OP-ED: Having a Supportive Administration Takes All the Fun Out of Being Gay

Thursday, October 22, 2009
By Patrick Riley
Patrick Riley (COL '10)

Patrick Riley (COL '10)

It has now been nearly two years since President DeGioia created working groups to improve the environment on campus for LGBTQ students. Since then we have won a full-time LGBTQ Center and the string of campus hate crimes has come to an end. However, as I look back, I feel like we’ve failed. We’ve lost most of the joy that came with being gay, the thrill you get when someone discriminates against you and you get to defend your sexual orienation.

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that gay students are no longer being shoved into walls by B-school bros. But I wore a pair of ass-less chaps to class the other day and nothing happened. The professor just smiled at me and said, “Good for you, Patrick,” and went on with her lecture.

I look fondly on the days when we stormed Healy Hall and filled the air above Red Square with our yells. Where’s the tension, where’s the energy? Just a couple barely homophobic slurs, an occasional wide-eyed look, even just hearing a few whispers as I walked by would get the juices flowing.

It’s not that I haven’t tried.  When I was laying on Devon and we were making out on top of a desk in a classroom in the new Hariri Building, someone just poked their head in and asked us if we had reserved the room with the Registrar. And then nobody bothered us when we were groping each other and stripped down in one of those glass-paneled rooms clearly visible from the rest of the building. I could probably walk through there in lingerie without a peep. Goddamnit, ever since Bruno came out people have become so desensitized. Heck, I think GPB even screened Bruno in ICC Auditorium.

I remember when Devon and I felt like social warriors every time we went out in public together. Now I kiss him goodbye before class without the slightest bit of fear. Where’s the fun in love if it isn’t a forbidden love, a giant middle finger to society? How did we go from passionate lovers shunned by society to being as plain as a suburban married couple? What do you have to do to shock people into revealing their deep-seated hatred of homosexuals?

I couldn’t take it anymore, so just the other day, we decided to have loud angry sex right there on Healy Lawn in the middle of the evening. The DPS officer just walked over and politely told us that we were blocking a fire lane and made us move over five feet.

I see the younger generation of activists just sitting around in the annoyingly well-funded LGBTQ center and spending their time debating whether celebrities are gay or not. Sure there’s still a lot of work to be done, and protesting in Washington still gives something to do, but it’s not quite the same. The National Equality March only brought back memories of the good old days. I tell the stories of our struggles, and the underclassmen look upon me in awe, only to go back to planning this weekend’s Pride party theme. Seriously, kids these days are just so spoiled. This year I even went to DeGioia’s office to ask permission for an uber-flamboyant gay pride parade through campus, just to see his reaction. Instead of turning red with rage, he offered funding to help pay for the expensive leather costumes.

I mean seriously, if I wanted to go to a school like that, I would have gone to NYU, or at least Vassar. But, I didn’t, and it was because I didn’t just want to be another gay kid. I wanted to be a rebel, I wanted to show everyone that I don’t fit into your mainstream society. Now Georgetown has taken that away from me. The administration may have given us our freedom, but they have taken away my identity.