Category Archives: being out

January 16, 2012, 10:59 am

Ho Hum

So, Elmhurst College added sexual orientation as a demographic category on their application, and the reaction from students is… no big deal. Kind of ho hum, actually.

It turns out that very few students are skipping the optional question. Why would they? Sexual orientation just isn’t the same kind of big deal right now for many of them. An analysis of the 2010 General Social Survey data revealed that the youngest cohort in the US was overwhelmingly supportive of homosexuality, with 50% of those aged 18-29 reporting that they find nothing wrong with homosexuality (as compared to 44-62% of those over 50 that said that homosexuality was always wrong).

Yes, there is still discrimination in the world: LGBT kids get harassed and assaulted in school by teachers and peers, gay clubs get thrown off high school campuses, parents throw their children out of the house for being gay, and the…

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August 30, 2007, 5:02 am

To be or not to be… out

When I do lectures about lesbian/gay/bisexual (LGB) issues for students, I often discuss the challenges of “being out.” I explain that it is relatively impossible in our heterosexist culture to just make a declaration one time that one is LGB and be done with it. Society asserts that everyone is heterosexual, and most people operate from that default. As a result, most LGB folks have to come out over and over again.

This also holds true for LGB faculty members. There are many methods and venues in which a LGB faculty member can be out in academe, which lead to a constant series of choices to be made throughout one’s career. So far, I have been employed as an assistant/associate professor in academe less than 10 years. In that time, I have had to decide:

  • whether to come out to the search committee
  • whether to disclose to the chair/dean, ask for accommodations for a partner or push for…

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