If you’re an LGBT student worried about being accepted, stop worrying NOW

When I sat down to write this post, I struggled to find an exciting story or inspiring anecdote that exemplified three years as a gay student at BGSU.

I was scanning my brain for something remarkable.

Where were the dramatic stories of explaining my sexuality to my roommate? What about inspiring chats at the LGBT Resource Center? Didn’t I find refuge by writing for OUTspoken Magazine?

None of those things happened to me. In terms of being gay, my life was boring. Typical. Unremarkable.

My BGSU life was just like anyone else’s BGSU life: freshman-year homesickness, roommate ups and downs, sleeping through my first class, going with friends to football games, finding a partner, losing Internet connection for 24 hours because I tried to download music illegally.

That’s when it clicked: the fact that my existence as a gay college student was unremarkable was actually quite remarkable. BGSU took me in with a humongous embrace.

If a fellow Falcon ever acknowledged my sexuality, it was brief.

“You’re gay?” someone might ask. “When can I meet your boyfriend?”

Here’s a good example. I was a resident advisor last year. I lived with and oversaw dozens of first-year Falcons.

To be honest, I was terrified the day they moved in. I played it up like I didn’t care what they thought of me. In reality, I wanted them to like me. I’ve been a people-pleaser since I was a toddler.

Not once did I have any mention of my sexuality. Every single resident treated my partner and me with utmost respect.

If you’re an LGBT student worried about being accepted at BGSU, stop worrying right now. If these residents accepted their rule-abiding, pain in the butt RA, they will accept you.

Still, it’s important to be realistic and realize that everyone has a different path.

Would I be surprised if one of these residents made an offhand remark about my sexuality behind my back? Not at all.

Do some students need the LGBT Resource Center? Of course. That’s why it’s there.

Have countless numbers of gay students read and written for OUTspoken? Naturally.

My hope for incoming gay Falcons is that you take a deep breath and be prepared for an incredible experience as a BGSU student. BGSU is your oyster, no matter what your sexuality.

Unfortunately, there are still some people who haven’t caught up with the times. These people come in extremely small numbers; odds are, you won’t have a problem. You’ve heard of the isolated incidents in the news where people are bullied and even hurt because of their sexuality.

My goal is not to scare you. My goal is to remind you to be aware. If you decide to go out on a weekend night, know your surroundings.

I’ve never heard of any problems in BG, but in the unlikely event that you do run into trouble, know where you can turn. BGSU has your back. Of course, this is just common sense.

If you need to talk or want to help others, the LGBT Resource Center is available. If you want to learn more or write more, OUTspoken is a fantastic publication.

I am so excited for the brand new first-year Falcons! Gay, straight, white, black, girl, guy, tall, short, etc. Whatever you are, I can guarantee BGSU is thrilled to have you.

Roll along!

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