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.
One thing I was already very much aware of prior to my arrival to Brown was the fact that I was hopelessly unfamiliar with a culture that I felt constituted a large extent of who I was. I had finally come to terms with my own sexuality around the conclusion of my freshman year of high school. However, now as a college freshman, I realize that my own road to self-discovery is not and cannot be the extent to which I relate and identify with the LGBTQ community. I remember completing the application for Brown’s UCAAP (University Community Academic Advising Program) and there was one question in particular that forced me to come to a realization that I wasn’t necessarily proud of. The question is generally as follows:
Describe one social issue in which you would like to get involved or in which you would like to make a significant difference or impact?
I stared at that question. I struggled and labored over that single question. It seemed like a simple task. What did I care about? Where did I find injustice that I wanted to change? When I looked at the dynamic of the world, what bothered me?
I will spoil the ending and say that I finally settled on writing about marriage equality because that was a matter that I not only related to but believed would be a meaningful cause to which I could dedicate my time if not a good portion of my life. To make any kind of difference in such an issue would be a fulfilling endeavor, a campaign that I would be proud to be a part of.
However, I hesitated to answer the question in this way. At first, I didn’t feel right about that answer. I didn’t feel qualified to make that statement. As I considered all of the possible responses, I of course was inclined to answer it this way because it was an issue I felt passionate about. However, it was an issue that I admittedly didn’t know much about. I was aware of the overall trends and the fact that marriage equality was controversial and not fully realized. However, I saw that that was practically all I knew – the generalities- and I wasn’t alright with that. Nevertheless, I did write about marriage equality but I also discussed what was just aforementioned. I admitted that although it was a social issue in which I wanted to involve myself, I still didn’t understand enough about it, as well as the LGBTQ community in general, to adequately do any kind of justice to it. Therefore, I also added that these were exactly the kind of issues I was dedicated to learning about in college and I intend to keep that promise.
Being a student now for a little over a month, I already know that Brown is just the institution I needed to expand my knowledge about those issues. In many aspects, I felt like I was a member of a community who knew nothing about his own backyard and I wasn’t going to sit idly by doing nothing to change this.
So, if any of you readers feel as though you are in a similar situation, my point behind this long-winded anecdote is that there are so many outlets and avenues here at Brown that will allow you to acquire a better understanding of a number of different perspectives and social issues, especially in the LGBTQ department. There are countless events, some of which I am already looking into, and resources (Queer Alliance, LGBTQ Resource Center) that students have at their disposal. I, myself still have so much left to learn but I’m confident in the idea that the kind of “expertise” I felt I was lacking is definitely something I will acquire in my four years at Brown.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about what I should post next, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.