Outspoken

By van Vlymen, Corey | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), March 14, 2006 | Go to article overview

Outspoken


van Vlymen, Corey, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


College is supposed to be a time of learning, growing, and, not to mention, fun. Most people think of college as a time to get out and experience the world. They don't expect to find themselves confined to a cold and unfamiliar dorm room, afraid to leave. That's how I found myself midway through my second semester at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, which was ranked by The Princeton Review this year as the least gay-friendly college in the nation.

I'm gay, and that wasn't something I could change or was prepared to hide. I was out, and that was a problem for my fellow students at the all-male school. The harassment began as simple name-calling but quickly escalated. I was the subject of Web postings, newspaper articles, and other forms of humiliation.

My dorm room was graffitied, and when I moved into a fraternity house my furniture was covered with words like fag. I always knew I could leave and go to another school where I could lose myself in a crowd and be rid of the intolerance, But that wasn't the right thing to do. so I'm still here. …

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