[Editor's Note: Hey Readers! Welcome to the fifth installation of "Throwback Thursdays." Every first Thursday of the month we'll feature a post from the BDU Blog, Version 1.0. Here's one about how coming out at Duke doesn't fall into a small box. Hope this gives you some food for thought before your Spring Break kicks off. Also, the blog staff will be bringing you new content all through Spring Break. Don't be a stranger! One more shameless plug: If you are a male identified student, Men Acting for Change is hosting our very own, Janie Long tonight at the Women's Center (in Few). She'll be talking about homophobia, is it really about who a person has sex with or is it about gender expression? Not to be missed, y'all.]
December 11, 2008
Coming out at Duke doesn't have to start at the LGBT center.
So as people who have read this blog have seen, there are many types of people who are out at Duke. There are people in fraternities, sports-teams, activists, RAs, TAs, etc. Coming out at Duke doesn't have to start at the LGBT center. It's there if you want to take advantage of the great programming, but for some people being out at Duke involves a closer group of friends who like to do similiar things. And for others, it has more to do with being honest with your straight friends.
This thread is for you. What are some of your concerns about coming out at Duke? What are you curious or concerned about? I think the blog is suppose to represent these things, but sometimes direct questions can focus the conversation more.
I'll say for those of you who have developed a life at Duke you don't want to let go of, then I wouldn't be too concerned. Remember that you go to Duke. And although some people would say otherwise, in comparison to the rest of the country(even world), the students who go to Duke are usually very accepting and surprisingly encouraging. Even my friends who are staunch Republicans still reach out to me all the time like they did before I came out. Being honest with them usually strengthens your relationship by removing some of the ambiguity and making you more confident about yourself.
Are you nervous about not being able to do well profesionally? Businesses don't care. Honestly, there is a great conference hosted each year in New York called the "Out for Undergraduate Business Conference." If you sign up, they usually pay for you to fly up and stay a night in New York and meet people from all types of financial-service and consulting firms, and they put you in touch with other companies. While it's different in some areas of the country, it has become almost unprofessional to be homophobic in cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, DC, etc. And most companies like JPMorgan, BCG, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey etc. have strong networks where they focus on helping you find a position and developing your career once you're there.
So if you're curious about anything, go ahead and ask. If you do, you might get a response. And if you don't, then you may never get another opportunity to find out.