Love Shouldn’t Hurt

As most of our student body and faculty know, the Coming-Out doors were vandalized this year. The words “all gays die” and “dirty ghetto kids” were written on the doors and several students were outed who have not come out to the community at large. I have to say that I was surprised, not by the vandalism, but by the fact that this was the first time it has happened. I am quite proud of our community’s response to these acts and how viral our responses have gone. On Monday, everyone wore blue to show their support, taking the color back from the perpetrator of these crimes. The Facebook event for this, “Blue for Qs: Taking Back the Blue,” has almost 550 students attending. The event has the description: “We want to take back the color and own it as a color of love and ally-ship. Please join us in wearing blue. We want people who don’t know of the event to question why you are wearing it.”

I think people on this campus are working hard to stay socially aware and open-minded, even though it takes events like this to see how many people will fight against these slurs. This event has brought to my mind the importance of human rights that many do not value.

Gay marriage is something that has become extremely political and has lost the essence of its purpose – the right for two people who love each other to display this to the world. Instead, it has become a battle against what a “family” really is and about the “values” our nation holds. I am hopeful that one day sexual orientation will not matter and that rights in our country will be equal for everyone. This is the human rights fight of our generation. I understand that there are some religions that do not allow for gay marriage, but that should not be a govern-ment issue – if Catholics do not want to sanctify gay marriage, then they do not have to do so. Another denomination, religion, or even justice of the peace can offer it to them.

This event, combined with the brutal murder of Alexandra Kogut, a SUNY-Brockport first-year, by her boyfriend a couple weeks ago have resonated with me just how much our genera-tion needs to stand up. Women ages 16-24 are most at risk for physical violence from a partner. Nationally, 45 percent of gay males and 20 percent of lesbians were recently surveyed and reported having experienced verbal harassment and or physical violence during high school as a result of their sexual orientation.

There are even more harrowing statistics available on the matter, but I am hopeful for our generation. I am hopeful for Colgate. This is the fifth year of the Coming-Out doors and the first attack. I think that there can be change on this campus, but everyone needs to play a part. Don’t let your friends get away with comments that can be construed as hurtful – to the LGBTQ community, women, or anyone in general. Calling someone “gay” should not be a connotation for something negative, just as calling a woman a “slut” should not be acceptable behavior – for women or men. After Alexandra Kogut’s murder, we should all take note that we may not be aware when violence is happening, but if we keep our eyes open and stand up for ourselves and others, we will end up being a stronger, more closely-knit community. I would love for our response to this act of vandalism to show just how tightly bound we are. Love shouldn’t hurt.

Contact Rebecca Raudabaugh at [email protected].