Saturday, October 09, 2010
Boston College Celebrates Coming Out Week
The latest from that radical "Catholic" university, Boston College: Its student newspaper reports that bisexuality was a big focus for National Coming Out Week this year. There are lots of misconceptions about this "identity":
To celebrate NCOW, the GLC has been hosting various events throughout the week. On Tuesday, the group hosted a panel on bisexuality, during which five undergraduate students from BC spoke about their personal experiences and the issue of bisexuality on campus.
"People often tell me that I should just be straight because I have more options, that I should lean more toward the opposite sex," said Rachel Graves, one of the panelists and A&S '11. "But I wouldn't want to do that because that is not being who I am. I would not be honest with myself if I claimed that I am either straight or gay."
"Both gay and straight communities tend to have some misconceptions about bisexuals," Graves said.
She and other panelists said they felt that some people think bisexuals claim that they are so because they are either going through a "phase" in which they feel uncertain about their sexuality, or do not want to come to terms with the fact that they are homosexual.
"This misconception is sometimes an encumbrance when dating because the partner feels insecure about the bisexual's sexuality, and thus, the relationship in general," Graves said.
"The panel was very interesting because it explored an identity that is often overlooked in the GLBTQ community," said Clifton James, CSOM '12, who attended on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the GLC hosted an event called "Guess Who's Gay," in which the audience tried to figure out if a panelist is straight or GLBTQ. Members of the panel were behind sheets through which only their silhouettes and voices were discernible.
Tonight, there will be an event called "Opening Boston's Closet," during which students will gather and talk about their sexual identities. Friday will be "Show Your Love Day" across the campus. People are encouraged to hug as many people as they can between classes.
And the BC kids think they have wisdom. Homosexuality is "perhaps the great theological question of our time," they write. The Church just hasn't given it enough thought. From the Cardinal Newman Society "Campus Notes" blog:
An article by the editorial board of the Boston College student newspaper site BCHeights.com upbraids the Catholic Church for its stance on gay issues. The authors seem to take for granted that the Catholic Church’s teaching on the gay lifestyle must be wrong. Their point is that Catholic thought on the subject would eventually come around to acceptance of the gay lifestyle if only the Church would study the question more. Boston College is the place to do it, they argue.
“We empathize with students who were raised Catholic but who have been driven out by homophobic attitudes. The Church has to realize that its intolerance may deter people who do not identify as GLBTQ, as well. . . The Church has to face the fact that there are thousands, maybe millions of Catholics out there praying for some real discussion about the deeply personal struggle in their souls. This is, perhaps, the great theological question of our time, and BC, if it aspires to be a leader in the Catholic world, should explore ways to submit the question to rigorous examination. . . Faith and reason sometimes make a tenuous pair, but for thousands of years people in the Church have found ways to wed the two. . . BC needs to become a place where the tangled knot of Catholic moral theology on GLBTQ issues can be unraveled and debated by intelligent, thinking believers.”
BC Heights’ editorial board posted their opinions as Boston College’s celebration of National Coming Out Week continues.
The “GLBTQ Leadership Council” celebrates National Coming Out Week every first week of October. The Council president said, “Administrators sometimes face obstructions in helping us when they feel that the GLC activities are not aligned with Jesuit principles. But they are usually supportive of us.”
Another leader of the GLBTQ Leadership Council said, “Our school is more open to gays compared to some other Catholic institutions such as Notre Dame, and the administration has given us much help in coming this far. We were able to have our first gala in the spring of 2009 and start selling ‘support love’ t-shirts in 2008.”