Campus has nothing to fear from homosexuals

By Zach Wolek

I sincerely consider the University to have an accepting and open-minded campus and student body. However, I also feel from experience that there is often an undeniable presence of homophobia.

I am not a homosexual myself, although I consider myself an ally. My clothes and hair could be described as ‘metro’ by comparison (the debate on whether or not the word ‘metrosexual’ stems from homophobia can be saved for another day).

As a transfer student, I can honestly say that I’ve been called a ‘fag’ more times in any one of my few semesters here than in all three years at my last school combined. In one extreme instance, I was even verbally threatened by a belligerently drunk student in a Green Street bar due to the misinterpretation of being a ‘faggot.’

I understand that many students simply have a lack of exposure to homosexuals and gay culture, stemming naturally from different communities, families and friend groups. However, these homophobic feelings are also reinforced when people immerse themselves in exclusive social groups of like-minded people.

To the males on campus in hateful fear of homosexuals lurking in the corners, I just have this to say: Get over it.

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Secondly, I write to ask you to keep in mind that homosexuals are just like everyone else, and attempt to hit on people just like anyone else. It is perfectly natural to feel uncomfortable or awkward if openly pursued by someone you have no attraction toward. However, please remember this feeling the next time you misread or ignore the signals of that cute blonde at Station or Joe’s and feel the need to cling inside her personal space.

Finally, if you feel strongly against homosexuals, it’s probably because you haven’t had much exposure in getting to know any one. And if you haven’t had much exposure, your gaydar is clearly terrible. So from all of us, gay and straight alike that get hit with your intolerant, uninformed and hate-filled views, please just back off.

Zach Wolek

Senior in LAS