Brandon LacyDecember 1996
A few months ago, Jeff Walsh, editor of Oasis, referred to me in a press release to Oasis staff as BFOC—Big Fag on Campus. And since then I have taken the time to look at myself, and what it means to be a “popular” fag.
I have found that my sexuality, which is a large part of my life, since I completely ascribe to the belief that Harvey Milk espoused that we are all activists and the most basic task we can undertake is to come out to anyone and everyone we meet, has both negative and positive connotations.
Here, at Warren Wilson College, where I am an undergrad student, my sexuality has placed me in a spotlight of both positive and negative energies. On one hand, being a vocal gay man at Warren Wilson College, has painted a strong picture of leadership and decisivness in the gay community. I have made a great friend of the administration, who either openly support me and the gay rights movement at WWC, or are too afraid of me to say anything. The school turns to me almost exusively to get the viewpoint of the very large gay and lesbian population at Wilson, and I am constantly asked to speak at functions, or to represent the school in areas that deal with incoming students or others who have concerns about how gay friendly WWC really is.
All of the attention I have recieved as a gay student here is wonderful. It is a visible acceptance of glbt rights at WWC, and I feel comfortable and welcome as a part of the overall community at Warren Wilson.
At the same time, my sexuality has seemed to wash out all other aspects of who I am, and what I want to accomplish in my life. Not only do I provide leadership to the glbt community, but I sit on the Student Caucus, WWC’s student body, where I serve as the communications co-chair. As a Student Caucus delegate I represent the entire student body, and not just a localized group, but that is often overlooked. I also have an intense passion for writing and reading, but unfortunately I have had little time to do any of that because I am often called on to perform some queer task or another. I love to swim, hike, play tennis, and cook. But unfortunately, all of this is overlooked because I am only viewed as “gay” and not as a full, complete and functioning person.
This is a phenomenan that I have found is shared by many leaders in the glbt community. We are often called on to put aside the other aspects of who we are, in favor of promoting and fighting for the right to recognize our sexuality openly and without prejudice. It is a sacrifice that most of us are willing to make, but it is also one that should not be neccessary.
Also, at some points, I feel like the token queer. It is like the civil rights movement of the 60’s where it was a status symbold to say, “Hey look, I have a black friend.” now it seems to be the same with gay and lesbians. It is PC to have a fag or a dyke as a buddy.
Fortunately, I have a core group of friends with whom I can be myself. A group of friends who realize and accept that I am gay, and are able to see that I am also sensitive, caring, passionate, and full of all the tiny portions of reality that make up who I am.
I think that we, as gay and lesbian leaders, are isolating ourselves, and at some points are forgetting how to step back and recognize that we need time to pursue our dreams. It is up to us to take the initiative and call attention the fact that we are complete individuals, and not activist robots designed to fight for equality on two double D Duracell batteries.
I encourage anyone who is feeling a little burnt out, and a little adrif to take some time for yourself, to hug a friend, or catch a movie with your partner. It can work wonders.