Pride and Prejudice: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

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Hello Blogosphere! My name is Isaiah Frisbie and I am honored to be the writer for Pride and Prejudice. As a freshman myself, I came to Brown with a number of questions, many of which were answered within a matter of weeks while others remain open-ended. Perhaps one of the more enduring questions, one that may continue to be answered throughout the entirety of my Brown career, is how my own sexuality will affect my college experience. So, I have taken it upon myself to use this blog to contribute any kind of insight that I can about LGBTQ life at Brown and hopefully, in some way, help any student, prospective or otherwise, put some of those nagging worries to rest.

Before I get to the actual body of this post, I feel that some kind of introduction is in order. Think of this as our initial “virtual handshake.” Let’s see how this goes. I apologize in advance for any awkwardness that follows.

My name is Isaiah Frisbie and I hail from a rather unheard part of southern California. Now before the big reveal, I’m just going to mention the fact that there are students here from California that have no idea where this mythical place is. Ready? Drumroll…Perris, California. I understand if you have to Google it.

I came to Brown well aware that I was going to concentrate in the Literary Arts. I love to write and I intend to make a career out of it. However, in the Brown spirit of things, I am now planning to double concentrate in Literary Arts and Political Science. I know. I know. It’s a strange combination. I think that is one of the many reasons why I’m so happy with it. I’ll keep you all updated as to how this plan of mine turns out.

I’m interested in all things fandom and nerdy. My area of expertise ranges from Harry Potter to Legend of Zelda, from V for Vendetta to Broadway musicals.

When I first began applying to universities, Brown was high on my list, if not already number one. I remember mentioning this to a friend of mine and she subsequently asked me where the campus was located. I told her that Brown was in Providence, Rhode Island. While I may be somewhat paraphrasing, it was her next response that constitutes the point of this whole anecdote.

“I hear that place is like the East Coast San Francisco.”

At the time, I assumed she was exaggerating. I knew that she had never been to Providence and thus I questioned the legitimacy of her claim. Nevertheless, that one comment inadvertently sparked a number of questions. What would college be like for someone who identified as homosexual? What would dating be like? Would there even be people to date? How open should I be about my sexuality? Is sexuality an issue even discussed in college?

Although California as a whole is seen as an exceptionally liberal and progressive state, Perris didn’t necessarily fit that description. My own high school in particular was a clear example of this. I was one of the few openly gay students on campus. The issue was not that there was any kind of stigma against homosexuality but rather the presence of it seemed so rare that nothing on the subject could ever really develop.

I have been at Brown now for a matter of weeks and I can already see that the issue of sexuality is not only addressed but is a normality, regardless of one’s orientation. There may of course be the exceptional few who contribute their share of criticism and judgment but such a phenomenon exists anywhere. One will find that Brown offers so many more routes of acceptance then it does opportunities of insensitivity. In my short time here, I have come to realize that I don’t have to be afraid to mention my orientation. I don’t have to hesitate or answer the question delicately as I’ve done in the past.

At Brown, one doesn’t have to worry about sexuality being an issue because for most, it isn’t. The network and system of support for LGBTQ students that exists here is astounding to witness and even more rewarding to be a part of. It’s a beautiful and welcoming environment in which there is no stigma for being yourself.

Look at it this way. I have already seen more rainbow flags in my first month at Brown than I ever have before in my entire life. Just a bit of perspective if it helps.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about what I should post next, please don’t hesitate to email me at isaiah_frisbie@brown.edu.

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