Pride and Prejudice: Sexuality and Religion…You Can Keep Reading I Promise!

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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.

So, anecdote time! Honestly, what else is new?

WARNING! Sensitive Topic ahead!

Don’t run! We’ll get through this without any awkward silences or judgmental gazes.

After a three hour shift and a quick extracurricular meeting, I’m on my way to my dorm with my usual dose of caffeine (Starbucks) and I begin thinking about how I’m going to compose my post for this week. I had somewhat of an idea ready to tweak and mold into a coherent product when suddenly I was handed a coin. Taking of my headphones that had virtually deafened me to all external reality, I was able to hear the man that had handed me the coin. I don’t necessarily remember what he said but I think it suffices to say that he was a religious advocate.

As I walk away, I look down at the coin and read: 

“Where Will You Spend Eternity?” 

It hit me that I had obviously overlooked a very important, and rather controversial, topic. As I have said before, the environment at Brown is exceptionally liberal. However, this progressive attitude not only promotes LGBTQ issues but also all other areas of expression, including religious expression.

I would be neglecting a pretty important aspect of LGBTQ life if I didn’t at least acknowledge the way in which religion and sexuality coexist at Brown. Oh…yes! Look at that sentence again! I did! I said it.

I said coexist.

Within the last two months, I have taken notice of the fact that Brown hosts a number of outlets for countless religions on campus. Do you want to know two things I’ve realized?

1) I have yet to see any kind of conflict between any of these religiously affiliated groups.

2) I also have not noticed any sort of tension between these religious groups and LGBTQ students.

Do I still have a long way to go? Yes. Brown is not necessarily a paradise for LGBTQ students, in which tension and conflict do not exist. However, I must admit that of the many things I am worrying about at the moment, someone reprimanding me on religious grounds because of my sexuality is not one of them. There could easily come a day when such a thing were to occur but that is the case anywhere one goes.

I am simply lucky enough, as I’m sure many other students here feel, to be in a school and an environment that promotes a freedom of expression without necessarily impeding on anyone else’s ability to do the same in some other facet of their life. You may come here and notice nothing in terms of policies or conditions that enforce such an atmosphere. Honestly, it just seems to be a behavior that the majority of the students here adopt.

So, if you are worried, even in the slightest, about expressing your religious identity, sexual identity, or both, don’t be! You more than likely will face more conflict with midterms or simply getting enough sleep.

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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