Some people are gay. Get over it!

Jonathan Hadad (Israel, AC 09’-11’)

Platform 6 is the Gender and Sexuality activity at Atlantic College. Last year I felt that a Gender and Sexuality group at my school was missing and could repair the negative attitudes towards these subjects. I also remembered how supportive gay youth groups back home were for me not long ago, when I decide to come out of the closet. So with the help of friends, we restarted Platform 6.

By involving the whole school, we created open and fun environments for all students to comfortably explore their sexual identity, in a same-sex couple party, cross-dressing days and weekly group discussions about topics varying from gender roles in Shakespearian plays to feminist porn and sexual health.

The group is trying to alter misconceptions and perhaps help prevent personal tragedies, by making Gender and Sexuality fascinating, worthwhile topics instead of shameful, intimidating mysteries. In the Gender and Sexuality Conference held in AC last weekend, we invited AC alumni to hold sessions for students to hear about the relation between LGBT rights, global sexual rights and human rights. We also had a session about Drag, which was very popular.

I am aware of the extreme opinions that exist against homosexuality in the college. Some students do come from countries where by law, openly loving the wrong person is another way to commit suicide. And the fact that those people who hold such strong opinions about the subject didn’t even bother to show up, reminded me that there is still a good reason for anti-homophobic campaigns and that they should definitely be circulated in public, in the global media and in educational institutions.

We also held a slam-writing competition. The writers were told to write anything that relates to Gender and Sexuality and the first line had to be “The first time I”. The winning piece was written by Rosario Freire Saray from Chile:

The first time I…

Shouted that I loved

her, they hit me.

The second time I shouted that

I loved her, they wouldn’t speak to me.

The third time I shouted

That I loved her, she put her hand over

My mouth. And kissed me.

-United World Colleges Student Magazine-

7 thoughts on “Some people are gay. Get over it!

  1. Hello!

    I have a question about the attitude towards homosexuality in UWC. Is there any “general consensus” amongst students or teachers? And those who don’t support the idea of, let’s say, gay marriage – how do other people think about them (by “them” I don’t mean them as persons, but do people feel that they have discriminative or dogmatic opinions about this subject)?

    Heido

    1. The UWC movement is made up of thousands of diverse individuals with just as many opinions. I can’t say we all feel the same way about anything. What unites us is the will to learn about other cultures and life experiences and share our own, in order to broaden our knowledge of the world. I personally think that gay marriage is an interesting topic which not all gay or straight people agree on because they decline any institutionalisation of love or because they have bigoted opinions about gay people as unfit or undeserving of the right to be married.

  2. Hi Jonathan! As the coordinator of Gender&Sexuality Discussion group (GenSex for short) at MUWCI and part of the queer community myself, I can relate to your article on every level.
    I am open about my sexuality. Others feel like they can’t be, and it frustrates me beyond what I can express. Despite our openness, we don’t have a single same-sex couple or anyone daring to express a non-normative gender.
    At MUWCI we have the formal discussion group as well as an informal support group. The discussion group is now organising a festival to raise awareness on campus. We are, among other things, having a drag workshop and drag show. People here seem to jump at every opportunity they get to crossdress, which I find hilarious. Come Valentine’s, Eurovision or MUWCI-Fest, and quite a few guys will be dressed like girls. And of course they are quite stereotypical. But I am just glad our community is open enough to accept it at all! Homosexuality and Sex Education is illegal in India, and we can still organise a safe sex workshop, discussions on gender identity and a drag show! Our festival is attempt to, just like you said, circulate information, start discussion and deal with our prejudice.

  3. May i ask why do you do a drag show? i would like to study at this school but im not gay and i would not like to do that i think it may look weird

  4. Hi Markkus,
    You don’t have to be gay to do drag and you don’t have to do drag to come to UWC. The only thing you need is an open mind and some love of people no matter where they’re from or what they like in bed.
    Good luck!

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