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Gay Life at Denison

PrinceMuzicPrinceMuzic Registered User Posts: 427 Member
edited March 2012 in Denison University
Is anyone familiar with the LGBTQ scene at Denison? Particularly with regards to the guys. Are there a lot of gay/bi guys on campus and in Granville and as a whole, are people in the gay community generally accepted?

Thank You!
Post edited by PrinceMuzic on

Replies to: Gay Life at Denison

  • cpelle88cpelle88 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Denison does not have a big gay community. Sure, there are gay guys there, but the school (as a whole) is pretty conservative on the issue and there have been problems with gay students in the recent past.

    Still, you will find plenty of accepting students there. Just don't expect an exceptionally liberal community.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,380 Super Moderator
    The problems with the response to gay students in the recent past was handled well by the administration and student body (big supportive demonstration). There should be a thread about that from about 1-2 years ago on this forum. In general I believe Cpelle's comments are accurate.
  • PrinceMuzicPrinceMuzic Registered User Posts: 427 Member
    I did get a pretty conservative vibe from the school when I visited. Glad to know it's not just me being crazy.

    Sent from my SPH-D700 using CC App
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Would generally agree with much of the observation. Not much overt presence. Conversely, while it might be semantics, Denison is anything but conservative. Grove City is conservative. There are obvious gay faculty and they have a "Queer Studies" minor. DU is pretty traditional, Granville is no San Fran, and remember this is smack dab in the small-town middle of the middle of USA's Middle America. You'll get pretty much the same vibe and more from most campuses w/in a 1,500 mile radius. Maybe barring Oberlin, Antioch, to a lesser degree Kenyon. I fear you're swimming upstream on this one.
  • NEValuNEValu Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    Well, I've got to chime in here; being a midwesterner myself. Within 1500 miles of Denison is a pretty large radius and would take us out of the MidWest, for sure. Even closer to DU however in America's Heartland, we have many schools that would not be an unfriendly fit besides the 3 that WP named. Think of Carleton, MacAlester, Gustavus,Washington U.,Colorado College, Grinnell, Lawrence, ....actually many small non fundamentalist Liberal Arts Colleges that I'm not drawing off the top of my head. And then we have the large state University campuses....Wisconsin, Minn. Iowa. I'm not saying that these are all meccas for GLT students but, personally I (coming at the issue from the other side of WP's views) resent the idea that the entire Midwest is truly intolerant.
    Getting back to the OP's question (and off my decidedly tolerant and/or liberal soapbox) I can't really speak to the culture of DU on the issue as I am a parent of a straight student but, what I personally would do in the case of the OP is talk to the Chair of the Queer Studies dept and ask him or her to put you in touch with appropriate student orgs or individuals
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Agree fully. My point was generally overstated, and there are niches where GLTs would be far more comfortable than in Granville and far less distance than 1500 miles. As noted, nothing close to San Fran, NYC, East Coast metro meccas. Back to DU, seems to me I saw only one student minoring in queer studies, which may be a fair indicator of the DU clime. btw, my POV is that Middle America in politics, sexuality, and most things is far more balanced and tolerant of traditional values than the Left and East Coasts and notably the GLT communities there in. Enlightenment is a POV, not a truth. We need to begin to retrieve the language on these issues.
  • ohiobassmomohiobassmom Registered User Posts: 1,401 Senior Member
    No clue about the on-campus scene except that diversity of every kind is valued and pursued at Denison, this I know from friends who work there. Denison has come a long way in that regard from what it was when a family member taught there in the 80's.

    I live in Granville, have for almost 20 years. It's a pretty progressive community in an area of Ohio that mostly isn't. There is one church in town that is "welcoming and affirming", meaning the congregation has joined a group that welcomes gay people explicitly, and at least one other church that's cool with it. There are several gay men and women who I know personally living here, and some in positions of authority., local politics, business owners, etc.

    Hope that helps.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Funny how POV always depends upon where one "stands" in describing the phenomenon being observed. I'd certainly agree w/ some of ohiobassmom's observations. Like virtually all secular and thus liberal liberal arts colleges, the G/L situation is tolerated if not notably embraced or flaunted beyond the "Queer Studies" minor which is neither touted nor recognized as being "popular." Neither is it taunted or frowned upon. The ol' diversity/tolerance gig. There are several known gay profs, again nothing unexpected, and none seems to be zealous or championing the cause.

    Granville, being a college town, seems accepting but I would never describe it as "progressive," recognizing that term, like "gay," as having been effectively kidnapped from its traditional definition, with specific connotations in this day. It is definitely not that newer definition, having voted heavily for Bush in both elections, and even having gone heavily for McCain, despite a huge push to register and encourage college students, virtually all of whom voted for Obama. So, I'd have to conclude it is a generally a very conservative, corporate residential suburb of Columbus in which a liberal college is located. There is virtually no G/L/T population according to its listed demographics, at least those willing to identify themselves as such. And that in itself, if they in fact live there, means they prefer not being identified as such which seems to further affirm that this is not a particularly G/L/T friendly or found place.

    As for churches, of the mainline churches with congregations on and near the town square, several have availed clergy ordination and civil unionization for openly practicing gays. In any case, all are places of worship, healing, serving specifically intended and designed for sinners of all sexual preferences.
  • ohiobassmomohiobassmom Registered User Posts: 1,401 Senior Member
    I must hang out with all the liberal people, Whistle. Which makes sense, since I think we tend to choose friends who are most like ourselves :)
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Agreed. We all have our mission field. :cool: ;)
  • nyuniversitymnnyuniversitymn Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    If being gay is an important part of your identity, I would highly advise you to choose a school other than Denison.

    During my orientation at Denison my mom asked several orientation leaders what the general acceptance level of GLBT students was, and every leader robotically assured her that the campus was very accepting and that there was a large, upbeat GLBT population on Denison's campus. Not true. So very not true. I'm probably the "straightest" gay guy you've ever met, and Denison was incredibly stifling and, at times, genuinely depressing. The GLBT group, Outlook, had a few meaningful and hard-working students, but each week I attended meetings less and less students showed up, until I, a first-year student, was one of maybe 10 regular attendees. There is no place for GLBT students at most frat parties, and while Outlook occasionally hosts parties (maybe two a semester), let's just say the pickings were slim. I'm not even into partying, at all really, but knowing that I COULDN'T even if I DID want to was probably worse for me. Furthermore, the level of respect was so low I didn't know what to do. I often accompanied one of my upperclassmen friends, who was an RA, on her nightly rounds (for those of you who don't know, RAs at some schools have to walk around certain portions of campus late at night to make sure that nothing bad is happening), and one time in particular a random student, whom I am positive I have never met, shouted out to me, "Hey you, fag. Yeah, you in the maroon sweater!" as my friend the RA and I walked by. Didn't know who he was. He didn't know my name. But the school was so small and so ridiculous that he SOMEHOW knew I was gay. And felt the need to say something rude about it.

    I transferred to NYU and, well, I don't even feel like a "gay guy" anymore because 1) there are so many of us and 2) there are an infinite number of more flamboyant guys attending school with me. But, importantly, ALL of us are accepted by the NYU community in every way, no matter if we are a "straight gay" or a "gay gay."
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