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T-shirt passivity

Abigail Nichols | Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recently, T-shirts with the slogan, “Gay? Fine by me,” have been circulating around campus as a way of showing faith and support for the gay community of Notre Dame. While I believe the sentiments which prompt the stand to be good, I see the movement as passive and possibly counter-productive to the cause.

The question of gay rights is a heated issue in this country. It is not one which is settled or one which will be resolved any time soon. In the United States homosexual people are targets of hate and blame who need more than passive acknowledgement. Imagine yourself in the civil rights era wearing a T-shirt which said, “Black? Fine by me.” “Jewish? Fine by me.” “Irish? Fine by me.”

Issues of hate are not resolved with statements of general sentiment but powerful conviction set to action. Think of freedom riders, Tiananmen Square in 1989 or even J.C. — real change is not found in protest signs and T-shirt slogans but in the actions which people take.

As students at one of the most influential universities in the United States we should think of ourselves as future examples, people who will end in high societal positions which will affect the lives of people around us. With this in mind, we should always be trying to set a morally upright and just example; let us remember the golden rule. Don’t say that you are fine with homosexuality, prove it. Help a homosexual friend in the way you would like to be treated in a similar position. Don’t just sign a petition, write one. Don’t just donate, start a charity.

So wear a T-shirt, but not just because your friends are. Believe in what it says and follow with action.

Abigail Nichols


Welsh Family Hall

Feb. 21