By Wojtek Dabrowski
“Somebody must have clued in to the fact I was gay and wrote ‘fag,’ ‘queer,’ ‘poofter’ on a couple of my posters.”[Cooney ran, successfully, for a seat on RyeSAC’s board of directors in 1998.]
“That’s when the major homophobia started. Started vandalizing at least probably half to two-thirds of my posters. It went on to personalized attacks, calling me an ‘Oedipal wreck’ and talking about my relationship with my mom. They wrote things like ‘Wouldn’t mom be proud,’ talking about my sex life. People started slipping notes under the RyePride door [where he worked] as well, like ‘Why don’t you go back and crawl under your rock’ and ‘Be quiet now or else.’”
“I had to walk down the hall and people would watch me as I’d come across more and more [vandalized posters] and pull them down.”
“It was kind of tough to deal with, but I think in the end it really strengthened me.”
The survey of 1,813 students, 89 staff and 123 faculty members collected some surprising data:
- 14.1 per cent of students said homosexuality is a “sickness.”
- 33.5 per cent of faculty said they would be disappointed if their child was bisexual, lesbian or gay.
- 22.7 per cent of students surveyed said they would feel disgusted seeing two men holding hands in public.
One respondent wrote at the bottom of the survey:
“God destroyed two cities—Sodom and Gomorrah—because they were gay and lesbian. Therefore, since God hates this Sin, this generation will face the exact consequences as those cities!”