When Does Gay Tolerance Go Too Far?


I stumbled upon this article that was published in the The Maroon Tiger, Morehouse College’s campus newspaper.  The following is the article as published in that newspaper in it’s entirety.  I’ll be publishing a response to the article within the coming days, but for now, please discuss the following article amongst yourselves.


It’s no secret that the gay population on Morehouse’s campus does not go unnoticed. Take a walk down Brown Street on a clear spring day, and one will quickly learn that Morehouse College is an institution unlike no other for reasons far more than the “Morehouse Mystique.”

Although Dr. Franklin has urged men of Morehouse on various occasions to treat each other with the utmost respect (especially homosexual students), I notice the prevailing discomfort between our heterosexual students and their homosexual counterparts. You know how it goes: a cluster of openly gay students walk by, and a group of heterosexual students suddenly stop what they’re doing to either avoid making any contact whatsoever, or look on with a sense of disgust. Or when class discussions happen to run on the topic of homosexuality, and that one openly homosexual student steps up to the plate to defend himself and his lifestyle. The silence in the classroom is one of much uneasiness for no one wants to counter-respond in fear of coming off too strong. Awkward?

I don’t want to get into the religious, scientific, or philosophical explanations and connotations of homosexuality; however, I do find that this taboo subject merits great conversation.

This lovely man-producing institution, Morehouse College, contains many homosexual students, some openly and others not so much. Heterosexual students, through their unsettlement with this reality, tend to make gay slurs within the comfort of their friends, and homosexual students do whatever it is that they do behind close doors. That’s the reality.

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.

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.

At this rate, Morehouse College may find itself in a difficult situation. What happens if and when one of our gay Morehouse brothers decides to go the next step and undergo a sex-change operation, and is then physically considered to be a woman? Does Morehouse have the right to ask that student to leave?

A massive population of feminine males and possible transgender students could critically damage the reputation of Morehouse and perhaps decline the amount of admissions, significantly impacting the college. Would it be wrong for Morehouse to implement a new acceptance procedure in which they are required to interview students, in an attempt to decrease gay population?

Now of course such a process is not likely to succeed, however something must be done before Morehouse College, an all “male” Black institution, becomes something quite the opposite in the years to come.

One may argue that Morehouse should allow their students to live as they please, but in these circumstances, one must begin to accept that this once black-and-white matter has become a rather gray, complicated issue.

It is true that some men of Morehouse have failed to honor and respect their gay brothers. Yet, the feelings and presence of heterosexual students should not be ignored. Is it fair for a straight male to come to an institution where he is forced to live in an environment that makes him feel uncomfortable? Because I’m quite sure that if he wanted to be surrounded by females, he would have gone to Clark-Atlanta University.

I’m not saying that having gay students at this institution damages the image of Morehouse, however as the only all-male African American liberal arts college in America, we have a certain image to uphold and a man with hair weave just isn’t it.

[Original Entry]

Gerren Gaynor writes for The Maroon Tiger, the Morehouse College student newspaper.  

So leave some comments, this is a good and juicy subject, I’d love to hear what my readers have to say about this particular issue.  Moreover, what do you think a proper uppity Negro response should be to this article.

Keep it uppity, and keep it truthfully radical, JLL


7 thoughts on “When Does Gay Tolerance Go Too Far?

  1. The title alone makes me laugh.
    I didn’t know TOLERANCE can go TOO FAR…? Substitute “Gay” with “Black” and see how stupid this article sounds….

    but I digress!

    I always laugh when people say gays shouldn’t throw their lifestyle/sexuality in people’s faces. Haven’t str8 people been doing it since the dawn of time? Why should a gay man have to hide his lifestyle/sexuality to make a str8 man feel more comfortable?

    “Is it fair for a straight male to come to an institution where he is forced to live in an environment that makes him feel uncomfortable?”
    HA! How many gay people have lived uncomfortably in the closet because of fear or unacceptance? Should the gay men who have enough courage to come out the closet and be open about their lives, now feel sorry because a str8 man is now uncomfortable with the way he carries himself? or what he wears? or he kisses in public?

    My question is why are str8 people so uncomfortable with what another man is doing or the way he carries himself? Does it hurt str8 men to their core to see another man kiss another man? or “wear a purse”? Those things might be shocking at first glance, but this is the world we live in. Things are no longer just black n white… People come in all forms and all flavors. You are bound to find a few people who go against the norm. If they are not hurting anybody…then i dont see the problem. People are too concerned with judging other people instead of themselves.

    “Would it be wrong for Morehouse to implement a new acceptance procedure in which they are required to interview students, in an attempt to decrease gay population?”

    Yes…It’s called discrimination. I’d like to see a university *OVERTLY* perform and interview process to decrease the number of blacks at a school…..and watch all hell break loose.

    “LIVE and LET LIVE!”

  2. @ trini uppity…
    as a black female, i echo much of what you said above. i, too, found the article silly when i read it on another blog (and when i viewed the author prior to reading through the whole article, i thought he was a part of the community of which he was writing…). anywho….darian at loldarian.blogspot.com has a pretty good response written by a fellow morehouse man; check it out…

  3. I’m offended by the article, mainly because the writer is discussing two different issues, but making them the same thing: the comfort of straight male students in an environment with an increasing number of gay male students, and the comfort of straight male students in an environment with an increasing number of transgendered students. Gay and transgendered aren’t the same thing. It seems as if the aouthor is saying, “Being gay is fine with me because I don’t necessarily have to “see” that. But if you are biologically a man and identify as a woman [one version of being transgendered], that I have to “see”, and that isn’t ok with me.” I have more thoughts, but I can’t articulate them all right now b/c I don’t have time. But in short: womp womp womp.

  4. Tolerance is wack.

    You tolerate something that is distasteful, that is a burden. Saying you tolerate somebody who is gay is like saying they are only allowed to be gay at your forebearance.

    That’s wack.

    Besides that commentary was just logically flawed. The idea that Morehouse should tell it’s gay residents to stand up and be men, is just laughable.

    I mean, this is Morehouse. Don’t y’all have more metrosexuals than then any other black college? So, what definition of “real” manhood are we using? What makes you a man and whose on the committee that decides it?

    I think people should have robust discussions about homosexuality. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to think homosexuality is a sin. But, asking if “tolerance” has gone to far, is just ridiculous. Is the author implying that people should be less “tolerant” and crack down on students to force them to behave?

    Just ridiculous.

  5. Sooooo does me wearing baggy jeans and big sweatshirts, having a short haircut, and choosing not to carry a pocketbook disqualify me from attending Spelman U.? Cuz you know, you can’t tell if I’m a man or a woman or not … cuz my nails aren’t pink or red or purple and I’m not showing any skin …

    This is some bullsh*t if I ever heard/read any. I honestly think that majority of men that do choose to undergo sex change operations would prefer to go to an all womens university seeing as how they feel that they truly are women mentally – however, I can also understand the comradery (sp?) these men find at an all male school that actually houses a multitude of homosexual men that are similar to them in so many ways. Therefore, they should have the choice of attending whichever facility they feel will give them the best educational value considering these are SCHOOLS we’re talking about!

    I love my brothers who rock the prada bags and gucci vests … hell, I know more than a few of them that are hotter than I am! It’s really nobody’s business how others choose to view themselves … we aint hatin on Michael Jackson because he thinks he’s a white woman who actually had three ivory white babies … this dude needs to sit down somewhere and take a big dose of reality … its 2009 … honestly. Let’s try to practice this little thing taught in Elementary schools called tolerance … sheesh!

    Seems to me that this “gray” area as this brother refers to it will soon be an area of interest which will cause certain academic institutions to rethink the lines drawn as far as “all male/female” education is concerned.

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