Writing and Research Symposium Reflection
This morning, I went to the Writing and Research Symposium in Gelman Library. The seminar I chose was entitled “Queerness and Invisibility.” The two student lecturers spoke on their respective projects, both of which, while diverging into two distinctly opposite directions, sought to perpetuate this thesis: essentially, homosexual individuals in our society are invisible.
Both of the speakers had great tips for writing. They encouraged their listeners to be bold in their writing and their source choice. They implored young and (admittedly) slightly naive freshman to rely on the extremely valuable Gelman resource center, reminding us that the librarians are there for the purpose of helping students. They promised us that the research process would be long, tedious, and overwhelming; but they also promised us that if we work hard, the benefits of owning a great, finely-honed piece of writing will be tremendous. I think all of that is very important to keep in mind for our work in UW1020 this semester, but also in the rest of our academic lives here at George Washington and elsewhere.
But that certainly wasn’t the only thing I took away from the seminar.
Returning to their thesis, I began to think about how true and unfortunate the situation is in this nation. We claim to be the land of the free. We boast whenever we get the chance about the invincible strength of our pure democracy. We are proud of our rights and laws that disginguish ourselves from our less liberal peers. But are we free? Is the United States of America really equal?
Nope, folks, unfortunately it isn’t. And I admire the two speakers I watched this morning because through their essays and the seminar, they have been working to expose this unfortunate hole in the system. Gay, Asian Americans are not just part of one minority group; they are part of two. According to the speaker, it isn’t easy to be a part of one minority group, let alone feeling torn between two subjugated cultures. The other speaker talked of the little known fact that gay men are prohibited from donating blood because of the fear of the spread of HIV. Nevermind the fact that HIV/AIDS infects millions of straight people across the globe as well. That wasn’t taken into consideration when the ban was placed on homosexuals in the late 1970’s.
It’s not the late 1970’s anymore. It is 2011. Times are changing, and norms are changing. It is time for people to change, and it is time for laws to change. We need to realize that we can only continue to become an improving and successful nation if we accept, not reluctantly, but gratefully, with open arms, the influence of minorities in our society. Diversity helps us learn, understand, and better grasp the world we live in. It is important and necessary to our society.
I am appreciative that I got the opportunity to listen to these two speakers this morning, and I am glad that the room was so filled. In fact, I had to stand in the back corner because all of the seats were taken. To me, this is a sign that times are changing and people will begin to recognize the drastic and depressing injustice that exists within this great nation.
In writing the Constitution of the United States of America, our Founding Fathers were striving to create “a more perfect union.” They weren’t trying to create merely a union. In fact, they weren’t even aiming to create a perfect union. They were only trying to create a nation that is, with each and every day, moving towards becoming more perfect. I find that idea so inspirational. It reminds me that nothing is set in stone; nothing is finished. I am proud to live in America, proud to call myself a citizen of this nation, not because my home is a perfect place, but because there are people here who are constantly working to move in the right direction, to become, with every passing moment, closer and closer to the ideals that we profess and believe in. I have hope for our future, that one day, maybe one day soon, we will all be able to be seen as equals, not just in the eyes of the law, but in each other’s eyes as well.
Sorry for ranting. Comments?