Goldberg is a sophomore public relations major and can be contacted at email@example.com.
When I first arrived at Drake, I was not openly gay. Actually, I kept it pretty secret from everyone I knew until this past fall.
Without telling people my sexuality, they typically assume that it is straight. However, that is very wrong. I consider myself bisexual and am very proud of this.
Walking through campus, most students and staff are unaware of my sexual orientation. Yes, most people’s orientations are unknown but, according to society, there is a “gay look” that gays and lesbians have. I think that because I do not look like a stereotypical lesbian, even though I’m actually bisexual, people are just unaware of the fact that I “lean both ways.”
In fact, peers have questioned me about my sexuality because they do not believe that I’m gay. This has always interested me, considering I did not realize I needed to look like a dyke in order to be one.
I am a part of the student organization Rainbow Union here at Drake. I think that having a group like that on campus helps the campus become more accepting of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community, but it also makes people question why someone would be a part of it. I am the organizational committee representative for the group and while attending one of the bimonthly meetings, I was asked why I was in Rainbow Union. I was surprised by this question because, at least to me, it does not matter why I’m in the group. But I told the person it’s because I’m gay and interested in being involved. Stunned by this answer, I was reminded that not everyone is tolerant of the choices I make in life.
While moments such as that happen, there are also times when I’m reminded of Drake’s acceptance of gays.
The other night, I was at an establishment that had a dance floor and about 50 other Drake students. I was dancing with a girl who is a lesbian and actually looks the part. To my surprise, I was not approached by anyone nor did I receive any comments or looks. This was the first time I actually felt comfortable enough with my peers to be myself and dance with someone whom I wanted to dance with, regardless of her gender.
A few months ago, I heard a story of a friend of mine who was beat up by some students at her school in Wisconsin. I was stunned and terrified. I realize that these things happen and that they occur every day, but then I started to think about the campus I live on. I was, for a few days, terrified to walk outside alone or even be seen alone anywhere on campus. I expressed this fear to my roommate who reminded me that Drake isn’t like that, there aren’t groups walking around campus looking for members of the LGBT community to beat up or even ways that people would know that I’m one of those members.
While I have had my fears about being an openly bisexual student on this campus, I have never thought that this wasn’t a safe place to be. I know that there are places and people who may not agree with my lifestyle, but it has never been a major issue at Drake.
The fact that I can be an openly bisexual student at this school is one of the reasons why I absolutely love Drake and am so happy that I made the decision to come here.