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Some traditions aren’t worth keeping

Christina LaBarge | Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Notre Dame student body is composed of essentially good, intelligent, compassionate and generous people who want to make a positive difference in the world. Unfortunately, we don’t always act in appropriate ways. One particular decision that has caused a lot of hurt is the “Zahm’s gay” chant. It goes, “Ole, ole, ole, ole, Zahm’s gay, Zahm’s gay!” This chant is hateful and intolerant toward the gay students at Notre Dame, and toward gay people everywhere.

Last fall, my cousin, then a junior in high school, visited me to check out Notre Dame. Coincidentally, it was the week that he decided to come out as gay to our entire family and myself. Our family was very supportive, but he was relieved to get away for the weekend.

However, to my sadness and humiliation, the Notre Dame student body decided to showcase its intolerance at the game. The drunk boys behind us shouted out gay slurs for hours. As if that wasn’t bad enough, halfway through the game a large group of students began singing, “Ole, ole ole ole, Zahm’s gay, Zahm’s gay!” As I cringed in my seat, my cousin patted me on the back. “It’s ok,” he said, “I’m used to it.” Later that evening, as we headed into an anonymous boy’s dorm, two boys got in the elevator with us. One of them told the other that his roommate had asked him to get him a comb when he went to the grocery store. “That’s so f***ing gay!” they laughed. Would it never cease?

I felt completely sickened by the end of the weekend. I love Notre Dame with all my heart, and I had to tell my beloved cousin that he definitely should not come here. He kindly told me he wasn’t going to apply because of the weather, but why would he ever want to come to a school that showed such intolerance? Notre Dame students, please stop this “tradition.”

Christina LaBarge


Breen Phillips Hall

Nov. 1