February 25, 2013

Anonymous Posts (2.18.13-2.25.13)

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 y'all! After roughly a month of no Anonymous Posts, we got a bunch this past week. We hope you enjoy reading them, and keep sending them in!



#1:
Yo it was totally cool of the athletics department to bring in the You Can Play people to talk to all the first year athletes about homophobia in sport, but it was totally not cool of the You Can Play people to be super sexist and a lil homophobic themselves. The platform where three recently graduated college athletes, two gay men and a bisexual woman, talked about their experiences coming out as athletes was a really good idea and I think it made more of an impact on people than just having someone get up and talk about the possibility of there being gay people in the sports world, but that one guy was a real a-hole (and the guy who was in charge wasn't the most professional either). Laughingly telling a roomful of freshmen that you decided to fuck your girlfriend a lot senior year to try and convince yourself you were not gay and later following to say you feel bad for straight guys cause you get tired of listening to girls talk when you have to talk to them at bars or that all the girls in a gay bar would want you if you were the one straight guy there sort of seems like you might be shitting on girls a little bit. But let's all really be respectful of one another! Really! Also when you make sidelong comments about "aggressive" gay people at a pride parade it seems like you're not really helping your cause. But no worries, "If You Can Play (and you're a bro) You Can Play"

#2:
I am really into this guy, but he's in a fraternity and not completely out. I'm not sure how to go about asking him out when I'm not 'supposed' to know he's gay in the first place. The thing is, I see him all over campus (BC, gym, plaza, bus stop) and I really want to engage him in a conversation, but I'm not sure how. What should I do?

#3:
It makes me sad that there have been no anonymous posts in a month!!!!

#4:
http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/column-my-image-me-versus-my-image-gay Almost 10 years later it looks like many of us face this same identity crisis.

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).

February 8, 2013

W 4th Street & Memory Lane

Gay Liberation by George Segal (1980)

It was a cold, murky day in New York on the date of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. That morning I was exploring Greenwich Village and decided to have a brunch in a cozy cafĂ© on Bleecker Street to watch the president’s speech. It was a typical New York coffee shop (cash only, indie music playing in the background). A tiny television hanging on the vintage brick wall showed the inaugural ceremonies. The music in the shop was turned down by the time the president came up to take the oath and give his speech. One excerpt from the speech stood out to me immediately:

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

It was nothing short of a historical moment. This was the first time a president had mentioned the gay rights movement in an inaugural address, and President Obama had just done this  boldly by putting in the context of two other struggles for civil rights, both for women and African Americans.

The Stonewall Riots, to which the president referred, took place in 1969 in the Village as a reaction to the police department’s closing of the nearby Stonewall Inn, a covert gay bar. It is credited with igniting the modern gay rights movement, and the first gay pride parades were held to commemorate the riots

I just so happened to stumble upon Christopher Park later that day as I was looking for the subway station. This is where to Stonewall Riots started. This day, though, there were not any riots. It was mostly quiet in the Village due to the holiday and chilly conditions. There was just an occasional jogger or mother pushing a stroller beneath the overcast sky.

In the park is a sculpture by George Segal entitled Gay Liberation. It depicts two men standing and two women sitting, both couples in natural, relaxed poses. The statues are bronze with a coating of white paint, and a plaque nearby describes the significance of the park’s history.

I was obviously not present for the riots, but I could not help but think of the huge contrast between now and then. In 1969, homosexuality was not only taboo in New York City and most of the country, but there were specific laws barring gay relations. Gays lived in the shadows and risked imprisonment for going to bars like the Stonewall Inn. But now same-sex marriages are allowed within six states and counting, including New York. And Rhode Island seems to be the next one to join the party. Back then, the city police were sent to shut down a gay nightclub but now the President of the United States was announcing to both the country and the world his commitment to marriage equality and LGBT rights.

To be sure, many members of the LGBT community are still persecuted in many places around the world. But it is quite astounding to think of the seismic shifts which have occurred in just four decades, and are still taking place. Sitting in the park stirred up many feelings in me, but the strongest one was pride in our progress and the warriors who brought us here.

February 6, 2013

Quasi-Steady State

In biochemistry, transport, and other realms of differential equations, when attempting to solve for an explicit solution to what the concentration is at a certain time or location, that we assume that the tiny fluctuations in concentration over time are so minimal that they can be ignored. Thus, we assume a quasi-steady state, where the change in concentration over time is zero.

My life has been at a quasi-steady state, with really nothing new to talk about. The research is gaining speed, while I've also retired my positions from the IQA (trading one activity for another). I suppose the only new activity in my life has been trying out acting, of which I've been in one show for Antic Shakespeare last semester and will be in one show this semester.

I suppose there's not too much to say. I was in a relationship for about a month, and then it ended. Last semester's classes and headache were traded in for new classes this semester and more headache (lab reports should not take 24 continuous hours to complete). I've seen my activities flow in, and flow out, leaving me at a steady state in this realm. I guess I can't really complain.

Sometimes I wish I could break out of this steady state, but it is rather comfortable. Maybe I'll take another risk and find another relationship some day soon. Regrettably, any perturbations outside of this stability are not strong enough to reach a new steady state. Perhaps analyzing this mathematically is one of the reasons why I am single, but you know what? I'm okay with that.

It is only a quasi-state because I know that things are changing for me and around me. But maybe, for now, I don't need to worry about things changing in relationships. Maybe I can assume that the change is zero.


February 4, 2013

Anonymous Posts (1.29.13-2.4.13)

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 folks, no anonymous posts this week. If you have anything to say, be sure to submit something in our sidebar.

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).