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Loyola’s gay community maintains mixed feelings on their acceptance

This is part one of The Maroon’s series on sexuality at Loyola

Assistant Life and Times Editor

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2011

Updated: Friday, October 28, 2011 10:10

Gay Loyola

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY KEVIN ZANSLER/THE MAROON

Many people on Loyola's campus think that the university is a tolerant place in regards to people's sexuality, but there are some who think that there are still undertones of homophobia at the school.

In the past year, hate crimes have affected gay students across the country, bringing attention to the issue of acceptance on college campuses.

At Loyola, political science and Latin American studies junior Molly Wagner said she has experienced some homophobic comments, although it has not been anything overt.

"I'm not an outwardly gay person, but it's not something I flaunt or hide either," she said.

Former student Zachary Krengle said that he felt he wasn't taken seriously as a bisexual male by students.

"People started rumors that I wasn't actually gay, I was straight, and vice versa," he said.

General studies sophomore Adrian Claveria said he has been the recipient of strange looks on campus, but finds that the overall feeling at the university is one of tolerance.

"There will always be people with their own little discriminations, but that discrimination is mainly the fault of individuals, not the community," he said.

Though some members of the student body have less than positive experiences to relate, some still think that the gay lifestyle is accepted at the university.

"I mean, our nickname is ‘Gayola.' That goes beyond being gay. In my mind, that means being accepting of people of all kinds and that means a lot to me," said Mackenzie McMillan, political science junior.

McMillan chose to come to Loyola because of the community service opportunities available. After experiencing the accepting atmosphere at Loyola, he said that he finds it difficult to picture going to school anywhere else.

McMillan encourages students to be themselves and to take advantage of the fact that Loyola will be one of the most accepting places they will experience in their lives.

Though he is not associated with the Catholic religion, McMillan said, "Once I got to Loyola, I realized that the Jesuits embrace and love you for who you are."

Other students agree with McMillan's assessment of New Orleans.

"The environment here is obviously good. I mean, the South can be scary but it's not really ‘Deep South' in New Orleans. It's a pretty nice and accepting city," said Madelaine Crabtree, jazz studies sophomore.

Crabtree discovered that she was gay during her freshman year, and found her friends to be accepting of her and her then-girlfriend.

"All of my friends were like, ‘Oh, we knew you guys liked each other, thanks for telling us'… It's really just one small fraction of what your personality is, just like being straight is just one small fraction," Crabtree said.

Crabtree said she has not found much of a stigma against being gay at Loyola.

"The only bad stigmas I've experienced are things that they say in passing, like ‘Oh, that's so gay,' you know, like homo or whatever. People who are immature or don't know what they're talking about are still using gay to mean stupid," she said.

Loyola students aren't the only people who find the campus accepting of their lifestyle.

"I love working here. I've never felt the need to be something I'm not. I mean, I don't go walking around saying, ‘Hey, I'm Patrick, I'm gay,' but I don't try to put on a straight act. I'm just me. I'm Patrick, a person and a professor here," said theater arts professor Patrick Gendusa.

Gendusa was the victim of a violent hate crime in May 2006. About a year after the attack, he was offered the opportunity to work at Loyola and has been teaching for six years.

Gendusa says that he does not live in fear, because he is grateful to work at a place like Loyola.

"If you just be yourself and love yourself and treat others with respect, it's going to come back to you," Gendusa said.

Leslie Gamboni can be reached at

legambon@loyno.edu

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8 comments Log in to Comment

Anonymous
Thu Mar 28 2013 14:02
For the record, the bible also says that crawfish are an abomination, and that if a married man dies, then his brother should marry his wife... Just like the constitution's embrace of slavery, maybe some aspects of biblical law are also outdated.
Anonymous
Wed Mar 27 2013 15:34
The bible is to organized religion what the constitution is to the United States. If you are Catholic but you don't believe in it, then you shouldn't be Catholic just as you shouldn't be an American if you don't believe in the Constitution. BTW, the bible says that homosexuality is an abomination. That's not just a little sin. Also, BTW, you don't have to be a Catholic or a bible believer to believe that it's an abomination...all you have to do is contemplate the perversion of nature involved in it's sexual acts and the diseases that result from it to know how wrong it is.
Anonymous
Mon Apr 30 2012 14:25
I chose to be gay the day you chose to be straight. People are born with their sexual orientation pre-programed. And if God made everyone, then he made homosexuals. Do you seriously believe that someone would CHOOSE a lifestyle that is so mocked, hated, and attacked? So to religious fundamentalists I say: GET OVER YOURSELF. Homosexuality is just as natural as heterosexuality.
I am amazed at why active abominators continue to refer to the Bible when condemning homosexuals. Are they unaware of their own abominations detailed in the same scriptures? Or are they simply counting on their audience being unaware?
Anonymous
Mon Apr 30 2012 10:29
n the Bible, that was thousands of years ago and life is very different. How about 5,000 years later? We still refer only to the Bible, we forget our fellow humans because there is no update in the Bible (aside from the many contradictions we find in it).

The Bible is not a Luncheon Menu, I agree, but neither is it a list of do's and don'ts.

Let us reflect on being humans and not try to replace God in guessing who to accuse of what. God will decide. All in due time.

Anonymous
Mon Apr 30 2012 10:28
In the Bible, that was thousands of years ago and life is very different. How about 5,000 years later? We still refer only to the Bible, we forget our fellow humans because there is no update in the Bible (aside from the many contradictions we find in it).

The Bible is not a Luncheon Menu, I agree, but neither is it a list of do's and don'ts.

Let us reflect on being humans and not try to replace God in guessing who to accuse of what. God will decide. All in due time.

Anonymous
Mon Nov 7 2011 07:15
This is a wonderful, positive article.
Anonymous
Thu Nov 3 2011 13:54
Don't even begin to quote the bible unless you are willing to take the full context of it. I can most certainly assure you that for every line you find to "support your claim..." there would be ample others to show how many "wrong things" devout christians practice on a daily basis. I won't even begin to actually tell you that the quotes you argue support your cause are actually taken greatly out of context. You and people like you ... who argue based upon a haphazard familiarity with a book you profess to live by make me very sad.

We don't want special favors - we just don't want bricks thrown at our heads for holding hands with another person of the same sex. We don't want to get attacked because we "differ" from the heteronormal. We don't want anything that you and the vast majority of the country are not allowed to experience on a daily basis - we want rights and equality.

Anonymous
Mon Oct 31 2011 22:55
You dumbells never cease to amaze me. Although I can embrace the gay community as children of God, I do not think they should be given special favors for living a life that is contraty to nature.

It is in the bible that this is wrong.

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