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Homophobic remarks disturbing

Joanna Basile | Tuesday, November 4, 2003

I am writing this letter out of pure disgust with respect to how I saw many of the students at the FSU-ND game act this past Saturday when the FSU band took the field before the game and during half time. When the FSU band came onto the field to play before the game started, I noticed that they had a male baton twirler as part of their group. I couldn’t help but think how cool it was to see someone break a gender barrier and participate in something that he looked to be really enjoying.

However, I was astounded when I heard the Notre Dame student section’s response to his entry onto the field. Many students, mainly men, immediately began to laugh and call him insulting names like “fairy,” “flamer” and one person, after he started twirling the fire batons, even stated, quite loudly, “He doesn’t need the fire batons! He’s flaming enough as it is!”

First of all, just because he is a baton twirler does not mean that he is gay. Second of all, even if he is gay, it is completely inappropriate for the student section to be shouting such insults at him. Are these students so insecure about their heterosexuality that they feel the need to shout these insulting names onto the field and act in such a juvenile manner? Is this the way Notre Dame students want visitors to the campus to see us? Do we want to be seen as a campus that has such an intolerance towards people that don’t follow the norm of society that we feel the need to make fun of them for it?

I, for one, do not want to be counted as part of this campus if this is the way that students here are going to act. I think it is time that these students go back to kindergarten so they can relearn the basic grade school teachings of decency of behavior and respect for others.

Joanna BasilesophomorePangborn HallNov. 3