LANGSTON, OKLAHOMA – Langston University was a choice out of three different universities. My choices were between Lincoln University in M, Tougaloo College in Miss., or Texas College in Texas. I chose Langston. I thought Langston University would give me an experience that I would never forget and it did. I had a few friends that went to Langston also, which is another reason why I chose Langston. My friends that attended Langston told me that I would have a blast, and that I would meet so many different people from different places, and I would fit in easily. Little did I know I was in for it.
The first day of school at Langston was rough because I was gay. In my elementary algebra class the class was packed and I saw one seat available. So I sat down. The guy next to me immediately got up and moved his seat from me and he told the teacher he wasn’t sitting by a faggot. Then a girl traded him seats.
Another time I was going in the restroom in Moore Hall, and as I walked in a guy said this isn’t the girl’s restroom. Then he and his friends began to laugh. As I walked to the business office a woman and her son walked by and the words “gay boy” trembled out of her son’s mouth. Then as I walked in the cafeteria to eat, people stared, mugged and whispered things about me.
Another time I was at a football game and I walked up the blenchers to find a few friends. This man told his son to close his eyes when I walked by and said, “Don’t look at that faggot.” Then when I finally got up to the top of the bleachers, my friends were sitting with their boyfriends and as I sat down their boyfriends left and told them they would see them later.
At a conference, a teacher asked me why I called this girl a bitch. I told her because she called me a faggot. The teacher said, “You are a faggot. A bitch is a female dog. Is that girl you called a bitch walking on four legs?” After that comment I left the classroom. Being at Langston has been one of the most miserable times of my life. Students are rude and mean. I ask myself what did I do to make people hate me so much. I feel like less than a person. As I walk the campus of Langston University, there’s always rude comments and laughter being done behind my back.
Why is it that I’m being discriminated against by my own race? We’re all African- Americans and our ancestors went through the same things. Our skin is the same. If someone shot a bullet at me I will feel it just like everyone else. I’m no different-just my sexual preference. We are all equal. So why is it that a lot of people discriminate against me because of my sexual orientation? I don’t discriminate against anybody and I don’t judge anybody, so why do I have to feel less than somebody? Sometimes I cry myself to sleep every night in my room, wanting so badly to go home. I just want to get my plane ticket back to California and leave Langston behind. The only reason I’m still here is because God and my mother. They gave me the strength, courage and faith to stay alive, and to not feel so depressed because of who I am. If people don’t like me that’s their problem, not mine. I must be doing something right if my name is in other people’s mouths. I’m not at Langston University to make friends or to argue with students. I’m here for my education, just like the rest of the students. I deserve the same respect as everyone else. I know I’m a good person and there is a place for me in society. I am a proud gay African-American.
from The LU Gazette
Posts Tagged ‘Gay’
I finally watched the film Milk this summer. I loved the movie and was enthralled by Sean Penn’s performance. But I couldn’t help but feel a bit disheartened about how little some things have changed in the 31 years since Harvey Milk’s assassination.
Sure, same-sex marriage is now legal in a handful of the United States and same-sex domestic partnerships enjoy the same employment perks as heterosexual ones at many forward-thinking companies. But between Proposition 8 being overturned in California, conservative forces using Referendum 71 to try to overturn Washington state’s same-sex domestic partnership laws, and gays in the military still expected to keep mum about their sex lives, progress seems glacial at times.
In July, Wall Street Journal columnist Alexandra Levit offered up these sobering statistics:
“A recent Harris poll conducted with Out & Equal and Witeck-Combs Communications indicated that 44% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participants feel unable to talk freely to co-workers about their partners, and up to 78% don’t feel comfortable bringing their partners to corporate social functions.”
Admittedly, I’ve always worked for LGBT-friendly employers. So I haven’t witnessed firsthand an officemate having to hide the details of his or her personal life.
Curious about where my gay and lesbian pals now stood on coming out at work, I took an informal poll. Their answers ran the gamut: Those with gay-friendly employers didn’t bat an eye at putting a picture of their partner on their desk or bringing them to company events. But some who worked in much more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment kept quiet about their personal lives.
“I’d love to give you a quote using my real name,” said one pal who works in academia. “But I’m trying to get tenure and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”
A few responses took me completely by surprise:
“I’m not flamboyant, but it was obvious from the start that I was gay,” said Michael, a pal from the San Francisco Bay Area who works at a boutique car dealership, a workplace he says is pretty macho and prone lots of locker room talk.
“I never hid my partner at all,” Michael continued. “My co-workers have all met him, and he’s always included in dinners and parties.”
What about his straight co-workers’ boasts of their latest dating conquests?
“I give it right back to them, and everyone takes it and laughs,” said Michael, who’s well aware that he and his colleagues could never get away with that much oversharing at other companies.
Say what you will about a bunch of bored office guys getting lewd around the water cooler, but the fact that my friend doesn’t have to worry about his professional reputation — or worse, his personal safety — for crowing right along with them is progress.
from The Seattle Times
PROVO, UTAH – We are so used to the idea that science can give us answers that we rarely even challenge the assumption. But according to Daniel N. Robinson, an Oxford University philosophy professor and author, we need much more than scientific facts to answer the question, “What is a human being?”
Robinson used the shifting attitudes about homosexuality and imaginary visitors from Mars to illustrate how science falls short when explaining human individuals.
“It is more or less taken for granted, by persons facing the moral and social dimensions of life in the modern world, that the surest guide to the right decisions and the right attitudes will be supplied by science,” Robinson said at the Truman G. Madsen Eternal Man Lecture, sponsored by BYU’s Wheatley Institution.
Robinson demonstrated the problem through an imaginary visitor from Mars who came to find out what types of creatures live here. After consulting with scientists, the visitor returns to Mars to give his report. “A human being is a body that is 50 to 75 percent water. The percentage of water depends on the total amount of fat. On average, each human being is comprised of enough sodium chloride to fill three salt shakers. In the infant stage, the average amount of potassium is between seven and eight grams.”
“The question that arises, obviously,” Robinson said, “is whether the Martian community, in possession of all these facts, has even the foggiest notion of just what a human being is! Offered as an answer to the question, ‘What is a human being?’ this body of facts constitutes a deception — a falsehood. … these are ‘false facts.’”
Only about 30 years ago, an essay by Gerald C. Davison argued that homosexuality should not be treated as a disease. Instead, Davison argued that homosexuality should be treated so patients could achieve more social acceptability. Robinson said that Davison’s essay had no assumption that homosexuality was immutable and couldn’t be changed.
Today the focus is on whether the homosexual impulse is inborn or even changeable. Robinson pointed to a 1991 article by Simon LeVay that found a difference in the hypothalamus structure between homosexual and heterosexual men.
“I think it is fair to say, that had such a finding been available in the 1950s, it would have been conclusive proof that homosexuality is a pathological condition, as evidenced by the homosexual’s ‘abnormal’ cellular morphology,” Robinson said.
Robinson then wondered aloud whether those homosexuals who have embraced a heterosexual lifestyle have also had a concomitant change in their hypothalamus. He asked this question, he said, to illustrate the simplification that scientists apply to the human condition.
“I offer these remarks on the scientific understanding of homosexuality to make clear that the (commonly accepted) ‘facts’ of science not only carry cultural and political weight — no matter how carefully concealed — but very often seem to be shaped and even ‘discovered’ by way of factors that are themselves ineliminably political,” he said.
Human behavior and human values are filtered in the social sciences to serve political ends, according to Robinson. “It is to abandon the mission to understand in favor of the impulse to control.”
Reducing explanations to their simplest forms has a purpose in science, but the danger is to take too much away that can explain the human condition. There is an “alphabet of man” according to Robinson — a collection of the needful things for understanding humanity. Take away a vowel or a consonant and understanding is impossible.
Robinson believes there is more to mankind that mere facts. “All animals provide some form of shelter for themselves, but this surely is not a model of the Acropolis or the Cathedral at Chartres, neither of which was intended for shelter. Patterns of aggression are found throughout the animal kingdom, but only we are prepared to die for a principle, for a belief in something higher and more significant than our individual lives.”
There is something in mankind that can’t be named, quantified or measured according to Robinson. “If we attempt to hold it in consciousness, it darts away. … It seems to be repelled by what is merely earthly. Those of its features which we can glimpse more readily in other lives than in our own suggest at once a moral and aesthetic dimension,” he said. “When this is sensed or felt, no matter how fleetingly, there seems to be an expansion of the very terms of life itself.”
from The Mormon Times