ate crimes. Bias related incidents. Ignorance. Free speech. Elizabethtown College is at a crossroads. Some students are passionate about calling attention to these incidents. Others believe the events are isolated and blown out of proportion. I don’t consider myself a victim. I am however a target.
Let me give you a brief overview of what my life as a gay male is like. I have zero potential relationships. Literally zero. I’m not like most guys. I can’t go to a party and chat up a girl and find out if we are compatible. If I do that to a guy my chances of him being gay are very slim and for this area, I’m likely to get punched in the face. On the rare occasion you find a gay guy, you face enormous pressure. It’s like saying that two people are straight so they must have so much in common and will be perfect for each other.
I live in a conservative area. Where am I supposed to go? I don’t have a car so I can’t really drive to nearby colleges and attend their LGBTQ clubs. I can’t go to bars or clubs. I run into the same problem of finding who is gay and who is not. It doesn’t help that all gay clubs and bars are over a half hour away and only accept ages 21 and up. It is a crushing loneliness that you don’t know how to fight. What’s more, you have no one to relate to and you feel utterly alone.
I want what everyone wants. I want someone. I want someone to support me and I to support them. I want to hold them close in times of trouble and in times of joy. I want to laugh with them. I want long talks about everything and nothing while lying out beneath the stars. I want thrilling travel and I want the serenity of a home. I want someone to share life with.
I have wonderful friend and faculty support. They are part of my family. No one wants to be alone and that’s what I feel. I’ve resigned myself to being single. I just hope that my suffering and the current suffering of LGBTQ students will be enough of a price to make sure that future LGBTQ students won’t have to carry the same pain.
I live in a world where every day is uncertain. I don’t know how people will react to who I am. I live in a world where there is no hope of finding someone I can send cute texts too. No hope of walking hand in hand to class. No Valentine’s Day. The fear of being alone is small compared to the knowledge of being alone.
I don’t need to hear the things I’ve heard. I don’t need the whispers, stifled laughter and accusing looks. I don’t need hateful messages written on boards. I don’t need people telling me that it is their “right” to hate me. I don’t need people saying “that’s so gay” or “fag” but they mean no offense to gay people, because it is offensive. If you mean that something is terrible or stupid then say that, don’t associate my sexuality with negative qualities. I don’t need people saying that LGBTQ students are getting favors or are being treated differently. For once we are beginning to be treated as equals. The LLC is meant to be a safe haven and place of peace for the students who just want to live happily. Gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, cisgender, intersex, questioning, queer, etc. All are welcome.
What I don’t need most of all is people saying that these reports are nothing, isolated incidents, or blown out of proportion. I wish that was the case, I truly do. My deepest wish is that everyone could own up to their ignorance and ask for education and to understand. Peace does not come from hateful words and refusal to talk. I am always open and willing to talk.
However, there is one act in particular that needs to be called attention to. For those of you that read the emails you may have seen something referred to as “gay drinking day.” For some of you this is the first time hearing about this. I call upon Etown to provide you with the full details of this shameful event. There is a difference between not wanting to glorify the criminals and sweeping things under the rug. The College is doing a lot for social justice and I thank them for that. However, an example must be made of the criminals and the event must be brought to light. Know that not informing the campus body of these demeaning acts are the same thing as supporting it.