Stanford Hub




Cory Booker's 1992 Op-Ed Proves The Power Of Gay Friendship

Bookeropinion

Time and again polls show that the single biggest factor in someone changing their minds about marriage equality or general LGBT rights is meeting an LGBT person. It's that simple. They meet a gay person, see that we don't have horns, and move past their archaic attitudes. Newark Mayor and likely U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker is one of those people.

On April 8, 1992, he wrote an opinion piece for his university newspaper, The Stanford Daily, about how meeting a gay person changed his mind on the matter. That paper republished the piece today. Here is an excerpt:

...While I was highly adroit at maintaining an air of acceptance [of gays], I couldn't betray my feelings. I was disgusted by gays. The thought of two men kissing each other was about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy.

Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past – I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple.

While hate is a four-letter word I never would have admitted to, the sentiment clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals. I sheepishly shook hands with gays or completely shied away from physical contact. I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays as thoughts would flash in my mind, "What sinners I am amongst" or "How unnatural these people are."

It takes too much energy to hate. Daniel Bao showed me that. He was our gay counselor at The Bridge when I was a freshman. A beautiful man whose eloquent and poignant truths began to move me past tolerance.

I still remember our first real conversation about homosexuality. I had no intention of listening to him; I only sought to argue and debate. Daniel, however, quickly disarmed me with his personal testimony.

Booker is now one of the most outspoken gay allies in public office.


Rachel Maddow Talks About How the Stanford Newspaper Outed Her to Her Very Catholic Family

Rachel Maddow talks to Newsweek/Daily Beast about being outed to her very Catholic family by the school newspaper at Stanford, which promised they wouldn't run an article in which she outed herself before she told her family, which the paper did. Maddow says she still feels burned, and angry at herself for putting herself in that position:

MaddowThey would have had a hard time with me coming out anyway, but this was a particularly nasty way for them to find out. They’re wonderful now, and couldn’t be more supportive, but they took it poorly at first, which I don’t fault them for. They were shocked and upset and hurt. First of all, they were having to deal with the fact that I’m gay. Second of all, they were having to deal with the fact that I’m gay in the newspaper. And third of all, they were having to deal with the fact that they’ve raised some sort of horrific, callous rug rat who would tell the student paper before telling her family.

It took a while for them to get over it. My family’s very, very Catholic, so that was part of the initial upset. But I actually think that having a really strong faith is part of the reason they got over it—despite Catholic teaching being very antigay. Having a faith tradition was helpful for them and gave them the strength to get over this difficult thing.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged