To the Editor:
If nothing else, the final article in the “Gay at Yale” series (“Gay life: A place in the minority,” 11/30) proved that queer studies at this institution is indeed woefully inadequate.
In any class on ethnic studies taken here, we learn about the difficulties intrinsic to creating unity, about the struggles to create group representation, and about the pressures to create such groups even where none exist.
The conclusions drawn are always the same: Identity is multivalent, not monolithic. Crosscutting cleavages within the “community” prevent monolith formation. I would no more associate myself with everyone gay on campus than I would with everyone male, Jewish, from New York, white, studying political science, or doing theater. I may wear my gayness on my sleeve, but I am more than all gay all the time.
And that, despite the article’s assertions to the contrary, is not a bad thing.
If anything, a diverse gay typology makes the community richer and coming out a bit easier. There are gay athletes. There are gay Christians. There are gay artists. And we should celebrate that.
The suggestion that “The Yale Dichotomy” is the juxtaposition of Yale’s gay-friendly atmosphere with its commitment to training future leaders represents obsolete thinking. This suggestion is not only offensive, it is not even a dichotomy.
Were it to be one, then the fact that we admit women and blacks while purporting to train leaders would also be a dichotomy. Today, striving to educate gay people and future leaders does not inherently mean working at cross-purposes.
Andrew Sessa ’02
December 2, 2001