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Letter: Coming Out Week successful in exposing truth

As a good homosexual with an intrinsic share in human dignity, I agree with much in Bill English's column. Campus groups flying the diversity banner are lavishly funded by a self-serving ministry of Student Affairs. Whenever bureaucrats in this part of the University see a target to expand their budget and soothe their liberal white guilt, interference, on the groups behalf, is bound to occur.

But English's critique of Coming Out Week is ill-informed and similar to dubious arguments many in the Duke Student Movement made two years ago about their rights not to be offended. Sadly, there are some that take their discomfort toward gays too far and use their uneasiness to justify threats or using violence against those who don't share their puritanical sexual mores. Homosexuals on campus would love the opportunity to simply walk and hold hands with their partners. However, the idea of a glass bottle flying at one's head is not too appealing, so gays who want to show their affection for one another tend to gather in groups. If English would like to work on changing things, I would be open to suggestions.

As both a member and critic of the gay rights movement, I'm impressed with the leadership of the gay undergraduate students and the week's events they planned. Instead of relying upon an expensive speaker, students decided that this year's dinner would be a chance to reflect on the coming out process. Just a few of the many stories from those in the coming-out process, particularly from students shut off from family members, show it's more than occasional bedroom sex acts.

I have the privilege of leading that quiet, normal-looking homosexual life that English idealizes. The idea that I want to and can be a normal political scientist comes from the gradual maturation of the early movement into a larger quest for dignity and respect, not because of but regardless of one's orientation. Although I am one of the first to criticize many of the most radical aspects of my movement, the fact that many still see this gay lifestyle as nothing more than illicit sex behind closed doors leads me to consider thanking these campus radicals.


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