Last Tuesday was National Coming Out Day here at Georgetown, and I was evil. I didn’t wear jeans. I knew that G.U. Pride gave everyone flyers telling them that if they supported gay rights, they should wear jeans. I wore my tan corduroy pants. So I must be some hate-mongering, bigoted homophobe, right? No, wait a minute. I’m not. I do support equal rights for homosexuals, including equal work conditions and the right of marriage. But according to the G.U. Pride flyer placed underneath everyone’s doors the weekend before National Coming Out Day, I don’t actually have those beliefs. Why not? Because the flyer itself says, “Therefore, by not wearing jeans, you are making a very definite statement that you do not support equal rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.” I wore corduroy pants. I’m glad I have a group to tell me what my beliefs actually are. Instead of having someone come up to me and actually asking me what I think about an issue, people can now assume what I believe from what I wear. That’s reassuring. It certainly cuts down on the thinking I have to do every day. If I support gay rights, I wear jeans. Why don’t we do this for other beliefs? Pro-life? Wear a hat. Support the death penalty? Wear shoes all day. It will be shorthand for the politically correct of the 21 century. Hopefully, that won’t happen. One, I hate hats. Two, I don’t want to walk barefoot everywhere. More importantly, I don’t think it’s necessary to wear some article of clothing, a ribbon, or, in the case of National Coming Out Day at Georgetown, completely random symbol to show that I support some cause. I’d rather do that the old-fashioned way. I’ll vote for people who believe what I do, I’ll give time and money to causes I truly find important and I’ll protest at the top of my voice when I think an injustice is being done. More often, I’ll talk to people and try to show them why I believe what I believe. I like those methods much better. I understand why G.U. Pride did what it did. It was trying to show that students of Georgetown did support gay rights. But there are better ways to do that than having everyone wear jeans. People wear jeans every day. It’s hardly a remarkable accomplishment to get someone to do something they do every day. They could have asked everyone to sign a petition for gay rights. They could have driven home the fact that they were selling G.U. Pride tee shirts at their table in Red Square. That at least would have been a recognizable symbol. Instead, they proclaim that wearing jeans is a symbol of support for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. The purpose of National Coming Out Day was to increase support for gay rights. In reality, I noticed that many people wore jeans even though they had no real opinion on the subject of gay rights. Others, like me, were offended by G.U. Pride’s edict and wore khakis, shorts or tan corduroy pants. So, in the end, there were people wearing jeans who did not care about equal rights for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, and there were those who did support such rights but were seen as homophobes by G.U. Pride because of their fashion sense. National Coming Out Day did accomplish one thing; it blindly separated Georgetown into supporters of gay rights and bigots. That’s impressive. It’s like separating homosexuals from heterosexuals with no regard to each person’s individuality. The Open Forum appears Tuesdays in The Hoya

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