Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gay, with honors

I have no problem with gay pride celebrations, though the languague is a bit off. What's to be proud of? I was born a certain way, that's it. Pride should be based on accomplishment, not the whims of nature.

But alas, there's a growing trend on college campuses to recognize gay students through "lavender graduations." What are they being recognized for? Not turning straight?

"We're finally ... getting our names and faces out there," says Alex Ferrando, 22, who helped organize the inaugural lavender graduation last month at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

And how does segregating oneself achieve that?

The growing visibility of lavender graduations — including on many campuses the participation of university officials — suggests more universities see value in supporting their gay populations, says Shane Windmeyer, founder of Campus Pride, a national organization for LGBT youth. "Such an event shows commitment to the LGBT student not only in recruitment but also in retention and a connection into their status as alumni."

Whatever happened to choosing a school based on academics? Certainly I wouldn't want to attend a campus that was unfriendly to gays, but is that really a problem in this day?

Fortunately not all LGBT (I'm growing weary of that acronym ... or is it a sandwich?) students are buying into this pointless movement.

LGBT students at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., meanwhile, weren't interested in such an event, LGBT center directors on those campuses say. And while Whitney Mackman participated in commencement exercises Sunday from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., she chose not to attend the lavender graduation.

"Every part of me contributed to my successes, and I find it inappropriate to honor my accomplishments as merely a LGBT student," Mackman, 21, wrote in the student newspaper.


  1. Bart: I feel so....uhhh, what's the opposit of shame?"

    PRIDE! : )

  2. Bart: I feel so...uhhh, what's the opposite of shame?

    PRIDE! : )

    (sorry for the re-post! I can't tolerate typos!)