Her Experience: What it Feels like to be Gay at JCU

Although I didn't really know that I was gay at the time of deciding to go to JCU, I knew that going to a Catholic college would put me around a more conservative student body. I was okay with that- and I still am. I am okay with people having different political and religious views. I think that is what makes humanity interesting and beautiful. What I'm not okay with is students, professors, and administrators expressing their disgust for the LGBTQ+ community. 

I am a mostly-closeted gay person. Only a handful of my friends know along with my family. I know that it's terrible, but I'm thankful to be in the closet. I feel like it's the only safe place at JCU. After the incident with the Drag Show, a clear line immerged dividing those who think LGBTQ+ community is Satan incarnate and those who think we are "normal" people. Having one rogue Carroll News writer release a mean spirited, factually incorrect article is one thing. I mean, there will always be sheltered, privileged white males who like to bully marginalized groups of people. That was no surprise. The surprise came after when students, faculty, and administrators backed up a hateful and ill-informed student. John Carroll has this weird dichotomous campus where administrators (yes you, President Johnson) release statement's claiming to be "inclusive" and other BS, yet foster a hateful environment for LGBTQ+ students. Last month, as I walked behind one administrator and my professor on the second floor of AD, I heard them laugh and say that they "like to see the fruits get riled up." Now, unless they were talking about the rotten bananas they serve in the caf, I assume they mean the LGBTQ+ community. After I heard that, I took a sharp right into the bathroom next to the Catholic Studies office (ironic, I know) and threw up. Never in my life have I felt more unwanted and hated than in that moment. A professor that I looked up to used a gay-slur and laughed. 

 

I knew at that moment that I would not come out officially until graduation. I'm ashamed that I'm such a coward when it comes to this. I struggle with my identity enough and I don't think I can handle having professors calling me "fruit" behind my back or students calling me "f*ggot" to my face. It is extremely frustrating to have people be evil and cruel in a casual way. I've never experienced it before. A few weeks ago, a "friend" of mine put a lengthy post on Facebook hoping to "clear things up" about the Drag Show. She really just used it as a segue into how much "Catholics are called to love the LGBT community" even though they basically hate everything about them. I hope that someday I will be able to make up for this time I spent hiding from the bigots and homophobes.