I was nauseated. My stomach tingled and I was starting to get dizzy.
“Just go do it,” I told my friend. “Start telling everyone.”
“Are you sure?” my friend said.
“Just do it; I don’t even care anymore.”
That was a lie. But considering the trouble simply “acting gay” had caused me since elementary school, I was wary of making my sexuality official.
I wasn’t worried about being called a faggot or a homo—after eight years homophobic insults don’t faze me.
No, I was worried about social shunning or avoidance.
But fortunately, I have experienced the exact opposite since my coming-out. My friendships have been strengthened and new ones have been formed.
A few teachers have approached me to express their congratulations.
These reactions made me highly optimistic. Everything was getting better. And everything would continue to get better.
Until recently, I had assumed college would be more or less without homophobia, as I plan on attending a liberal arts college.
But, that’s not the case apparently—at least not according to Parker Murray, ‘10, who recently wrote a column for Swarthmore College’s Daily Gazette.
Murray attended a fraternity party at Swarthmore, where he is a sophomore, shortly after he came out.
There a “hulking” and “slightly intoxicated” frat member threw him out of the party telling him, “No fags allowed.”
Five or six frat members looked on, one of whom was Murray’s good friend, and said nothing.
Swarthmore of all places. Somehow I thought liberal arts colleges were devoid of this mentality.
I mean, I’m sure there are a few bigots, but shouldn’t someone have said something?
Most of the responses (there are over 100) to Murray’s story strongly supported him.
But, regardless, it’s demoralizing. Liberal arts colleges are supposed to be, well, liberal—perhaps the most liberal communities in the U.S.
Each comment on the story can be “liked” or “disliked” by other readers. While each of the positive comments had many likes, they also had several dislikes.
Four readers “disliked” this comment: “Thank you so much for sharing your story, Parker. That took a lot of courage. I think what you said is going to have quite a lot of impact.”
I guess no matter where you go, some people can’t move past their basic insecurities.
But, that’s not what I’ve encountered here. And I thank everyone at the school for making it that way.