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March 31, 2005 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-31

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 31, 2005

it's because i'm gay, isn't it? w i t h Steve Du B o i s

The Michigan I
shaken, not stirredlwith Ellen McGarrity

Ihave two friends, both soon-to-
be University graduates, who
have been accepted into the Uni-
1'ersity's Law School. One of them is
an ethnic minority (Hispanic), inso-

far as she can check a box that says
so on her law school applications.
The other is an ethnic minority (Jew-
ish), but not one that is recognized
as such on law school applications.

And because of this box-availabil-
ity-distinction, my Hispanic friend
has encountered comments alluding
to the fact that the only reason she
got in is because of her ethnicity ...


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not her stellar GPA, LSAT score or
extracurricular resume. Conversely,
my Jewish friend has not had to
endure such criticism.
Statistically speaking, both of my
friends are qualified to be invited
to the University's Law School. But
what if my Hispanic friend did get in
because of her ethnicity? She didn't
ask for extra consideration on her
application; she merely checked the
appropriate box. So what's wrong
with getting such consideration? I
wouldn't think any less of her if she
were afforded some sort of benefit
for something she can't help - her
overt minority status.
Similarly, I am overtly a minority.
That is, I don't disguise my sexual
orientation. I certainly don't flaunt
it, but I don't do anything to conceal
it. So yeah, sometimes I'm a little
gay. Many times this openness is
While in Miami on Spring Break,
for example, I was called a maric6n
- the Spanish equivalent of 'fag-
got,' - more than once, because
apparently I was so gay that groups
of Hispanic men couldn't help but
call me out on it. Such use of pejo-
rative terms is, yes, hurtful. But, if
being open and comfortable with
my sexuality means that others will
react in such ways ... fine. Because

personally, I think that there are
benefits to being gay - personal
and social advantages conferred to
me by my sexual orientation. And
for this maric6n, these pros far out-
weigh the cons.
What are these purported advan-
tages? Well, let me use a hypotheti-
cal to demonstrate. Once upon a
time there was a gay male University
student who wanted to do something
with his writing. But, he didn't have
a venue through which to reach peo-
ple in the ways that he desired. After
all, who would be willing and able to
embrace his homosexual ramblings?
He soon accepted his fate as a
writer who could-have-been-but-
won't-be. Until, that is, his friend e-
mailed him with a suggestion ... to
apply for an open columnist position
for his school newspaper. The angle
from which he should approach the
column, she said, was as a gay male
writing about sex and relationships.
He applied, and surprise! Got the
job! Now, he has the opportunity he
had only hoped for, until he played
the card up his sleeve ... That's right
... The gay, gay card up his sleeve.
Example two: One of my classes
this semester is an independent study.
I had to petition my concentration
See DU BOIS, Page 9B

lot of male-bashing goes on
Ain both the girly magazines
I shamefully read from time
to time and among my female friends
here at the University. Now I'll be
the first to admit that guys often
deserve the criticism. But after three
years of being one of the only girls
on The Michigan Daily sports staff
and spending a summer interning for
ESPN The Magazine, I've racked up
a little appreciation for the weaker
sex. So here are, in no particular
order, eight reasons guys amuse me
- for better or for worse.
1) Guys will buy stuff: Guys like
to play the role of provider and pro-
tector - and I've had no gripes about
playing the poor damsel in distress.
Just last weekend, I was at a bar with
some fellow sports staffers and at
least five of them offered to buy me
a drink at some point during the eve-
ning. And if I ever forget my wallet
at a restaurant, the guy I'm with will
usually pay for my meal and insist
that I don't have to pay him back. A
lot of girls seem to keep this running
tally in their heads of exactly how
much their friends owe them. I love
how guys are satisfied just knowing
that I'm taken care of.
2) Guys know how to eat: I'm
always amazed at how much food
guys can wolf down in one sitting. A
normal order at Taco Bell could be
three tacos, a Mexican pizza, a bean
burrito and a large coke to wash it
down. No matter how much I think
I'm ordering, it's still way less, but at
least I don't feel like a pig for savor-
ing my lunch. Not that girls should
never order "just a side salad with
water and no dressing, please," but
having a "so what?" attitude couldn't
hurt sometimes.

3) Guys care what girls look
like, not what they wear: I like to
dress up. If I have on new shoes or a
new sweater, I always expect to get
compliments or at least a smile of
approval from the guys I know. But
it's normally when I'm wearing some
turtleneck that I've owned for three
years and in general feel like a slob
that a guy friend will come up and
say, "Hey, you look really hot today."
My brother claims he notices noth-
ing about the particular items a girl
is wearing. All he remembers is if
on the whole, she looked good. In
fact, the only specific item that I've
been told girls should wear more of is
baseball caps (although this was the
opinion of a sports staffer, and I'm
not sure if that makes him biased).
4) Guys like to give out nick-
names: Believe it or not, my high
school nickname was "bottom"
because I refused to say "ass" and any
other swear words. It's probably fair-
ly obvious that it was a guy who gave
me this nickname. When I joined the
Daily, I was immediately given a new
nickname: EMcG. I didn't really see
why I needed a one, but it seemed of
great importance to the guys on the
sports staff. Nearly everyone on staff
has a nickname, and I have even been
yelled at for using a guy's real name
instead of their nickname.
5) Guys talk about sex - a lot: At
parties and especially on sports road
trips, I have been privy to all sorts of
graphic jokes and stories. I'm always
surprised that they go ahead and talk
about it in front of me, too. Kind of
like how guys don't seem to remem-
ber that it's not impressive to fart,
burp or reference any kind of smell
in front of a girl. My girlfriends and I
just don't talk about that sort of stuff

(except for my old roommate who
used to announce to me when she was
about to poop so that I would "please
ignore the plopping noises" coming
from the bathroom).
6) Guys take sports and video
games way too seriously: I have actu-
ally witnessed game controllers being
thrown across the room and even a
window breaking as reactions to the
loss of some *important* video game.
I don't get it at all. The thing about
video games - and real sports games
- is that you can just hit reset. You can
play the damn video game again with
the same opponent. You can watch
Michigan play next year against Ohio
State. I guess guys' egos just aren't
equipped to think in those terms.
7) Guys are difficult to earn
respect from: I was met with more
than just a couple doubting expres-
sions when I joined the sports sec-
tion. After all, I'm a girl whose
favorite color is pink, who idolized
Nick Carter and the Backstreet Boys
throughout high school and whose
guilty pleasure is reading US Weekly

in the supermarket checkout line. I
be skeptical too if a girl like me sa
she was going to cover a men's so
cer game.
Gaining the respect of the gu:
on staff came slowly - I'm sure n
articles were criticized highly in tI
beginning. But once I proved th
my writing skills were up to par,
think some guys actually respecte
me more because I had stuck arour
amidst their uncertainties.
8) Guys like you more if you ca
make sports small talk: I used 1
know diddly squat about sports.
know quite a lot now, and I've four
it to be extremely useful, especial:
when starting off a conversation wil
a guy (like in job interviews and c
first dates). It's almost too easy. I lov
that just knowing what happened i
the basketball game yesterday som<
how makes me more attractive.
Ellen would like to thank all yc
guys out there who make life just a litt
bit better every day. Send your than
yous, marriage proposals or any othE
thoughts to emcgarri@umich.ed



Isaac Newton 1642-1727

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