On Thursday in the first quad of the Village, a very disturbing crime was allegedly committed against two male students by two other male students. As the story goes, two friends who did not identify as homosexuals happened to be holding hands. As they strolled through the quads they passed a group of men and one man screamed out “faggot” and then followed up with more homophobic slurs. Eventually words were exchanged between both parties and the outcome was the two men holding hands being punched in the face. Does this bother anyone but me?
It really angers me that we live in a society where this kind of ignorance is tolerated. Why do we feel that difference deserve to be made fun of? Furthermore, who gives us the right to decide that when we are angry about those who are different, we are allowed to act violently towards them? This is America, “Land of the Free”. Yet, so many instances like the hate crime on Thursday night disagree with the moral decree this country’s forefathers declared hundreds of years ago.
What I find even more interesting is that all of this behavior is not inherent, but is derived from how men are socialized under this oppressive patriarchal system. As men we are conditioned to live within the confines of a gender box which only allows us to operate under specific codes of masculine behavior. Whenever we step outside this box to express America’s notion of “land of the free’, we are scrutinized harshly, told our behavior is either “soft” or “feminine” and are either made of fun until we go back in this box or ostracized for refusing to do. Well, I am tired of this and feel that we as straight allies of the queer community have to be better at helping to deconstruct these walls that stand in the way of “GENDER” freedom. You can do this by stepping up when you notice someone is being discriminated against. This is not just limited to sexual orientation and includes discrimination against someone based on race, age, class, and physical disabilities. "RAMAPO