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solaciolum: And the clock on the door says it's time for you to go, (cold light)
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 10:36 pm
So. This hit the news today: Rutgers Student commits suicide after webcast of sexual encounter. This is my school; the story was all over the evening news when I got home from class today, and the president sent out an email to the student body, expressing condolences and reiterating the university's commitment to fostering diversity.

I am kind of surprisingly fucked up by this. I got into a shouty argument with my father over it, and that's two things I never do: raise my voice, and talk back to my dad. (His stance was that, of course the students who took the video were in the wrong, but Clementi had no right to be having sex with another boy in his dorm room. Because clearly, blaming the victim in this situation is somehow appropriate, and dorm rooms are sacred spaces that should never be sullied with gay sex. Had I been able to produce a more coherent argument than "What the FUCK are you FUCKING TALKING ABOUT," I might have asked how he'd have felt if Clementi had been straight.)

I suppose this is hitting me harder than I feel like it should because I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how frustrating it is to constantly feel like I'm the only queer person in any of my classes. Statistically, I know I can't be- but the feeling is there all the same, and every time one of my teachers wants to do a "thought experiment" where he jokingly compares marrying someone of the same sex to marrying a turtle, or when one of my classmates offers to help me find a boyfriend, I just. It's tiring, and it's exacerbated by the fact that I go back to my parents' house at the end of the day. It's the only thing about my alma mater I really miss, now- and today was Mountain Day, which feels a bit like a slap in the face at this point.

My father did eventually backpedal and rescind his argument, to a point, after he remembered which of his children he was speaking to. He decided to blame the university for not being more careful about pairing up compatible roommates. Because the issue here is obviously that some people just can't be trusted to live with a gay roommate. Obviously. It's a better stance than "he got what he deserved," but it doesn't really solve any problems. It isn't the university's responsibility to coddle bigotry- particularly not when Rutgers makes such a big deal out of being the most demographically diverse school in the country. The rooming assignments are not to blame; putting a bully or a bigot in a room with someone they aren't likely to victimize doesn't make them less of a bully or a bigot. It just means they have to look a little further afield to find targets.

It's the university's responsibility to create an environment where bullying and bigotry will not be tolerated- but the blame still lies with those fucking abhorrent pieces of shit who thought it would be fun to out and publicly humiliate this kid, just for shits and giggles.

I don't know. I am just- so incredibly, deeply upset. That's it, that's all I've got right now: rage and sadness.