July 30, 2012

Anonymous Posts (7.16.12-7.30.12)

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. :)

Sorry about the gap between Anonymous Postings, I've been busy with personal stuff. This means that we have a LOT of posts for today. Much love to everyone who wrote in.

Now, notes from OC:

Why I dislike the term "gay pride" It seems to me to be a gross misuse of language, a distortion of the way words work. But it's understandable that this term, "pride," is so widely misused by our community. It's American. We grow up in a society where people feel national pride, racial pride, cultural pride. But this doesn't make it forgivable. Pride is a concept that belongs to the idea of achievement. If you work really hard and you accomplish something, develop a skill, succeed in some respect, then you are entitled to be prideful. But using the term pride to refer to your racial identity, national identity, or sexual identity is nothing more than to take the accomplishments of others as your own. People who claim to be proud to be white ride off the success of other white people. How can you take pride in the success of someone else solely based on an accidental feature you two share? The same thing belongs to national pride. Getting wrapped up in being proud to be an American *usually* means taking the success of other Americans and applying that to yourself (there are exceptions where it is a group effort that you are in fact a part of). The thing these two share in common is that one finds satisfaction in a feature of oneself that one had no control over. You didn't choose to be American and you didn't work towards your American identity. You didn't choose your race and you didn't do anything whatsoever to be able to identify with that race. The concept of pride simply does not belong. Pride is reserved for endeavors you, yourself strive for. With regard to gay pride, I don't even understand what one means by saying that one is "proud to be gay." In fact, that sounds inane to me. Why are you proud of this feature? Are you proud that you have a penis? Are you proud that you have a left arm? Are you proud that your hair is brown? Are you proud of your green eyes? Are you proud that you have both a functioning thumb AND pinky? These are features of you that you had no part in. I suppose one could say that they are proud that they had the courage to come out in the face of adversity. That is a perfectly legitimate thing to be proud of. However, that is not what one says when one says "I'm proud to be gay."

I feel in love with a girl and she broke m heart. I'm ready to do it again

I'm an incoming freshman at Duke. I'm gay, but I'm only out to a couple of people back home, and I'm confused as to what to do once I get on campus. I haven't reached the point where I am comfortable enough to be out to everyone, but I really don't want to enter college under the disguise of a heterosexual (like I've been doing my whole life) and have to go through the coming out process later. I want to get to campus in August with comfort in who I am and no need to put on an act. But, like I said, I don't think I'm quite ready to do that at the moment. Advice?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/07/18/macklemore_n_1684116.html this song is really good! I love that it doesn't sound like he's forcing the material into the music... It flows really well.

[sigh] So, I'm an incoming first-year student, and I'd like to say I love every single thing about Duke and I'm so super duper excited to be a Blue Devil (like everyone here seems to do). However as of late, I've had some concerns. Right before applying and right after I got accepted, I had this notion inside my head that Duke was sooooo accepting of the LGBT community, and that as soon as I step on campus, I will be engulfed by a progressive castle-like wonderland of open-mindedness. My reasoning for this being Duke's selective-nature (I guess the correlation of college selectivity and open-mindedness really DOESN'T imply causation haha) This is important to me because I've been in the closet for my entire life and only out to a handful of gay guys that I know. I thought that coming to college, I'd be given a chance to be more open and happier about my sexuality. However in the last few weeks, I've started being more realistic and coming to terms with the fact that Duke has a reasonable presence of bigoted students. I guess I shouldn't have gone to CollegiateACB (I was so disappointed in the Duke student body for this) and I guess I shouldn't have read the June 18th anonymous post for this site. I'm just worried that I'm not going to be as comfortable on campus as I'd like to be and frankly, I've been flirting with the idea of transferring. I just want to get some input from current students. Is it really as bad as I think it is (PLEASE BE HONEST)? Is the (small) LGBT community here cliquey? I already have strikes against me with Duke being that I am not really a party monster, not really into hookups, and that I am a QPOC. Ugh this is frustrating!

Anyone else down to get the chick-fil-a off our campus? It's not like they're ever open anyways, amiright?

Please remember that there are a number of resources available on campus and in the local community. 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. #1:
    I think the idea might be that one isn't ashamed of who they are. Not so much that they think that who they are makes them better than other people, just that they wouldn't change that part of themselves if given the chance.

    All I can say is that I did something similar. I came to Duke in the closet, and wasn't sure whether I was going to come out. Eventually I was with a group of people I was rapidly becoming friends with and sexuality came up. One of them came out, and so I just decided (on an impulse) to come out too. I found it was a lot easier to come out at the beginning of school so I could make a new start (I know that's a cliche). Now, if you don't feel that impulse to come out, then I wouldn't advise you to. It's all about when you're ready. Also, talk to Janie Long at the LGBT Center. She is sooooooo helpful for this kind of thing. (She helped me out big time.)

    Your concerns are very reasonable. So, I had never heard about Collegiate ACB before you mentioned it, so I looked it up. Wow. Just... wow. Now I'd be lying if I said that those people don't exist, but I can tell you 100% honestly that I don't run into them nearly ever on a daily basis. So, to give context about myself: I don't really ever go to parties (I went to about 3-4 all year, including a birthday party for a friend and just testing to see if I'd like them at all), I'm in a long distance relationship so I don't ever do hookups. In my experience here I've made great friends, many of which are in the LGBT community and are compatible with how I like to live. In fact, I have more LGBT friends in college than I have had friends (of any sexual orientation) in my entire life. Now, I cannot speak from experience about how being a person of color affects your experience in the LGBT community, though I know there are a variety of viewpoints. So I guess to answer your final question, no it isn't horrible, but it isn't perfect either. Honestly, the experience of LGBT people at Duke is different for every LGBT person. I understand your frustration, but I urge you to come and experience Duke for yourself before making a decision like transferring. At the very least, I'd like to meet you!


  2. Replace the chickfila with Zaxby's!!! Mmmm Texas toast

  3. #3:
    I was in the same situation as you when I came to college. I was out to only a handful of friends but wanted to start a clean slate in college. I couldn't bare the thought of pretending any longer but also wasn't ready to have a huge coming out. So, I kind of came out slowly, just to test the waters. I would never mention my sexuality to others unless they asked or I felt comfortable enough around them to do so. I never lied and said I was straight either. I treated my sexuality as something that I would only discuss if the topic came up. That worked pretty well for me. It allowed me to create my own safety network amongst close friends who gave me the strength and courage to be more open about my sexuality. That's when I started visiting the LGBT Center and other events and eventually started writing for this blog. My advice: take it slow, but be honest. No need to shout it from the top of the chapel if you don't want to. Just be true to yourself and the rest will come naturally. (i'm so sorry for that horrendously, cheesy line.)

    As someone who was at Duke during the peak of popularity of Juicy Campus (CollegeACB's predecessor), I can undoubtedly say that the views expressed on those websites represent a fraction of a fraction of a tenth of the people you are likely to meet on campus (only slightly exaggerating). I've even heard rumors that most of those posts and comments are made by a handful of people. It DOES NOT represent in any way, shape, or form of the majority of Duke's populace. Are there people who actually believe the stuff that is on that website? Yes. No need to fool ourselves there. But do you ever actually meet those people/ see those manifested in real life? Not from my experience. As a queer man of color who was heavily involved in several different aspects of Duke, I can say that I personally did not encounter anyone who openly expressed those views to me. I found Duke to be an incredibly accepting place, although I do know others who can't fully say the same. It is different for every person. As far as the cliques go, I can honestly say that the queer population has come a long way in not being as cliquey as it once was. There was a time when you could walk into the center and be completely ignored if you weren't one of the in-crowd. I would be shocked if that happened today. The comfort and happiness I found here at Duke is one of the reasons that I am so happy to be sticking around here for another year or so. I've made many extremely close friendships inside and outside of the LGBT community and I wasn't quite ready to let that go yet. :)

  4. #5 -

    Hi there, I just graduated this past year. I am not a QPOC, so I can't speak to that experience from my personal time at Duke. I do know that it was clearly expressed to me by QPOC that Duke IS difficult place to be out, queer and a person of color. But then again, other (less numerous) QPOC found it to be a great experience, from what they shared with me.

    Unfortunately the Center still doesn't do enough with other diverse centers on campus in terms of collaborating students together; they do like "official" events but the student groups themselves rarely mingle to promote actual effective student to student change. As a white queer person, I also felt like there is a HUGE element of white privilege in the Center - like I know, it's everywhere right? But I guess I thought as queer individuals we would be better at catching it. Sure, at least those in the Center will talk about it (which might be a step beyond other groups on campus) but I think the implict actions unfortunately still show that the Center is NOT perfect.

    I don't think you should be scared to come to Duke as a LGBT person by any means. It can be AMAZING - it was for me, until I got a bit burned out. There IS a constant assault of diverse identities at Duk, and it hurts the most when it comes from within the LGBT community itself; racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia EVEN WITHIN our own community. So what does this tell us? Duke still has a LONG way to go but it has also improved SO much.

    Honestly, I would not expect it to be a haven - but I would say that Duke has SO much to offer, heck, just even in the realm of the classroom. Maybe do a few things with the Center and do a lot of other things on campus (dont stretch yourself too thin though! a common mistake, and sadly one that we almost all have to make many times before we truly learn it in college) that way you don't put ALL your energy into the Center and then when it rears its ugly head of NOT being a perfect community, you won't be dissapointed.

    In other words, take what you need from the Center, don't expect perfection, and honestly it's probably going to be a lot of fun. I know others here will speak personally to the QPOC experience. I wish I could say more on that - the last 3-4 paragraphs are just about my experience, that I was able to find it to be a good space even though it's not perfect. But again I wonder if being white and queer allows me to feel more welcome/comfortable. Eh. It's not perfect. But I think you might like it. I hope you do!

    Good luck!

  5. #5:

    I'm not queer either, but a lot of my friends are, and I think you really don't need to be part of the LGBT community at Duke to be happy and LGBT at Duke. I think anyone *can* be part of that community, but if you check out the Center and feel that it's not for you, you don't have to be involved. Or you might check out the Center and love it and feel that you want it to be the center of your Duke experience, and that's great too! I think it's gotten a lot more welcoming recently.

    Like other people said, you can totally ignore CollegeACB. It's the worst. I don't feel like I've ever been friends with someone who took it seriously.

    Finally, though, I have to advise you not to transfer until you've spent a year at Duke. I had a really, really bad first semester transitioning into being at Duke, and I was pretty sure I was going to transfer. But then I came back in January and it was like something just clicked on - I recognized what an amazing place Duke is and what kind of amazing friends I had made without realizing it. I think one of the biggest things I needed to succeed here was to find my place. It's much easier to find your place if you're into the Greek system, but if you're not (I am not), you still will. It just might take a little more time. Give us a chance :) I hope you'll love it!