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Vol. 24, No. 2 Nov. 1997
The Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians and Allies for Diversity Journal
Believe Me, I'm Not
by Andrea Main
When I started writing these
columns, my sister cautioned me not to
intentionally offend anyone. So far, I’ve
managed to do a relatively respectable
job of holding my tongue. Just ask any
However, the other day, I heard
a conversation so inane I could not let it
pass without comment. The discussion
took place late one night on my hall. It
went something like this;
Freshman#!: Why are there so
many B-GLAD signs up this week?
Junior: Because of the national
gay “Celebration Week.”
Freshman #2: Ewww. I heard
about that. My friends told me to stay
out of the Pit this week because the les
bians will try to convert you
Freshman # 1: Really?
The junior eventually con
vinced the freshmen that no one was
going to approach them (and, if some
one did, they could simply say “no,
thanks just like they would with a guy).
Nonetheless, their conversa
tion amazes me. Do Freshman #2’s
friends really alter their daily path to
avoid a fictitious encounter? And is this
lesbian-conversion myth so convincing
that Freshman #1 believes it?
I suppose the conversation it
self was not of immense importance, but
it still serves as a fine example of the
homophobia and ignorance on this “lib
eral zoo” of a campus. And sadly, it is
definitely not the only example of gay
bashing at UNC.
Another illustration of UNC’s
“open-mindedness” occurs when homo
sexuals are harassed by drunken stu
Yes, this actually has hap-
_ pened. And to more than one person on
more than one occasion. For example,
one gay resident of Spencer Hall was
awakened one night by her roommate’s
drunken sorority sisters pounding on the
door and yelling homophobic obsceni
ties. Since when has gay-bashing be
come North Campus’ new alarm clock?
Greek organizations may pro
test that they are gay-friendly. But re
ally, how many of them — and I mean
the ones around Fraternity Court—have
openly gay members? Or would admit
a homosexual without blinking an eye?
Or cracking a joke?
My guess? None.
What about the Carolina Re
view? How much would it appreciate (or
publish) a homo-fiiendly review? Judg
ing from some of their past articles, not
I suppose this blatant
homophobia is not too bad — after all,
everyone is entitled to his or her opin
What really scares me is the
subtle queer bashing. I cannot tell you
the number of times my fiiends have
made “harmless” remarks about gays.
The type where the speaker, when
pressed to explain his remark, usually
replies “Oh, well I didn’t mean it that
At one of my jobs in Chapel
Hill, somebody posted a story which
uses “homosexual” as its punch line. My
former co-workers claimed the story
was all in good spirit and should not
bother anyone. But if they had to go out
of their way to justify it, shouldn’t they
have realized that it probably would of
Or, better still, why did one of
my hallmates suddenly stop speaking to
a girl who wore a rainbow sticker on
National Coming Out Day? And just
think, the girl who wore the sticker isn’t
Imagine what this hallmate
will do when she discovers that I am.
Personally, I’m scared.
Perhaps I am being overly
paranoid when I tell fiiends that I am
going on a date with “someone” instead
of “some girl.” But it’s hard not to be
when every week I hear some deroga
tory remark .— intentional or uninten
tional — about homosexuals.
Oftentimes , it’s a variation of “I saw
some dyke today. I just know that she
was checking out my legs.”
The people making these com
ments are not being mean or malicious.
They are simply making an insensitive
statement which lets me know that they
wouldn’t appreciate the latest install
ment of my love hfe.
My point? Simple. People need
to be more aware of the impact of then-
words. Honestly, I find such off-the-cuff
remarks to be more intimidating than
any number of malicious taunts.
Everyone — including gays —
should be more aware of the messages
we convey. After all, stereotypes of ho
mosexuals are just that: stereotypes.
Think of the times when you have heard
sentences like “All homosexuals (oh,
how about, recycle?)” or “Anyone who
listens to Ani Difranco is bisexual” or
“I hate it when faggots check me but “
or (my personal favorite) “I know he’s
a cocksucker because he wears pink
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