTUAL MOMENT that he says "I'm gay," what's the best thing to say back? I don't have any problem with my friends being gay,but the only thing I can imagine saying is "oh," and I don't really think that's the most supportive response. At the same time, "oh [name]! *hug*" seems awfully pretentious and unhelpful. Any advice?

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. Thank you for telling me, or I'm so glad you told me?

  2. Tell him/her that it doesn't change anything.

  3. One of my best friends told me once; "I know what an important moment this is for you, and I feel really honored that you told me something so special." That may not work for everyone, but I really appreciate what she said. :)

  4. I totally dig that you;re asking this!

    I've been kind of figuring out the best way to make an answer that fits all situations (since I really hate just having an answer on cue for everyone). But fitting something in there about loving them just the same is always really helpful.

    Sometimes you're so surprised that all you can say is "oh" but once you regain your footing, just make sure to assure your friend that you accept them and to make them feel comfortable.

    As much as that moment is a little mini-freak out for you (in terms of being surprised) this is a moment that they may have been putting a lot of thought in to.

  5. I've often worried that saying "I love you just the same" or similar carries the implication that there's a reason why you wouldn't and you considered doing otherwise.

    On the other hand, I can see why my usual reaction ("really?! awesome!!") may not be appropriate in all situations (I am a fan of squealing and hugging, too.)

  6. I also wonder this. I really like the "Congratulations" or "That's awesome" response. It's a lot better than "Are you serious?" or "How long have you known" which gets sort of annoying. And even though, "Oh" or "Ok" is nice and nonchalant, it is a bit anticlimactic.

    So I would go with the congratulatory response because it is something to congratulate them on. Coming out is a great accomplishment, and congratulations are very affirmative.