Blog

Blog Author:
A community response

Jack D explains what happened:

As many of you know, early in the morning yesterday someone entered my dorm and sprawled on the wall of the first floor, “Death to all fags @ Jack.” In just five words and an ‘at’ symbol, my sense of security and safety on this campus was shattered. 

Efforts have been made to find the assailant but the likelihood of success seems minimal. However, the person who wrote on the wall is greatly unimportant.

I would like for people to understand who I am. I wish to be a peer and not a name. I grew up near Boston with a single mother and siblings. I played sports throughout school and spent summers volunteering. I am a freshman but have lived as a proudly out and visible gay man on Duke’s campus. I am Jack. I am the fag. I do not deserve this treatment. No one deserves this treatment.

Blog Author:
Sean Novak and India Pierce

 

Collaboration & Change for a Common Good
A Reflection on Collaboration in Campus Life
India Pierce and Sean Novak

 

One way that we can work effectively to create change for a common good is to work collaboratively across communities. With this in mind, India Pierce from the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (CSGD) came together with Sean Novak from the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) to create a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. As part of the CMA’s En/Countering Racism series (E/C), they created a program for students to gather and explore intersectionality. This was done in order to deepen participants’ understanding of themselves and others as a means to building stronger coalitions for social justice.

Blog Author:
Jamie McGhee

During last week’s Greek Ally Week, Blue Devils United hosted a student panel about being both Greek and LGBTQ on Duke’s campus.  The next day’s Chronicle article incorrectly identified one of the African-American panelists as “queer,” which made her uncomfortable.  “What is ‘queer’ supposed to mean?” she asked me later.  The term is vague, politicized, and simultaneously lacking a concrete meaning while burdened with decades of history.

Blog Author:
Janie Long, Ph.D.

You may ask,  “Lavender graduation…why the need for a special ceremony?”  I’m glad you asked.  A lot of seniors at Duke have been positively affected by their existence at Duke as a LGBTQ student and/or as an ally.  Some students have also been very negatively affected and found the Center to be a safe haven at some point in their journey… a place to get support, a place to be greeted by a smiling face, a place to get a hug, a place to crash on the couch, a place to have fun and forget your troubles even if just for an hour.  But most of all Lavender graduation is about celebrating who you are and one another as you have walked the campus of Duke as an LGBTQA students…even if you consider that part to only be a small part of who you are. 

Blog Author:
Jamie McGhee

Over Spring Break, I traveled to Costa Rica with Duke Chapel.  I carried preconceived notions of the country, most notably that its predominately Catholic population would be homophobic and unwelcoming.

Costa Rica (literally “Rich Coast”) has a population of 4.5 million people, and is located snugly between Nicaragua and Panama.  The average family makes $10,200 dollars a year.  Seventy percent of Costa Ricans identify as Roman Catholic, fourteen percent identify as Protestant, and two percent identify as Buddhist.  And same-sex civil unions are legal.

Blog Author:
Cesar Utuy

As a freshman I would rarely ever stop by the center. I believed that it didn't have much to offer me aside from a couch to power nap in between to classes on. However, as one of my good friends kept dragging me along to the LGBT Center's events (as it was then called), I began to realize that there was much I could gain from the Center. And so, I've compiled a short sweet list of reasons to come visit the CSGD (and me when I'm working).

Blog Author:
- Lauren Burianek

The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity proudly hosted the Parent’s Weekend Saturday night reception in its new space. After a long day of group performances, tours, and study-specific meetings, families were invited to the Center to enjoy music, beverages, and desserts. The Dean of Students, Clay Adams, greeted families while live jazz music played in the gathering area. A buffet of pastries, brownies, fruits, and cheeses was scattered across the conference room table with pots of coffee ready to wash them down.
 

Blog Author:
Cesar Utuy

It’s a Tuesday morning, my class has just ended, and as I’m walking out of the Bryan Center, I am greeted by a rainbow balloon arch. Rainbow flags decorate the plaza while students, staff, and faculty are lining up to pick up their famed, “Love = Love” T-shirts. Coming Out Day. Although set on the anniversary of National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Oct. 11th, 1987,  at Duke, the celebration is best known for the 1500 shirts that are given out to the student body provided by the school’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.  The shirts depict various couples – interracial, trans, cis, homosexual – in addition to the “Love = Love” message in a variety of colors.