Jump to content

The LGBTQQIAA Question


Recommended Posts

Thanks, bgt28, for starting this thread. Like you, I'm black and queer, and those two identity markers have been on my mind as I put together my portfolio. I just feel that, if I mention my queerness, it might bias the admissions committees against me. On the other hand, I don't want it to make them think, "Hmm, queer? Black? Check, check!"

 

No! Will look into. Thanks.

 

 

 

Actually have been wanting to include Baldwin in the list so thanks for the reminder! :)

 

 

I am. I thought I was the only fruit in the bunch. Now I'm thinking this cohort in one room would look like this:

gaysteelmill.jpg

 

Ha! Love it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, bgt28, for starting this thread. Like you, I'm black and queer, and those two identity markers have been on my mind as I put together my portfolio. I just feel that, if I mention my queerness, it might bias the admissions committees against me. On the other hand, I don't want it to make them think, "Hmm, queer? Black? Check, check!"

 

I didn't mention my sexuality in my applications (although I'd imagine it's obvious from some of my interests), but not because I was afraid of biasing programs against me so much as it would have read as kind of boring in relation to my interests. "Bookish boy who likes boys likes books on boys--(tasteful) film at eleven!" But worry about biasing people against me? No way. Or rather: I'd hope so.

 

I mean, if a program's the type of program where my being gay is gonna be an issue, then yes, please, I'd hope it'd bias them against me and that they'd throw my application out--I wouldn't want to go there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mention my sexuality in my applications (although I'd imagine it's obvious from some of my interests), but not because I was afraid of biasing programs against me so much as it would have read as kind of boring in relation to my interests. "Bookish boy who likes boys likes books on boys--(tasteful) film at eleven!" But worry about biasing people against me? No way. Or rather: I'd hope so.

 

I mean, if a program's the type of program where my being gay is gonna be an issue, then yes, please, I'd hope it'd bias them against me and that they'd throw my application out--I wouldn't want to go there.

 

Hmm..I didn't quite consider that. You're right, of course. Like you, I'm sure that some of my interests will expose a little of my rainbow lining anyway. ;) It is a personal statement, after all.

Edited by rococo_realism86
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey all, been away from GC for a minute now.  Interesting thread though.  Honestly these issues didn't occur to me as I was applying, but my sexuality has little to do with my general academic interests.  Does it influence them?  Probably.  But I didn't get very "personal" at all in my personal statement -- I treated it more like a professional statement, though I tried to keep it pretty poetic in the beginning.

 

I didn't mention my sexuality in my applications (although I'd imagine it's obvious from some of my interests), but not because I was afraid of biasing programs against me so much as it would have read as kind of boring in relation to my interests. "Bookish boy who likes boys likes books on boys--(tasteful) film at eleven!" But worry about biasing people against me? No way. Or rather: I'd hope so.

 

I mean, if a program's the type of program where my being gay is gonna be an issue, then yes, please, I'd hope it'd bias them against me and that they'd throw my application out--I wouldn't want to go there.

This.  I almost wish I had alluded to my sexuality very slightly just so I could get thrown out if all the medievalists in my prospective programs turn out to have the mindset of 80 year-old Victorian aristocratic breeders from another dimension.  But I generally avoid in my writing the things that I find boring or didactic in other students' writing... such as rattling on about one's sexual preferences.  That's just me though.  If you're writing significantly on say, drag culture, and your work is heavily informed by being part of one, than obviously it would make sense.  But I had a boyfriend once who would go on about all the suffering he went through as a gay man all the time to anyone who would listen, including to get out of class work, to get pity from professors, etc and I found it incredibly irritating and irresponsible.  Which doesn't mean that suffering wasn't valid or anything.  I just hate it when an academic setting turns into a therapy session.  When I'm in the classroom, or writing, that's when I want to be throwing myself into my work, into a space where my personal feelings and identities can get a chance to be irrelevant.  But, then again, I work with a lot of things written in the distant past where my convictions often truly have nothing to do with the mindsets of the writers I engage.

 

Regarding it being obvious from one's interests... I feel like I've read plenty of extremely queer academic writing written by men married to women with children... so I don't even know about that.  If my personal feelings and identities were so wrapped up in my interests, I'd probably have developed some uber-schizoid multiple-personality complex by now that I'd like to go on thinking I don't have ;).  I also happen to find a lot of extremely un-PC and intolerant works of art to be quite beautiful.  Sue me.  Am I surprised at the amount of queers here?  Not really, judging from how chill I've found a lot of people on this forum to be.  I tend to assume most people are queer to some extent... as someone who's been kind of ambiguous about my sexual preferences for a while, I'm used to having people of more straight-forward orientations, whether "straight" or "gay," casually opening up to me about encounters and feelings they've had that would traditionally go against that grain.  *shrug*  It has nothing to do with me as a future professional though.  I don't give a shit about the orientations of the people evaluating me, so I figure mine is none of their business either -- they're strangers to me.

 

For queer novels to be read during free time, I recommend Samuel R. Delany's Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand or James Purdy's In A Shallow Grave.  Purdy's descriptions of sexuality make more sense to me than almost any other modern fiction writer I've read.  He also knows how to make me cry like a little bitch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I had a boyfriend once who would go on about all the suffering he went through as a gay man all the time to anyone who would listen, including to get out of class work, to get pity from professors, etc and I found it incredibly irritating and irresponsible.  Which doesn't mean that suffering wasn't valid or anything.  I just hate it when an academic setting turns into a therapy session.  When I'm in the classroom, or writing, that's when I want to be throwing myself into my work, into a space where my personal feelings and identities can get a chance to be irrelevant.  But, then again, I work with a lot of things written in the distant past where my convictions often truly have nothing to do with the mindsets of the writers I engage.

 

 

Welcome back!

 

I find it interesting that you contrast these two outlooks on sexuality in academia. Besides the fact that I can't imagine working in a "space where my ersonal feelings and identities can get a chance to be irrelevant," I think there's definitely room to exist between the two extremities of "always seeking pity/going on about one's oppression" and eradicating identity from one's work.

 

Either way, I'm so happy to hear about so many different viewpoints and ways of dealing with one's sexuality in academia! So enlightening. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going off on a slight tangent here, but does anyone else prefer not to date fellow academics?

 

My reaction anytime I've gotten romantic with a fellow gay academic--especially if he's in the humanities--has been to bro out and be like DUDE GET OFF MY TURF.

 

My current boyfriend writes screenplays and is into film, but he feels far enough away where like I have my interests and he has his. In theory, that's possible within the discipline too, but anytime I've dated another academic, I've mostly felt uncomfortable, probably because he brings to light insecurities I have about myself or something like that. (Am I that boring/obnoxious when I talk about my research?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going off on a slight tangent here, but does anyone else prefer not to date fellow academics?

 

I've never actually had the opportunity to date someone in the humanities (I went out with an astrophysicist a few times) and I'm not sure how representative my opinions are (this thread seems to be mainly male-identified queer folks who date other male-identified queer folks, and I am basically the opposite of that), but I tend to think other academics are really attractive. I LOVE hearing really smart, really engaged women talk about their research. :P It's awesome. Then again, I'm also not very competitive, so I guess that might make a difference too...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I LOVE hearing really smart, really engaged women talk about their research.

 

 

In fairness to both you and your academic exes, everyone is exactly that boring when they talk about their research.

 

Hah! De gustibus, etc etc etc. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love this thread, and all the reading recs! It's been nice to read your varying approaches to identity in SOP's etc.

 

My research interests and methodology are very influenced by my identity, but I think I still sort of dog whistled it or left room for multiple interpretations (of my gender identity & sexuality)--talked about how "my trans/genderqueer approach...would contribute to the diversity of the program" or something like that. But I did definitely foreground my working class background, and my radical politics. Maybe that was a bad idea...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I did definitely foreground my working class background, and my radical politics. Maybe that was a bad idea...

Meh. My impulse would be to say I would treat it the same as sexuality/gender... as long as it's expressed tastefully, than I wouldn't worry. The most cynical good case scenario I could imagine is that it would make you seem "interesting" ;).

At this point, with all apps in, I would prefer to never read my SOP ever again and pretend that it's immaculate, daring, and gorgeously written.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you read David Eng's The Feeling of Kinship, as I recall that also makes some rather interesting points

 

Just wanted to thank you for this recommendation. It's blowing my mind wide open and has changed my research trajectory significantly!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wanted to thank you for this recommendation. It's blowing my mind wide open and has changed my research trajectory significantly!

 

Oooh, I'm so glad! :D I'm yet to read anything by Eng that isn't amazing! I'm glad you're finding him equally inspiring :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lol honestly I'm still on season 7. I just found out they're doing it again....whyyyyyy/omg hooooot

Haha actually they don't physically do anything in season 7, much to my chagrin. Although it was left open-ended in the last episode. What I wouldn't give to be watching it for the first time again... enjoy it while you can!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use