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15 comments | Monday, February 16, 2009

A new op-ed appearing in Morehouse College's The Maroon Tiger newspaper by student writer Gerren Gaynor is sure to fan the flames of homophobia once again on a campus that has had it's share of anti-gay attacks and bullying.

"Is Gay The Way?" is the title of the piece and Gaynor (shown in the picture above) poses a series of questions to the reader in an effort to determine which is more important-protecting the Morehouse image or embracing the "others", which is in this case the Morehouse "homosexual population".

"Over the years, despite social divergence on campus, the Morehouse community has done their share to both accept and adjust to the growing homosexual population. But don't you think this has gone too far? A boy with a pocketbook is far.

It's not so much that "straight" men of Morehouse are uncomfortable with the gay lifestyle, but more so because it is constantly and quite robustly thrown in their face. Does being a gay man include adopting the traits of a woman? Because if that's the case, there's a more fitting school, and it's called Spelman College", writes Gaynor.

"I'm all for being who you are. If you like women, go on and date women. If you like men, be my guest and date men. But if you are born a man, you should be just that--a man. If I have to look twice to tell if I'm looking at a man or woman on an all-male campus, then something is tragically wrong."

In 2009 this type of gay-panic is beyond tragic. And it should be quite embarrassing for a college educated Morehouse man such as Gaynor not to know that although one might identify as gay it doesn't necessarily mean that they desire to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Much work has been done at Morehouse in recent years to combat the pervasive homophobia on campus. From the student-led gay organization Safe Space, to the groundbreaking No Homo Initiative Week, and visits from gay Christian organization Soulforce, the dialogue needed to create an environment that is safe for all students has been happening over the past few years.

A step in the right direction on the heels of the vicious 2002 beating of Gregory Love by fellow Morehouse student Aaron Price. Love was struck violently in the shower with a baseball bat because Price believed the victim was "looking at him naked". So with all of the progress being made at Morehouse this homophobic attack in the Maroon Tiger by Gaynor is quite an unfortunate setback.

Openly gay Morehouse student and activist Michael Brewer will respond to Gaynor's piece here on loldarian.com shortly so be sure to check back.

When does gay tolerance go too far?"-The Daily Voice


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Being that I do attend CAU (for the time being lmao) I can say that, I am not shocked about the homophobia issued toward Morehouse gay brothers from their heterosexual brothers. You would think an institution built on brotherhood would be able to embrace their Morehouse brother for who he is and not for what they want him to be. As I have stated in my response on the Daily Voice, if the men of Morehouse are not advocating the statement "I AM MY BROTHERS KEEPER" the homophobia and ignorance will continue with no avail. U have an institution where a guy was visciously attacked by another heterosexual student and I believe he died! (correct me if I'm wrong)So the question leaves us with wondering where the madness ends. The mis-education of the Heterosexual Negro at Morehouse College should be the next selling book.

February 16, 2009 1:23 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

thanks for posting this...

i twittered your post as well and also saw you are there, try tweetdeck as an app for twitter... kinda makes it all hang together...

February 16, 2009 1:36 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Great Blog! Check out this new Christian band that just released their first album. From what I heard on the samples site, they sound really good.

Introducing the new Christian National Anthem: Guns & Jesus.

Please pass on this info to all.

February 16, 2009 2:06 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

@ Jamar,

The student who was attacked didn't die. He graduated in either 2006 or 2007. He also denied that he was gay as well.

February 16, 2009 3:01 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


i googled her to see the full article

truth be told, she LOOK like she carry a pocketbook herself

February 16, 2009 4:23 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Q Truly,

Now I don't know Gerren Gaynor personally so it took all of the strength I had inside not to imply in my post that he was indeed apart of the "homosexual population" too. You took the words right out of my mouth.

February 16, 2009 4:37 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Q, Truly and darian: I agree with the two of you. I thought Gerren was "family" as well.

That picture at the top of this thread where he's not smiling and looking up through those glasses was a dead giveaway as soon as I saw it.

February 16, 2009 5:19 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

ughh...Im only 19 and Im already sick of this bull from black guys.....literally I get sick to my stomach :/

February 16, 2009 6:11 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This article didn't surprise me. I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion and in this case it's unfortunate for the students at Morehouse who are being ostracized. It's amazing how the oppressed can instantly become the oppressors. If you think it's hard being a black man? Try being a black gay man, shits not easy.You'd think they (Morehouse men gay, straigh, queer and questioning) would find some connection with each other (after all they did decided to go to HBCU so they've got something in common). The title grabbed me because I immediately thought to myself: Tolerance can't go too far! If a guy is walking around with a purse, eyeliner, lip gloss, prada heels and a sundress he can do that. He's not throwing it in your face as much as he doesn't fit they way you feel he should represent himself. That's the issue, people "don't care" or they can "tolerate it" as long as it's from a distance. When you have to meet the person sit with them and you get that feeling of discomfort they retreat and ridicule. When people feel that discomfort they have to fight it and work through it open their mouth and talk. Get to know them, YOU'D BE SURPRISED the amazing converations you'll have with people you think you have nothing in common with. The first step is hard but in the end it's rewarding.

February 16, 2009 7:45 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Morehouse is still on that shit, I see.

A big issue with acceptance of homosexuals at Morehouse is because groups which start for gay men there have short life spans, either because of no faculty support or because the group dies off when the founder graduates. Also, when a new administration takes place, there are often sweeping social changes on campus. Massey, for example, tried to make the best of a bad situation because he was on the way out anyway. He paid lip service to the Price/Love incident without doing little to correct the underlying problems on campus. Now that Franklin is the new President there, he's been largely tasked with cleaning up the college's "image". You can put lipstick on a pig, but that bitch still oinks.

As an alumni, I guess I can't be *too* surprised that the rampant homophobia still goes on and actually makes it to the Maroon Tiger (I mean really!). It's just more shockingly bad how behind the times Morehouse is when compared to other institutions of higher learning in terms of gay acceptance. Morehouse is currently going through a slew of financial issues. Maybe if they cleaned up their act they could get money from some of their gay alumni.

Nah...that's be too much like doing something right.

February 17, 2009 3:12 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

why would an all male school be surprised it attracts homosexual applicants? isn't it commonly called Morecock anyway? why is the Navy surprised it attracts homosexuals when it has all those mens in its advertising?

February 17, 2009 6:21 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I know you have Michael Brewer responding to this. But as another openly gay Man of Morehouse I feel the need to respond.

I will attempt to keep this brief. But as a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum laude, scholarship receiving, May 2008 graduate of Morehouse College who is gay, I find it disheartening that some of my heterosexual brothers (many of whom have resumes that could not hold a candle to mine) disqualify me from being a true Morehouse Man simply because of my sexuality and gender expression. Furthermore, the fact that they think that the Morehouse Mystique is somehow owned by heterosexual students and can be passed out to homosexual students who they find acceptable is laughable. Morehouse is as much “my” school as it is any one else’s and I have the loans to prove it. But that is a conversation for another post. Also, the latent sexism in this article is disgusting. But again, that is another post.

What is most disturbing about this piece, and has been my constant critique of my alma mater, is the preoccupation with appearance and lack of concern with character. What good is a blue box from Tiffany’s if when you open it, it is empty? I challenge my brothers to judge each other by the “content of their character” and not based on whether or not they have “hair weave” and carry “pocketbooks.” If they were to do that I think they would be pleasantly surprised that Morehouse has gay students and alumni who do exceptionally well, are an active part of EVERY aspect of the college from Greek life (yes, I said it) to student government, and go on to represent the college around the world. I’m openly gay and I make Morehouse look very good; if I do say so myself.

My final comment is to those who read ignorance such as this and assume these views reflect those of the entire student body. While I was a student I had a number of unfortunate incidents with such prejudice. However, I was also blessed to have heterosexual brothers who saw me as just that, their Morehouse brother, and respected and accepted me for who I was. They acknowledged me holistically, and affirmed me constantly. So, while attitudes like this are present at Morehouse, and other institutions around this nation, I am confident that as time progresses they will dwindle to the minority and eventually extinguish. Need I remind you that a nation that considered black folks 3/5s of a human being now has a black president? If that is possible, surely an evolution in the mentality of some ill informed men of Morehouse is not impossible.

“True forever to old Morehouse may we be
So to bind EACH son the other, into ties more brotherly”

(Taken from the college hymn, “Dear Old Morehouse”)

February 17, 2009 10:14 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

What's so disheartening is that the author of this garbage happens to share a class with the one openly trans student at Moorehouse, and so this whole thing was basically a personal attack cloaked under the guise of genuine concern...

February 17, 2009 11:28 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I trifled with going to CAU or Morehouse while in high school. I had teachers left and right trying to persuade me to go to their alma mater. I knew that in the world I chose to be a part of, everyone would not look like me. I also knew that I was at the cusp of coming to terms with my sexuality. Needless to say, I chose Georgia State and not the AUC.
…Not to discredit anyone’s experience, but I picked the best place for me.

I foresaw a very stifling environment at Morehouse and had just gotten word of the brutal beating that had taken place on their campus. I wondered how an institution of higher learning would mold a man who was not only black, but black and gay. Moving into the present, it saddens me to see this means of “tolerance,” which only goes so far.

Understanding, awareness, and simply being conscious enough to remove yourself from the beliefs and thoughts that were given by your upbringing will help to edge us towards growth.

I like what was said in the comment(s) above… Going to Morehouse should be about the educational endeavors and perhaps even a personal bond. Why should someone that chooses to follow their personal desires (of perhaps carrying a “pocketbook”) feel less of a man or a person, because you’re threatened by their appearance?

So much more could be said…

It’s sad and frustrating to see this still taking place in 2009.

February 17, 2009 11:46 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Guys--is anyone paying attention to the statement from an anonymous blogger here claiming that G.G. shares a class with the only open transgender on campus? If that's true, then although still quite relevant, this conversation should be on something else entirely. And, to the younger brothers here saying that G.G. looks like family: let's be careful not to stereotype or malign others in response to having that done to us; especially if he really does turn out to be one of our own. I'm 41, out, a proud bottom brother, and am definitely respected by those in my world. Inspiration: I think we as humans will all be fine when we realize that everything does NOT have to be ok with us...everything and everybody just is. Open your eyes! Love.

February 20, 2009 11:27 AM


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