Everyone wants to fit in whether they want to admit it or not. Even though we’re a gay community, we’re not going to say that there aren’t times where we wish to fit in a lot better than we do. Even as adults, we still look back on our school days and wish that people could just accept us the way we are. Unfortunately, people aren’t always that accepting or forgiving.
As more gay youth find the courage to graduate from high school and start thinking about college, a question hangs in the air: should you be openly gay on campus? Can you be openly gay on campus without risking your entire college career?
There are plenty of openly gay students. I think the question is unfair, because not everyone wants to be openly gay. Not everyone wants to open that part of their life up to public scrutiny. You can’t expect for zero criticism to take place. Anytime you reveal that something about you is different, people are going to talk about it.
Coping with the College Crowd
College is rough because no one really teaches you how to cope. You will find your “niche” in college as long as you stand up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to be weird. Many, many college students are waking up and realizing that being against gays is wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, and we need to treat it as a healthy, normal part of someone’s sexuality.
The changes, in our opinion, also start from within the gay community. Pressuring someone else is come out is never okay. On the other hand, we should be encouraging to other people that want to be out, but find that they just can’t get themselves to commit to such a big change right away. If your university has a group for LGBT people, join it. If there’s a bigger group in the city where your university is located, join it! You won’t meet like minded people unless you go out there. Some gay people expect everything to be handed to them, and that’s just not the case.
We’re not saying that you’re automatically going to get along with other LGBT youth, just because you share a designation. That’s not the point of this. The point is to find people that you’re going to resonate with. Being locked up in your dorm room isn’t going to help your social life.
Should you “come out” to professors and other staff members? Not as much as you might think. For staff that will be potentially involved in social issues, it might be a good thing to “own up” to being gay. But for your run of the mill professor that is grading your papers and teaching you different subjects? It’s frankly none of their business what your sexuality is. You’re free to love whoever you want to love. The school should have a strong anti-discriminatory policy. But here’s the thing about those politics: they only work when you’re committed to speaking up. If someone is threatening you, file a complaint. Get help. Don’t just assume that your voice will be silenced because you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.
We know firsthand how tough college can be, so we’ll touch on the subject numerous times before the school year is over.