Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gay? Fine by me.

I saw a lot of t-shirts that bore this saying today. This should be expected however seeing as today is the day of silence supporting LGBT students.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with what the shirts say. But wearing them to UW-Madison is about the equivalent of wearing a shirt that says, "Catholic? Fine by me." to the Vatican.


At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you believe that, then try holding another male's hand while walking down Langdon or State Street at bartime. Don't allow people to think it's a joke. Pretend he's your boyfriend; peck him on the cheek. Then, report back.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Scott Mehring said...

Touche. However, what some drunk assholes will do is not limited to gay people. Case in point, I was harrassed by some drunk guy on a friday night for walking home with a backpack on. He ran up to me, put his arm around me and started to make fun of me. They guy went so far as trying to provoke a fight when I told him to remove his arm from around my neck.

I don't think using drunk peers as an example works as there are an infinite number of stimuli that will cause you to be harrassed, provoked, etc. by drunks.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point is along the lines of Kenji Yoshino's thesis in his new book, Covering. The reason we don't see more visible anti-gay harassment on the UW campus is because gay people (and gay men especially) so frequently cover their gayness. I avoid holding my boyfriend's hand anywhere on campus, during the day or the night, because when I've done so in the past, the word "faggot" has inevitably followed. No exageration. Every single time.

Not to say those t-shirts are any solution. I think they're a little lame. Just that the problem isn't (or isn't usually) some fiction that gay folks author in order to garner victim points.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Scott Mehring said...

Very interesting, anon. Thanks for your input and willingness to stay civil unlike so many in the blogosphere.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger J.P. McFarv said...

Just for the record, I used to kiss my boyfriend around campus all the time and and we were never harassed.
Your point, anon, is why I feel like the day of silence doesn't acomplish much. The community invests so much time and effort in awareness programs, not unlike the day of silence, and you, and other gays, still live in fear of harassment and the like.
I don't have a solution to the problem but I do know that what is currently being advertised as the solution certainly is not.

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Scott Mehring said...

very interesting, indeed.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a rational creature, J.P. (what your field, interestingly, calls homo economicus): I fear harassment because I've been harassed with enough regularity to establish a pattern. "Fear" might not even be the right word. More to the point: I generally avoid situations in which the possibility of harassment increases.

I agree about the ineffective nature of Day of Silence and other identity-politics type programs. (I even hate the word "community.")

My point merely is to dispute the answer "Madison" in the following: Catholic is to Vatican as gay is to ___________.

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