gay students at Duke

<p>Very self explanitory.
I come from a Liberal town in NJ and have been openly gay for a few years. I am very interested in applying to Duke, but due to distance, I have not able to visit it.
I visited schools like Vassar and Wesleyan and saw a large gay presence on campus, and I was wondering if anyone could comment at all about gay life/number of gay students at Duke?
Basically, I want to make sure I end up going to a school where there are other kids like me</p>

<p>any information would be greatly appreciated</p>

<p>UNC is the gay friendly school. Regardless, the South is not a gay friendly region of the country; I would stick to more liberal regions of the country (West Coast, Northeast,etc).</p>

<p>Also, ask yourself this question: Do I want my identity to be "the gay student"? Or would you rather be known for your other characteristics, academic abilities, and contributions to the school?</p>

<p>Center</a> for LGBT Life at Duke University :: About Us</p>

<p>please pick up the phone and call, and chat with staff members..who might give your email address for instance to students in our lgbt organizations. My son is a senior and has gay and straight friends. Some straight friends are active in lgbt...but I am not in a position to give you the insider's view as a parent. So..I hope you ask students who are in lgbt directly about social life for gay students at Duke yourself.
hope you consider Duke..which is a universe unto itself with students from every corner of this nation and world. Yes Duke is very sporty and a good portion of Duke is fratty (my son is in both fratty and in arty circles, and my personal views of Duke students leads me to view most of them as rugged individual types...my son feels absolutely great about for instance being a huge Opera devotee at Duke while also never missing a football game.). But there is diversity of thought and lifestyle at Duke.<br>
good luck as you look for your future college home.</p>

<p>Not being gay myself I can't give a full opinion on this but I'd say that Duke is pretty Gay-friendly. I'd definitely talk to the LGBT center as they are a great resource. I sing and have some gay friends that I met through that and they have always seemed quite happy with being here.</p>

<p>Please do not let Alumnus2003 color your perception of what life is like at Duke. Duke has made ENORMOUS strides in the past few years. Contact the LGBT Center on Campus or contact the Admissions Officer in the Duke Admissions Office who works on LGBT issues (I believe it's Pamela Leech Saldanha this year) - yes there is one, a sign (I think) of Duke's commitment to being a welcoming community for all.</p>

<p>I would say that Duke itself and for the most part the Triangle is surprisingly gay-friendly. However, North Carolina (and the south) in general is NOT gay-friendly. But you won't be venturing that far out anyways, I suspect. Duke historically has been on the list of the least gay-friendly schools. In the past 5 years, it has switched and is actually on lists of the most gay-friendly schools. Duke is not Berkeley or anything, but it's much more friendly then say Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, for example. I know several gay people and they find Duke, in general, to be an accepting place. There isn't as large of a community as some larger state schools or schools in major cities, obviously, however.</p>

<p>The LGBT community has some presence, but it is definitely not what you would see in a northeast liberal arts school like Vassar or Wesleyan.</p>

<p>As a gay student here at duke I have to say that the lgbt community is really great here. There are different events during the fall and spring semester that allow gay students to host events and participate in them. The center on west campus is constantly growing and is a great place to visit during the day. Every friday there is an event at the center from 4-6 where all gay students can just eat and socialize with other LGBT students. Next week is the pride parade and its being held on east campus (campus for freshman) and last year it was very well attended and had the support of all duke students. People here are very accepting about gay students, after all, this is one of the nation's elite universities, there isn't a lot of room for bigotry. If you ever want to ask me more questions just PM me and i'll be more than happy to answer your questions.</p>

<p>I'm a senior music major at Duke and I can attest to it being as LGBT-friendly as I can reasonably imagine it being. Here are some points for and against its being so:</p>

<p>The University has an LGBT</a> Task Force consisting of administrators, faculty, students, and staff which "makes ongoing assessments of attitudes and conditions throughout the University regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons and issues.</p>

<p>The LGBT Task Force also makes recommendations for changes and seeks implementation of these recommendations on issues such as (1) the University-wide environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students, staff, and faculty; (2) appropriate supportive services for such students, staff, and faculty; (3) educational programs for the entire University community; (4) other matters affecting the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community members at Duke."</p>

<p>In terms of student groups, the largest is Blue</a> Devils United, for all LGBTQA undergrads (there are a number of involved allies), which holds several events a year, from the Drag Show and Lavender Ball to National</a> Coming Out Day and National</a> Day of Silence—they also sponsored a trip to this year's March on Washington. Generally speaking, they carefully monitor the undergrad LGBTQA climate and attempt to improve the undergraduate LGBTQA experience. This semester, they also started a blog to document the Duke LGBTQA experience (our</a> lives blog)—I HIGHLY recommend visiting and spending a while looking at columns which interest you (links to contributors are on the right sidebar, as well as topics).</p>

<p>For the graduate schools, there is [DukeOUT/url</a>, [url=<a href="http://www.dukeoutlaw.org/%5DOUTlaw%5B/url"&gt;http://www.dukeoutlaw.org/]OUTlaw[/url&lt;/a&gt;] (in the law school, which particularly discusses legal and political issues), [url=<a href="http://mbaa.fuqua.duke.edu/glsa/Welcome.html%5DFuqua"&gt;http://mbaa.fuqua.duke.edu/glsa/Welcome.html]Fuqua&lt;/a> Pride<a href="business%20school">/url</a>, and [url=<a href="http://www.duke.edu/web/sacredworth/%5DSacred"&gt;http://www.duke.edu/web/sacredworth/]Sacred&lt;/a> Worth<a href="divinity%20school">/url</a>.</p>

<p>These are all independent of, though partially advised by, the LGBT Center itself, which holds a number of dialogues and events, such as the [url=<a href="http://lgbt.studentaffairs.duke.edu/programs_services/programs/LOL/%5DLGBT"&gt;http://lgbt.studentaffairs.duke.edu/programs_services/programs/LOL/]LGBT&lt;/a> Discussion Group<a href="particularly%20for%20questioning%20students">/url</a> and the [url=<a href="http://lgbt.studentaffairs.duke.edu/programs_services/programs/Women%20Loving%20Women/index.html%5DWomen"&gt;http://lgbt.studentaffairs.duke.edu/programs_services/programs/Women%20Loving%20Women/index.html]Women&lt;/a> Loving Women](<a href="http://www.duke.edu/web/gap/DukeOUT/Background.html%5DDukeOUT%5B/url"&gt;http://www.duke.edu/web/gap/DukeOUT/Background.html) group. Twice a semester the LGBT center holds ally trainings to add to its Ally</a> Network. Every year on National Coming Out Day, the LGBT Center along with the campus LGBTQA groups, give out 1500 or so [shirts/url</a>: [url=<a href="http://www.bluedevilsunited.com/2009/12/rainbows-buttons-flags-and-umbrellas.html%5DHere%5B/url"&gt;http://www.bluedevilsunited.com/2009/12/rainbows-buttons-flags-and-umbrellas.html]Here[/url&lt;/a&gt;] is an interesting post from the BDU blog on campus visibility and the shirts. Before Love=Love there was "Gay? Fine by me." or other similar designs. The shirts are incredibly popular and are always gone within an hour or two.</p>

<p>Other student groups also target homophobia. Examples include [url=<a href="http://www.duke.edu/web/racerelations/retreats/%5DCommon"&gt;http://www.duke.edu/web/racerelations/retreats/]Common&lt;/a> Ground](<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_WkIebZWWPcI/Sxl0PQOJmtI/AAAAAAAAAIo/8J4xgnEGf6o/s1600-h/love+love+mockup.jpg%5Dshirts%5B/url"&gt;http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_WkIebZWWPcI/Sxl0PQOJmtI/AAAAAAAAAIo/8J4xgnEGf6o/s1600-h/love+love+mockup.jpg), a diversity retreat run by the Center</a> for Race Relations, which focuses on confronting racism, sexism, and homophobia/transphobia on campus. The Catholic</a> Student Center has also led two dialogues during the past year on LGBT issues within the church—it also recently formed a committee on sexuality and LGBT affairs to advocate for a more affirming Catholic community. I'm also told the campus Lutheran group is very affirming—I know there are a number of active reconciling Methodist groups in the area, but I don't know how active the Methodist LGBT community is on campus, nor any Episcopal group.</p>

<p>I've heard some mixed things about other students groups' responses to the LGBTQA community. [CRU/url</a>, in particular, has, from my perspective, not a particularly good reputation on this front in particular.</p>

<p>In terms of Greek life, I know a number of out fraternity brothers (I myself came out to my fraternity during my junior year and received an entirely positive reception, and though I'm no longer affiliated, mostly due to financial reasons, I can't imagine any negative reactions). Yeah, you'll hear the occasional "fag" or "that's gay," which we're certainly working to combat, but it's really quite minimal, and I personally do my best to confront it when I see or hear it. [url=<a href="http://www.bluedevilsunited.com/2009/11/bro-sex-and-other-subtleties-of-being.html%5DHere%5B/url"&gt;http://www.bluedevilsunited.com/2009/11/bro-sex-and-other-subtleties-of-being.html]Here[/url&lt;/a&gt;] is a great blog entry on being out and Greek.</p>

<p>All across campus, you can see [url=<a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WkIebZWWPcI/Sxlq02coL0I/AAAAAAAAAIQ/uafL29663vg/s1600-h/IMG_8446.jpg%5Drainbow"&gt;http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WkIebZWWPcI/Sxlq02coL0I/AAAAAAAAAIQ/uafL29663vg/s1600-h/IMG_8446.jpg]rainbow&lt;/a> flags](<a href="http://dukecru.wordpress.com/who-we-are/%5DCRU%5B/url"&gt;http://dukecru.wordpress.com/who-we-are/) hanging from students' windows, a very visible and affirming gesture--this is in response to the bridge incident. Before [NC</a> Pride 2009<a href="held%20on%20Duke's%20East%20Campus">/url</a>, Blue Devils United painted the campus bridge (widely used by student groups to publicize events). During the night, someone painted the words "F--k rainbows. F--k gay pride" on top of it. The response was almost immediate—a group of students covered over the hate speech so quickly that the email sent to the entire student body decrying the hate speech was confusing to many who never saw the bridge before it was painted over. Blue Devils United ordered rainbow flags and passed them out immediately beginning the day after the incident, and they now hang all over each campus.</p>

<p>The fact that we see such hate speech from time to time is quite disappointing, but I know that things have improved dramatically even over the past six years or so (this is what the director of the LGBT Center tells me, anyhow). The LGBT Center has a small, cozy room with computers with wireless internet access where many students and allies hang out during the weekdays. It's really a very active and vibrant community.</p>

<p>I will say that there are many more out gay men at Duke than there are women. There are many reasons for this, but it's something we're working on. Additionally, there are some issues with trans discrimination with regards to housing (currently, there are not gender-neutral bathrooms in every building), but this is also something Duke Student Government as well as the other LGBTQA student groups are working on with Residence Life and Housing Services. DSG also recently ratified their constitution and moved to gender-neutral language throughout—small victories, but they're there. </p>

<p>All in all, it was a great place for me to come out—as a Catholic, as a fraternity member, and as everything else. Feel free to ask me questions via the blog (I'm a contributor and administrator—there's a link on the right sidebar to contact us). Once again, that's at BDU's [url=<a href="http://www.bluedevilsunited.com%5Dour"&gt;http://www.bluedevilsunited.com]our&lt;/a> lives blog](<a href="http://www.ncpride.org/pride/%5DNC"&gt;http://www.ncpride.org/pride/). </p>

<p>Yes, there are problems, as there are likely always to be. I have personally had a great experience.</p>

<p>I have little to add, except that you should explore Duke's LGBT site here:</p>

<p>Center</a> for LGBT Life at Duke University</p>

<p>I happen to know the head of the LGBT employee group, Deb Kinney, and if she's a good indicator, you'll definitely have a bunch of interesting and energetic people supporting you.</p>

<p>I know this post is old but I'm just dying to put my two cents in.
I just finished my freshman year at Duke. I'm a lesbian who is extremely involved in the LGBT community. PiMC2CM said almost everything that needed to be said. </p>

<p>It's true that not many women are out at Duke. The women who are out tend to be amazing people and leaders within the community. Unfortunately this makes dating VERY difficult. You tend to see the same few women and many of them are in relationships. It's true that we're making lots of strides. Womyn, a publication about queer women, just got approved. The group Women Loving Women always has a good turn-out. I am part of a core group of queer women who are working hard to reach out to closeted women and increase our visibility.I</p>

<p>If you are gender non-conforming I honestly cannot recommend Duke. My girlfriend is black and identifies as genderqueer. She's tall, has short hair and often wear's men's clothing. She doesn't feel safe or welcome in many social situations. She would transfer if she could. Another friend, a black queer woman, has told me that she would have transfered if it wasn't for the LGBT center. I know a gender non-conforming Hispanic woman who has repeatedly expressed strong negative opinions about LGBT life at Duke. I have also witnessed and heard about a lot of hateful language directed towards effeminate men. Cross-dressing on Halloween is apparently a grave offense at Duke. </p>

<p>I think Duke is a wonderful university that has made great strides in the past few years. If you are non-white, a woman or gender non-conforming you should definitely find out more information and talk to people at the LGBT center before you make your decision.</p>