8B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 6, 2005
it's because i'm gay, isn't it? w i t h Steve Du B o i s
M JUST LIKE YOU, ONLY GAY
The Michigan I
Students seek out best book deals
n sum, I have seen seven episodes
- of "Sex and the City." Thus, Iam
not your typical gay guy. Or am
I ... ? Just the other night I had sex
with a guy that I don't want a rela-
tionship with. That's pretty gay, isn't
Why are, some things - "Sex and
the City," promiscuity, Express for
Men, musicals - necessarily homo-
sexual? Similarly, why are specific
-domains - sports venues, beer pong,
rap - strictly heterosexual? Why
the distinct, uncrossable sexual ori-
entation boundaries? Personally, I'd
like to think of myself as not-so-gay.
I mean, surely I like the cock. Fine.
But in terms of the societally stereo-
typed queer, I am not he. So why is it
surprising that I, a big homo, would
like typically hetero activities?
Not to give a genetics lesson, but
homosexuality is irrefutably.and sig-
nificantly influenced by one's genes.
There are many genes in the recipe
for homosexuality. Some predispose
one to be physically attracted to the
same sex, while others predispose
one to have traits that are typical of
a gay male: effiminism, hypersen-
sitivity, and the like. It is entirely
possible for one to have genes that
predispose him to like boys but
not those that predispose him to
be a flamer. This explains a couple
social conundrums, like the com-
pletely masculine, gym-going, beer-
guzzling queer and the effeminate,
understanding straight guy with a
lisp; they have one set of genes in
the gay combination, but not the
So, there is a distinct variety of
phenotypes within the gay male
population, just as there is within
any subset of humans. Why, then,
are we being clumped together as
though we are the same person ...
as though the same fruity manner-
isms, interests and fashion sense are
inherent in each of us? This is unfair
Within the heterosexual com-
munity, there is a given variability
between people. He is A, B and C,
while he is way different: D, E and F.
And him ... wow, he's like X, Y and
Z. In the gay community, however,
many are simply the same things: G,
A and Y. Sometimes we get a little
H, O, M and some more O thrown in
there, but that's just to support the
first set of traits. This is problematic
in that this supposed perception of
invariability within the gay commu-
nity by outsiders has now permeated
and infected the community from
within. That's right, there's some-
thing else spreading among queers,
and it's not even contractible via
unprotected anal sex.
This perception of homosexuals
as simplistic and redundant within
the gay community is pervasive
amongst its members. We homo-
sexuals know what is expected of
us: Flaunt this, say that, don't show
interest in those! And so, we suc-
cumb. Capitulate to the desire of the
masses. Feed to them that which is
And then the community is left
with no ... flair, if you will. That's
right, the gay community's flair is
threatened by heteros. But not by
their hate crimes or slander ... by
their implicit, yet imposing, percep-
tion of homosexuals as a collective
lacking any remnants of individual-
ity and uniqueness. And here's the
worst part: Any typically homo-
sexual behavior that I or any queer
demonstrates is perceived by those
straight people as validation of their
claims. This leaves homosexuals in
an unfortunate position: stereotyped
and condemned for behaving ... how
we're expected to behave. We're spi-
raling downward into a rainbow col-
This perception of the stereotypi-
cal queer and its implications have
the potential to undermine each and
every one of a homosexual's interac-
tions. Perhaps I want to say some-
thing to someone who knows I'm gay,
but it doesn't sound quite fitting to
come out of a gay mouth. Or perhaps
I want to express something that, to
someone who doesn't know I'm gay,
would out me. I may feel apprehen-
sive or overeager, depending on the
situation. But I certainly would not
feel completely at ease ... because, I
have expectations to fulfill!
So what, am I bitter? A little ...
that many of my actions are deter-
mined by others' perceptions of me.
Yeah, that's a little upsetting. That
I have social and physical concerns
that a majority of people are impos-
ing on me? Uh huh.
Maybe I just have a weak per-
sonality that is susceptible to the
influence of others. Maybe my over-
analytical nature isn't conducive to
being gay. Maybe I'm embittered by
the actions of a few, isolated inci-
dents with heterosexuals. But ... I
don't think so. I think I'm right.
In many ways I am not your typi-
cal homosexual, and Joe Hetero has
a problem with that ... that I can
be both homosexual and an ath-
lete, that I can both like buttsex and
belch loudly after pounding a beer.
Well, I refuse to change my person-
ality based on my sexuality. Fifteen
months ago my personality traits
were not contingent upon my hetero-
sexuality; nor are they now contin-
gent upon my homosexuality.
I, as well as many other homosex-
uals, are just not what you expect
Nor should we feel sorry.
Steve receives constructive
criticism quite well and adulation
even better. Feelfree to contact him
with either. He can be reached at
By Doug Wernert
Daily Arts Writer
With the beginning of a new
semester comes an expensive and
time-consuming process for all stu-
dents: purchasing books for their
new classes. Ever-changing sched-
ules, long lines at bookstores and
different return policies can lead to
Fortunately, there are a variety
of ways for students to get the text-
books, coursepacks and other mate-
rials needed for their classes. There
are also many options students have
to selling back those books which
are no longer needed.
All stores buy back books dur-
ing normal business hours. Students
must show their student ID before
selling. Determining the amount of
money for the books varies.
According to their website, the
Michigan Union Bookstore uses two
criteria. First, they see if the profes-
sor plans to use the book again and if
supply is less than demand. If that is
the case, the store will give up to 50
percent of the selling price. If the pro-
fessor is not using the book, the store
will give the seller the latest national
pricing, which is the price given by
the book's manufacturer in which the
store can buy the book back.
Michigan Book and Supply uses a
similar formula. "Students will get
the most money back if their teach-
ers use the book again, and have
their order in, (for) the next term.
The sooner they (students) sell their
books, the better. Even if a book is
not being used for a class, we will
buy it. Then it is based on the whole-
salers set price," says Daniel Jones,
store manager of Michigan Book
For all bookstores, the policy on
buybacks is simple: if the store sells
the book, or has sold the book, then
the store will buy the book back.
However, some students prefer not
to sell their books back to the stores
where they bought them. "It's not
worth it. You have to sell to people,"
said Engineering sophomore Leif
Knag, who has sold his textbooks back
Shaman Drum Bookstore, the most prominent independently owned bookstore on campus, offers hundreds of
textbooks at the beginning of the semr
online to other engineering students.
Stores prepare for the new semes-
ter by hiring more workers and
offering extended hours. Most stores
are open until 9 p.m. or later.
"When buying your books, try to
avoid the 'rush' by coming in early.
There will be more people to help
you and you will have it out of the
way," Jones said."Then, when you
get your syllabus make sure you have
the correct book. If not, exchange it
as soon as possible and show us your
syllabus to clear up the mistake."
The high cost of textbooks at book-
stores can force. students to look for
alternate ways to get their materials.
Searching forbooks online has grown in
popularity, due to lower prices and the
ease of use, as it prevents the long lines
that are characteristic of bookstores at
the beginning of the semester.
"I normally go to the bookstore,
but I want to start buying online
because it's cheaper," said Knag,
who has looked at sites such as www.
half.com to purchase his books.
"Buying books online is a lot
cheaper if you can manage it," LSA
junior Jon Shaheen said. "Amazon
can save you a lot, especially if used
books aren't available. I got six of
my books from them this term and
ended up saving 40 bucks without
having to go the used route. I'd prob-
ably get all of my books that way if
there was a way to find out what I
needed in advance."
Another portal to more affordable
book buying is www.dogears.net. By
registering for free on Dogears, stu-
dents are linked to other students at the
University who are selling their used
textbooks. Searching by title, author,
subject or ISBN will send the potential
buyer to a list of matches along with the
selling price. Students can then inquire
about the condition or offer to buy the
book. Dogears is offered by the Michi-
gan Student Assembly.
Popular sites www.half.com and
www.amazon.com are not school
specific, but offer both new and
used books. Again, a search by title,
author, or ISBN will lead to many
results, classified by book condition.
Ann Arbor's online marketplace,
www.thediag.com, functions mainly
like eBay in that sellers place their
items up for auction and the highest
bidder by a certain end point receives
the book. Registration for the site
free and shipping costs can be reduce
by simply meeting the person on can
pus to complete the transaction.
However, the quality of books is
concern, as is the inability to return ti
texts if they are not needed. Still, fc
many students, it is a risk worth taking
"The only problem with buy
ing books online is having to wa
for them to arrive, but if professoi
would just publish lists of what w
needed in time to order them, every
body could get cheaper books," Sha
Bookstores are affected by tli
emergence of online buying. "It nc
only hurts our business but the stu
dent does not have the assurance tho
he or she is getting the correct bool
Their return policy is also questior
able," said Jones.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Ask yourself: When learning
about recent history such as the
Vietnam War, can I rely on those
who lived it? Are history books,
the media, teachers, documen-
taries, parents and Food for
Thought biased? Should I ac-
cept what is taught, or, with an
open mind plus the realization
that I must pass my final exam,
gather from diverse sources and
come to my own conclusions?
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
DAILY PHOTO IS HIRING*
At the Michigan Union Bookstore, students have until Jan.
12 to. return books bought for the Winter 2005 semester.
At Michigan Book and Supply, students have until Jan. 19
to return books.
At Shaman Drum Bookshop, students have seven days
to return books bought on or after Jan. 5. Books bought for
the Winter term during winter break (from Dec. 22 to Jan. 4)
must be returned by Jan. 10 to receive the full refund.
9 Ulrich's Bookstore accepts returns for books up until Jan.
For all stores, a receipt is needed, textbooks must be
returned in the condition they were purchased and course-
packs and special orders cannot be taken back.