So, I get the feeling that I will be on my blog more often than I originally expected.
I have been enjoying a fairly calm campus environment for about two years now, and though the campus has its flaws – I mean, being able to accept the fact that there are elements of racism and sexism that are overt and blatant being some of the many issues- I love it unconditionally. However, I think there is a series of issues that find their way to the surface when we don’t acknowledge the negative power of stereotypical Christian influence.
As a school, it is a fairly simple reflection for those who stand outside the majority student population to see. While I think that our primarily White Male Conservative CIS bias is well handled by the institution, there is a problem made apparent by the way that we handle those who lie outside of the cultural affirmation that we have created. Our black and brown students have become more visible this year, yet still, see a lot of their potential wasted. The areas that they want to hang out it, and the life that they want to live, is secretly suppressed by a school that intends to love so well. I think, though, that this struggle is only slight in comparison to the major issues that face our invisible minorities. Our LGBTQIA+ community at GC is under fire.
I will be frank in saying that GC doesn’t intentionally exclude these students through harsh rhetoric. Instead, they do so lovingly, and with a firm but slightly disapproving tone. This is not founded in some hateful discussion or pressed upon by negative reviews and apathy, rather by Christian affirmation of God’s distaste for the average man to be sexually involved with someone of the same sex.
The creation of this statement and the continued pressure to uphold it creates fervor within the community. Simultaneously encouraging homophobic rhetoric and discouraging hopes that lie outside of a heteronormative society. I think that, at its core, the love of a statement is made with good will. Think about mandatory minimums. At the time of creation, the mandatory minimum was used for what was seemingly positive and legalistic action. Now, we have the ability to look at that choice and debate its correctness and see the error of our ways.
Students, like myself, look to this policy and think of exclusion. Lovingly accepting heteronormative, midwestern stereotypes creates for an easy look at the lighter skinned population. Greenville begins naturally attracting those people who would never have a problem with their policies and procedure; never challenge the institution. I think of a guy who has been on my floor this year, and all of his past and present mistakes. From fires to fights, I think of him and I laugh because the institution finds it easy to deal with him, to allow for him is simple and easy. However, when we look at our minorities, we see the level of respect is far lower, and the care to condemnation ratio unforgivably unsettling. Black students are drawn here to play sports and to become something they only dream of, and we lose them one semester in. Our LGBTQIA persons are drawn in by an atmosphere of hope and love. You don’t need to read a lifestyle statement to know that.
But, the students who don’t actively participate in sex with partners of the same sex have hurdles to jump. The anti-gay, and deeply hateful, rhetoric that plagues the campus. The larger problem sits in front of us as obvious to us as the summer sun on a cloudless day: we have missed something.
I say this because, today, a member of the college’s LGBTQIA population began dating a person of the opposite sex. There is no semblance of love, and the feat is one that is done for self-preservation. “When you date, no one can really ask about your sexuality. It’s more or less assumed.” Our bisexual population limits themselves because of the stark reality that is being played out at the college, and our students who are learning of their own identity don’t even feel comfortable discussing the nature of themselves; finding themselves.
This is the underground rainbow at GC.