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Reclaiming the ‘queer’ title

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, February 10, 2005

As a member of the Standing Committee For Gay and Lesbian Student Needs, I am often asked what I think about the Princeton Review’s ranking of Notre Dame as the least tolerant school in the country. When asked, I reply that Notre Dame must be judged from two different levels. On one level is the administration, which seems to be somewhat homophobic. Conversely, the other level, the campus and the student body, seems to be a community that is accepting and welcoming of all people. I feel my response may change, and I feel myself slightly more aligned with the Princeton Review’s analysis of our University after reading the most recent issue of the Irish Rover.

The Rover’s homophobic agenda is explicit in several articles. One is entitled, “Queers Take Over D-PAC.” This article is meant to be a direct response to this weekend’s Queer Film Festival, and the contrast is apparent from even the title. The word ‘queer’ has been used as derogatory term for people of alternative sexualities, but the gay movement has reclaimed the term, attempted to remove the pejorative meaning, and allowed ‘queer’ to become a word that reminds one of the gay rights movement and the gay intellectual movement, hence its use in the title of the film festival. By claiming that ‘queers’ are taking over the place, the Rover uses the word in a derogatory way and in doing so attempts to disparage what the Queer Film Festival seeks to celebrate: the positive attributes and fulfilling lives of gay and lesbian people.

The Rover’s disgusting remarks should not be tolerated on this campus. Hopefully they will not be. Hopefully this type of ideology is only held by a few who make The Rover. Hopefully gays and lesbians at Notre Dame will find a campus and a student body who will accept them and love them as human beings. Hopefully.

Robby Davidson


Fisher Hall

Feb. 10