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Moore: Reflecting on the homophobia by Clemson College Republicans

Pixabay, Courtesy
Gay pride event

As most Clemson students are aware, Clemson College Republicans released a statement on April 10th stating their condemnation for the drag show event that occurred on campus.

While this statement is riddled with homophobic dog whistles and outdated verbiage from the 1800’s, it remains clear and consistent with the experience of every queer person on Clemson’s campus. 

For the past two years, my experience has been filled with homophobic slurs, supposed title IX violations and a feeling of dismissal from numerous peers and administrators.

When first presented with the statement, my initial reaction was to disregard it with memes and jokes. Upon further reflection, I realized that I genuinely was hurt by the sentiment shared within the post.

Although I’m of the personal belief that Clemson College Republicans owes nothing to me as a queer student, I am upset by is the grotesque entitlement demonstrated by the letter.

For the first time in a while a major event was put on as a nod to LGBTQ+ students on campus, something that rarely occurs. Clemson College Republicans, rather than turning their head to something that has nothing to do with their purview, felt it to be advantageous to condemn this event because they felt “alienated” by men lip syncing in dresses.

While I am not attempting to dismiss their feelings of alienation, this statement feels disingenuous when there have been numerous major events on campus by multiple student organizations and administrative offices which are geared towards their interests and community. 

This leads me to the conclusion that this statement is not one from a genuine place of concern for the betterment of campus, but is rather geared towards preserving the previous status quo of Clemson University. One in which queer people must re-enter the closets from which they came and subscribe to a box established by reactionary conservative social politics.

When even a minor step towards a more inclusive Clemson is taken and you take it personally as an act of exclusion, I believe that self-reflection is necessary. 

While I believe that free speech is a virtuous and important right to have, I will say that evoking ‘free speech’ needs to stop being the defense of both administration and numerous students on this campus. This statement is extremely upsetting and disheartening to see from a student organization that is contractually obligated to not discriminate against others.

I believe that administration failing to address the plethora of concerns that queer people have on this campus out of fear of the “political implications” is even worse. The first reaction from administration to a statement like this should not be a disregard for the entire problem by stating that it’s in the organization’s right to say this.

What queer people on this campus want is the numerous other issues which effect our community to be mitigated and resolved. 

Scotty Moore is a sophomore political science major.

The Tiger strives to publish a diverse set of opinions from the Clemson community. If you are interested in submitting a guest column, please review our submission guidelines.

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