Editor, Daily Nexus,
After reading Loren Williams’ column (“Homosexuals Need to Learn How to Put Up Their Dukes,” Daily Nexus, Sept. 28), it is clear that there is much work to be done to educate our campus community. Apparently, Williams is a straight man who looks “sizzling” in a dress, and he thinks that queer people should be doing more to fight the homophobia (or perhaps more so, the transphobia) that he encountered when doing so. In his column, Williams lectures the queer community – castigating us for our lack of cohesion and our reluctance to “take a stand for issues that affect [us] in profound ways.”
Williams wrote, “Politically, the gay community hasn’t been standing up for itself very effectively. They formed the Log Cabin Republicans …” The queer community is not as homogeneous as he implies here. We are an extremely diverse collection of individuals who incorporate people of varying socioeconomic, religious, ethnic and even political backgrounds. Expecting the queer community to unite over all “queer issues” is farfetched, naive and perhaps impossible. Contrary to what the popular media would have us believe, there is no “gay agenda” – as if the community elders held a national forum over the summer and came up with our 10-point plan of action. We are a chorus of voices, and we bring with us our varied backgrounds and different points of view.
Williams sees the world as “us” and “them.” To him, homophobia is the problem of “them” – people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual (and transgender). As he clearly illustrates for us, anyone can be the victim of homophobia. Merely the perception of being queer is enough to invoke bigotry.
Contrary to what Williams suggests, there are many of us in the queer community who are actively engaged in fighting against our oppression. However, the reality is that we can’t do it alone. He sees neither his power nor his responsibility to take action. He wishes that he were “qualified to assist.” In fact, he is. Like everyone in our community, we are all empowered to assist and to make a difference. We wish that Williams would spend less time blaming the victims of homophobia and more time contemplating what he personally can do.
Williams, like everyone, should be permitted to wear the clothing that he is most comfortable in – whether it is for fun at a party, or as an expression of someone’s gender identity.