Pride and Prejudice: Coming Home Queer

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Welcome to Pride and Prejudice! Want to know about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (lgbtq) happenings at Brown? Look no further! I’m Iman Jenkins, your resident queer woman of color blogger here to give you all the details of queer life on campus.

Students around campus are counting down the hours until 12pm, Wednesday, November 27: the time Thanksgiving break officially begins. Some students have already left. The campus is slowly emptying. Lucky for me and the others students who are not heading home, the main dining hall will be open during the break. It’s no comparison to a home cooked meal, but it’s food.

Going back home may mean family, friends, and fine food for some, but for many LGBTQ students, Brown is the first place they have ever been able to be themselves. Some are not able to be out at home like they are at Brown. The first (and only) time I went back home for Thanksgiving, I was in this situation. I was out and proud at school. My room was full of rainbows, my bookbag was covered with queer buttons, and I was active in the Queer Alliance. At home, I was the good, heterosexual Christian girl my minister parents wanted me to be. I had a lot of trouble balancing these two identities. I’ve learned, and here are some tips on how to handle being queer at home.

1. Share as much of your identity as you are comfortable with. I told my family about some of the groups I was in, like my a cappella group and the Black Student Union. I did not tell my family about the Queer Alliance. I did not feel comfortable exposing that part of myself to people who might react negatively.

2. Find people you can be your complete self with. For me, this was keeping in contact with friends I made through the Queer Alliance.

3. Come out to people you if you feel comfortable. I came out to my oldest friend when I came home for break. She took it well and we’re still close. People might surprise you.

4. Remember, you’re only home for a little while. Break is only a few days. Soon, you’ll be back at Brown with lots of other LGBT students.

Questions? Comments? Email me at Iman_Jenkins@brown.edu to learn more about queer life at Brown.

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