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Monday, April 06, 2009

Real talk

Within the last week my religion class talked about homosexuality at Morehouse. I mention this knowing that for a lot of people this is a very touchy subject and I will always strive to be honest, but respectful to those who may hold views that are supportive of homosexuals or not supportive of homosexuals.

Let me just say for the most part I'm a live and let live person. A man being gay has no bearing on me what so ever and it's not my business who such an individual may choose to have a relationship with. I aim not to get into his business and I would hope that he may respect my POV on homosexuality which is along the lines of it's unnatural.

That being said let me start with this. My religion professor referred to this event that occurred at Morehouse many years ago. A former student was sent to prison when he assaulted another Morehouse student who accidentally ripped open his shower curtain looking for his roommate. The assault was with an aluminum baseball bat and seeming payback because this other student was pulled out of the shower himself.

Basically our professor wanted to dialogue with us just to ascertain the feelings of the student body on the topic of homosexuality and in the classroom setting many were very respectful on the issue. A few didn't announce any "homophobia", but they did try to preferace what they didn't like about gays on campus.

Most announced their dislike of those gentlemen who walk around on campus as if they're women. I don't necessarily mean that these young men were walking around effeminetly (I mean that is a general stereotype), but some of these young men essential dress and make themselves up as if they are women. One guy mentioned that one dude showed up in Crown Forum with his nails colorfully polished.

I could have noted what I saw in the cafeteria a few weeks ago. A couple of young men sitting with what I will assume are gay men, well one was made up as if he was a woman with a doo-rag on his head and wearing eyelashes. Another who got up to leave was sporting a "Pink" branded pair of sweatpants and a pair of women's boots with those strips danging from them.

One guy did try to make a distinction. To him being gay is a man who likes a man, but a man trying to be a woman and they like men is on another level. A lot of guys called this confusion. I would agree with that there is some confusion about not sexual orientation but sexual identity. That's not necessarily what I want to focus on here.

A lot of the guys in class would talk about the issue in the vein of the "Morehouse Mystique". Honestly I've never gotten a handle on this, but an example might be a Morehouse man is well dressed, well traveled, and well read. A Morehouse man (or man of Morehouse) is expected to dress professionally (i.e. with a suit and tie). The concern about some of these young men who may choose to dress as if they're women are the issue of the school's reputation.

Morehouse College has at times already got a bad rap. It might have been from that baseball incident. A few months ago a man was in the computer lab. Well he had a BIG mouth he called me out thinking that I worked there and then said that I looked old enough to work here. Then noticed that I had Morehouse paraphernalia on, and then announced that Morehouse is known for men on the "downlow". He saw that this didn't sit well with me but covered himself by saying that he's afraid of no one but Jesus. Even announced that he'd be very upset if a man on the downlow had sex with his daughters and gave her HIV.

Well to be honest I would too, but what purpose does it serve to call out an entire school on it?

For whatever reason that perception exists. Today one dude said that when he got accepted the people he knew were congratulating, however, they made sure to mention that Morehouse has a lot of gay students. That almost seemed like an underhanded swipe!

Morehouse is often advertised as a brotherhood. And the professor would like to get back to the main things that school was known for intellectualism, intelligence, and scholarship. Morehouse shouldn't discriminate against a student because they may be gay or confused about their sexual identity. The main thing about Morehouse or any school is that you're there to learn and if you're only there because these many students are either gay or straight then there's a good chance you won't be at school for long! Any school should accept anyone who is capable of doing college level work. Of course that can be determined in a variety of ways although capability of college level work is only one criteria among many.

In any case most of the young men in my class have a problem with the "flamboyant" behavior of many of the gay students. One would go so far as to say that they put their homosexuality in their faces almost as if YOU must KNOW what THEY are. The professor would answer that by saying that this is the behavior of an oppressed group. Perhaps no much different than blacks once upon a time who didn't mind walking around wearing big afros.

Basically the issue of homosexuality at Morehouse is a concern of the new college President Michael Franklin. The issue here is recruitment and perhaps how parents will feel about their son going to school here. Morehouse shouldn't be known for the ones who choose to dress as if they're women or the ones who choose to dress as if they can't let go of their thuggish past. Morehouse should be known for their academics and the quality of the school.

BTW, I'm sure there are those who are gay or black and gay who may be reading this blog. I don't mind if you chimed in and let me know where I'm wrong. I like good comments that may inform on something of which I may be ignorant. Like I said this may be a touchy subject for many so I would expect nothing less than for respect to be the order of the day!

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