Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tips for Gay College Students

I decided to go back and add this picture to the post because it was just too damn perfect in my opinion. It is a little more hardcore than I generally post on this blog, so I hope you guys don't mind.

Are you gay and out in college? Or, are you planning on coming out in college? College is much less insular than high school campuses can be. It's a great time to explore your interests and your sexuality.
I didn't come out until I went to college. Here are the things I would've done differently and suggestions on how you can better your college experience as a gay man:
Dorms and Residence Halls
Living in a residence hall as a freshman was the first time I ever lived on my own. It was overwhelming at first, but I was excited to get away from home. I knew I was attracted to guys; but I was way too scared to explore my feelings so I stayed in the closet for a while. I was also somewhat distant from my co-ed hall mates. I feared my secret might ruin my new friendships.

  • What I would have done differently: Looking back on the situation, most of the guys and girls around me were also excited about being away from home and exploring their own interests. Months later, when I did come out, I found that most of them didn't care at all. I wasted great bonding time and denied myself some wonderful experiences by not being myself. Of course, you should only come out when you are ready (and I wasn't at the time), but try not to make assumptions about your new suite or hall mates. They are looking to find themselves in their own ways. You are entitled to the same.
Finding Gay Friends
After months of thinking I was the only one, I ran across a guy in one of my classes that I had a feeling was gay. Tired of having no one to talk with about my sexuality, I did everything I could to befriend him. I joined his math group. I asked if he wanted to study together. I made random comments about lecture. We eventually became good friends and came out to each other.
  • What I would have done differently: I invested a lot of time trying to figure out if one guy was gay, as if he was my only option. And while it paid off and I had a new gay friend, looking back I would've explored more. There were many gay and gay-friendly groups on campus that I could have joined to meet other gay people. I could have also reached out and befriended more of my dorm friends. I later found out that they knew other gay people and could've made a connection. When looking for gay friends on campus, don't put all of your hopes on one person. Explore and be proactive about your search.
Dating
I longed for a boyfriend, especially after I started meeting gay friends. I would chat with guys online, but either couldn't get up the nerve to meet them or I just didn't think they were a good fit. I didn't give up my search, though. I knew eventually I would make a connection with a guy I liked. But when I did meet my first boyfriend, it was in the most unlikely of places–a club I joined. It wasn't a gay club, but there were gay guys in it. Me and a few of the guys eventually became friends since we spent so much time together at club meetings. One of the guys and I became especially close. He was my first boyfriend and my first love.
  • What I would have done differently: Prior to meeting my first boyfriend, I became more and more eager to find a man. It would have been best if I let the situation happen instead of letting my desperation drive my actions. Usually, the best dating situations happen in the most unlikely of circumstances. When I stopped seeking, I found a great guy. Just like making gay friends, it's best to get out there and explore social or academic options on campus. You and another great single guy will eventually find each other. Another lesson I learned was taking a more active role in my safety, which brings me to the next topic.
Online Hook Ups and Campus Safety
Meeting someone online is a cool way to get to know them–initially. I would chat with guys online during study breaks and off time. I developed an entire network of online buddies. But, after some time I wanted to meet them face-to-face. No online dating questionnaire or number of chat hours can replace an in-person chemistry check.
  • What I would have done differently: There were many times when I would meet up with online guys only to discover that we didn't quite connect in person. Also, I didn't take my safety into account enough times. Unfortunately, not everyone online is on the up and up. You should always follow these safety tips before meeting an online buddy in person. Also, if you have a suite mate or close buddy, give them your schedule and keep them up on where you are traveling around campus (especially at night). It's always better to side with safety.
Sex
Some people choose to explore same gender sexual experiences while in college. A first same-sex experience can either be a wowing confirmation of your emotional attractions or not at all what you expect (or a little bit of both).
  • Suggestions: Take your time when exploring your the physical aspects of your sexuality. There is no rush, nor does a prize go to the quickest explorer. It's best to be selective about who you experience with. Know the person, get proof of their HIV status, practice safer sex, and always keep your safety in mind.

How To Find a Gay and Lesbian Friendly College

Looking for a gay-friendly college environment? The climate on a college campus is an important factor when making a choice about a higher learning institution. Whether you are already out or plan on coming out in college, a gay-affirmative campus can foster memorable experiences. Here's how you can find a gay and lesbian friendly college:
Do your research.
Have you decided what you want to study or have a general area of interest? First, research schools based on their academic programs and your interest in their areas of study. Start with directories like Princeton Review's The Best 368 Best Colleges and U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2009. They publish annual rankings of colleges and universities based on region, academic programs and other criteria.
Check their discrimination policies.
Once you've narrowed your search, check each university's discrimination policies. Each school should publish their policies online or have them available in their administrative offices. Be weary if the school does not have a published discrimination policy or ones that don't mention sexual orientation or gender expression.
Check for gender neutral housing.
A growing number of colleges and universities are offer gender neutral housing to meet the needs of their diverse student population. A campus with gender neutral housing has demonstrated that they are not only abreast of, but are concerned about their gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
Search for LGBT clubs and organizations.
Search on the university web site for LGBT-based organizations. The more clubs and groups that they have, the better potential for a more gay-affirmative experience on campus. Not only do some of these groups lobby the university concerning gay issues, but many are social and support clubs that can assist you on campus. The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals publishes a directory of college and university offices that are run by at least one paid professional staff or graduate assistant directing LGBT resources.
Scan the course bulletin.
Have you spotted any lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer study themed courses in the college bulletin? Not only are these courses a good indicator of a campus' openness and diversification, but they may fit perfectly in your academic areas of interest.
Visit the campus and surrounding cities
The best indication of a college's environment is a campus visit. Schedule an appointment with the admissions office or attend an open house. Don't be shy about asking if the university has any of the above things mentioned. Also, cruise through surrounding cities, looking for gay activity in the area. Your college experience may expand outside of campus. Is there a gay center nearby? What about gay bars, clubs or cafes? The gay vibrancy of the surrounding area can often spill over into a more gay-friendly campus and vice versa.
Finding a gay and lesbian-friendly campus takes research, but the pay off comes in a more affirmative experience for you as a gay student on campus.

Scholarships and Support for LGBT Students:

The Point Foundation provides financial scholarships, mentoring and support for LGBT students. For Fall 2007, The Point Foundation has 38 new scholars, which brings the young organizations total to 86. The Point Foundation invests an average of $32,000 - $35,000 per scholar per year and currently boasts 26 alumnae.

Who Qualifies for a Point Scholarship?:

The Point Foundation suggests you, "Review the current Point Scholars’ biographies to get a good idea of what we are looking for in our scholars. You do not need straight A's to apply but we are looking for individuals who have proven leadership skills, excellent scholastic achievements and want to make a difference in the world. All applicants are evaluated on the totality of their situation including, academic accomplishments, financial, emotional and social need, extracurricular activities, personal circumstances and goals for the future."

How Do I Apply?:

The Point Foundation web site provides all of the information you'll need to apply to be a Point Scholar.

I'm Not a Student, But I Want To Help:

A college education can cost a single student anywhere from $8,000 and $40,000 per year. The Point Foundation believes in caring for the needs of their scholars, which may be the full cost of their education of just living expenses. You can help Point help our future leaders by giving to the organization.

More on The Point Foundation:

Read this exclusive interview with Point Foundation Executive Director, Jorge Valencia.

Suggested Reading

Just so that there is not confusion here, this is an article written originally by , for About.com Guide. I reposted it here because I thought someone might find it useful, and edited a little here and there, adding some additional resources. It is meant as a way to give references to guys who might be reading this blog and are going through some of the same things I was going through in college. Maybe if I had been able to read an article such as this, it would have made the coming out process easier for me.

14 comments:

fan of casey said...

JB -- what great advice, too bad when i went to college, the internet had not taken off yet, your insights would have been helpful to me at the time. As you move forward in your "Coming Out" series, i hope to hear about some of your relationship experiences - not the graphic sex stuff unless you want to - but more the romance feelings and how you coped with dating.

JoeBlow said...

Hey fan of casey, I wish I had this advise when I was coming out. The internet was just taking off. I was a senior in college before I got internet access at home, and it was a very liberating experience. It still took a few years before I could come to terms with being gay.

I have a few more posts with some general advice that I wish I had had when I was coming out, advice that I hope someone, someday, stumbles upon and it helps them through the process. I will do a post or two about my relationships, but sadly, there has never been much on that front. I am single and have never had a regular boyfriend. The closest I have come has been a semi-regular fuck buddy, but that was it, most of them have been hook-ups, so far I haven't found the right guy. It has gotten tougher in the last year, and I will explain that in a future post.

BTW, if you want to read the graphic sex stuff, go to my other blog (the graphic one), http://cocksandassesonly.blogspot.com, and click on the label "hook-ups."

JoeBlow said...

Fan of casey, I hope this post didn't mislead you about my relationships when you read it. I went back and added at the bottom of the post that this originally came from About.com, because I thought it had some great information in it. The writer of most of the text is actually Ramon Johnson, who wrote this for About.com.

Dean Grey said...

A lot of good advice here!

-Dean

JoeBlow said...

Thanks Dean. I am trying to add a little education to this blog as well as some fun. I only wish I had known these things when I was coming out.

fan of casey said...

JB -- I saw the addition of the references you drew upon, it's you added insight that provided value. BTW it's a little disheartening to hear that such a great guy as yourself -- you're funny, passionate, caring, obviously smart -- that you haven't found the right guy yet. I know what that feels like since I'm in the same boat. I know about your other blog and visit it as well for the eye candy but this one is more intellectually appealing that it moves me to comment and dialogue with you.

JoeBlow said...

Fan of Casey, sometimes it is disheartening for me too (thus the rant in today's post). However, I chose to wait until after I finished grad school and find a permanent job before I seriously looked for a relationship. Someone to casually date and have fun with would be nice, but I never felt that it was fair to anyone else because I knew I would have to move where I found a job. So I have put it off, I just hope that it is not too late. Also, I am usually a very shy person and dread the prospect of rejection. There are other reason, and you will read about them in a post that I have set up for Wednesday. Everyone keeps telling me that the right guy will eventually come along.

I thought I remembered you commenting on my other blog, but sometimes I get confused, LOL. I'm glad you like the eye candy there and the intellectual appeal of this blog. I guess it is my two personalities. I originally tired to mesh both into my other blog, but it never worked very well. I still keep some of that stuff over there, but this is more my serious (?) side.

And feel free to email me anytime (jec1918@gmail.com), especially if you have any request or suggestions for this blog. And don't hesitate if you want to have any discussions outside of this blog. I would love to hear from you, so feel free anytime.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of online groups as well that can sometimes be used to find gay friends near by, but also can just provide a feeling that you're not alone. I use http://brospaces.com -- ClosetProfessor, maybe you could do a post about them?

Anonymous said...

you copied and pasted this from about.com.....

JoeBlow said...

Anon, it is also attributed as such at the bottom of the post. Thanks for reading.

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best friend is gay said...

thanks prof, this is good advice

Anonymous said...

My first gay experience was not in clleg dorms nor at a Unievrsity:it was in a vast deserted beach, where I found a sturdy good-looking fisherman; he was only clad un underpants.We talked for a small while, and then he told me:I know what you are looking for:lay on the sand with your clothes under your belly, aked ans wide-open your legs.I had a condom an lots of lubes.He was very well endowed.I told him it might hurt.Maybe when passing thru the anal sphincters.He did so and once in my rectum I fully enjoyed him.I wont say more, so as not to sound pornographic.If someone wnats more explantions, please ask.

Anonymous said...

I got a sex buddy in college recently;I am a Hispanic.H is a WASP:he did not like me being uncut.He tod memy peniis was a "anteater" then he was afraid of #cheese" until I showed him I showered every dayand washed my glans retracting my foreskin.Well, we got along he got accustomed to my anteater and I to his cu pens whichequaly looked strnge for me.Gladly he believe me andever sicnce wehave very goo sex.What advice can you give in these cases? Becauase we almoost failed.