The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Grow up, Sartain

 Grow up, Sartain
Grow up, Sartain

Grow up, Sartain

Joel L. Sartain, I’d like to start off with a generous thank you. Thank you for loving me, thank you for working with me, thank you for sitting next to me at that game the other day or in that restaurant last week. Thank you for tolerating me. It’s very nice of you. However, the time for tolerance is over. Now more than ever I will fight for nothing less than acceptance and equality, two things that, as a gay man, I do not posses. You need proof? Read your own article.

In it you state very clearly what defines homosexuality in your eyes: flamboyancy. Flamboyancy is the ultimate gay dilemma, and if gay people could simply let go of it then we’d all get along, right? Problem is, those things you list as being flamboyant don’t necessarily fall into that category for me.

You talk about the multitude of stickers, the marches, the lousy editorial columns, the makeshift heroes and my favorite, the intentional intimate cuddling in public. These things are not attacks at you, Joel, and they are certainly not flamboyant. They are challenges against closed-mindedness, something you display so visibly in your article. Instead of being myself, you offer me an alternative. You politely ask me, when holding a conversation with you, to cater toward your beliefs and cares, to “sell you my pitch” as a gay man. Joel, I shouldn’t have to sell you anything, and this is my point.

The problem lies not in flamboyancy; it lies in your discomfort. You see two guys holding hands, and it makes you feel like less of a man. Joel, I’m gonna help you out here. I’m not looking to sleep with you, and I’m not standing behind you waiting for you to bend over to tie your shoe. You have nothing to worry about. Believe it or not, I’m gonna let you be. Do the same for me, and get over your fear — it’s not helping you, and it’s certainly not helping me.

Now, about living in Dallas, Texas, and going to SMU. You tell me that if I feel “particularly unwelcome” here, I “should migrate to a more welcoming area.” I’m not going anywhere, Joel. I’m going to be proud of the man I am, and I’ll live wherever I choose. I refuse to apologize. You’re just going to have to deal with me, like it or not.

Finally, you refer to the “gay community” in every point of your argument, most of the time referring to homosexuals and myself as “you guys.” Don’t you dare clump me into a “community” because it helps you to see your world in an easier way. Don’t speak for the entire “straight community” either. By now I’m sure you’ve read Daniel Bland’s response to your article in The Daily Campus. There’s one straight white male who’s just as pissed off as I am. By blanketing your argument, you ultimately defeat yourself, Joel. In your own words, “that’s the plain and simple truth, and it may hurt.”

I know I’m not going to change your opinions about any of this. If anything, I’ve probably strengthened your opinions. However, the next time you lay them out in an article, avoid the “us-them” approach. Better yet, come talk to me face to face about it. Question is, will you be man enough??

 

Zac Hammer is a junior dance major. He can be reached at [email protected].

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