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Video Analyses: Being Queer in College

February 7, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love

“This is by no means an all-inclusive list of advice. [Also] I’m working with the assumption that you’re going to attend a fairly liberal university.”

“This is by no means an all-inclusive list of advice. [Also] I’m working with the assumption that you’re going to attend a fairly liberal university.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-gc60MSqIU

David Levitz’s Being Gay in College is a concise presentation of suggestions for a gay college student. As he states in his disclaimer, “This is by no means an all-inclusive list of advice. [Also] I’m working with the assumption that you’re going to attend a fairly liberal university.” I want to extend that disclaimer by making it clear that his advice pertains only to the G acronym in LGBTQ+. In this video, David discusses the notion that liberal colleges are, in relation to high schools, wonderful environments in which to come out and perform your gender or sexuality in whatever form you desire. He continues by discussing the necessity to take LGBT courses (As a gender studies major, I absolutely concur), join queer on- and off-campus organizations, attend queer events/parties, and—most importantly—to find a “gay mentor.” As someone who’s watched his fair share of queer advice videos, I haven’t seen many others make that last point—I can’t stress enough just how important it is to find someone in whom you can confide and from whom you can learn.

"While I understand that the video was a homemade, do-it-for-fun video made by two friends, I found the advice a tad-bit over simplistic and, quite frankly, a tad bit problematic."

“While I understand that the video was a homemade, do-it-for-fun video made by two friends, I found the advice a tad-bit over simplistic and, quite frankly, a tad bit problematic.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4M3K8sUJ4A

TheButchandtheBear’s How to be Gay in College provides a brief—and problematic—synopsis of how one should perform their gender or sexual identity while in college. Essentially, the video is literally telling you how to be a gay person—“Be yourself, dress to impress, show a little pride, and surround yourself with other gays.” While I understand that the video is a homemade, do-it-for-fun video uploaded by two friends, I find the advice a tad-bit over simplistic and, quite frankly, a tad bit problematic. Firstly, there is no disclaimer about the limitations created by one’s sexual or gender identity (the tips only work for gay men) or one’s location (spatial recognition is incredibly important when thinking about the social-acceptance of an individual’s identities). Secondly, the tip about dressing to impress stereotypes gay men as always-fashionable and incredibly vain. Thirdly, surrounding oneself with other gays is actually a terrible idea, in my opinion! It’s great to have many queer friends and to participate in social and political organizations related to queer culture, but to only surround yourself with queer friends is a form of segregation—you are telling the world that you don’t want to befriend hetero-people nor do you want the hetero-community to get to know you. I understand the well-intentioned message behind the video, but gay advice videos are viewed by people in increasingly vulnerable positions and conditions, and to make light hearted satire of these vulnerabilities is plainly wrong.

"Why is there a difference between gay best friend and best friend? Can’t I just be your best friend that happens to be gay? Why mention my sexuality at all when you call me your best friend?"

“Why is there a difference between gay best friend and best friend? Can’t I just be your best friend that happens to be gay? Why mention my sexuality at all when you call me your best friend?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n4yDnJvuNI

Kingsley’s I Am Not Your Gay Best Friend is a sassy video that I snapped to during its entire run. As someone who performs his sexuality in a very flamboyant manner, I am oftentimes called “the gay best friend.” This phrase makes my blood boil as it does two things: A) Perpetuates the trope of the fashionable and sensitive gay bestie, and B) Puts my sexual identity at the front and center of my holistic identity (Why is there a difference between gay best friend and best friend? Can’t I just be your best friend that happens to be gay? Why mention my sexuality at all when you call me your best friend?) Kingsley hits these two points home when he deconstructs the stereotype of fashionable queer men: “I don’t give a fuck about your clothes…I don’t know anything about the seasons…if you ask me about the season, I’ll say ‘bitch, it’s spring.’” For anyone that’s ever faced this issue (looking at all of you gay men with those annoying sorority besties who think their “gay best friend” is the human-equivalent of a purse or a necklace), this video is top-notch.

Managing Youtube Benders

May 23, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews, Videos

Youtube

Youtube

I’m going to go ahead and assume without any research that every college student with a laptop has gone on a youtube bender. It just happens so easily and suddenly that I can’t imagine a laptop owner denying it. I’m also going to make another bold but true statement; Youtube benders make time go by about seven times as fast as any other activity. Somewhere between making yourself dumber while watching Dom Mazzetti at 9:00PM and glancing at the clock after Christian the Lion while shedding suppressed tears that you didn’t know existed, you got lost in the absolute time warp that is Youtube, and wasted 5 hours of your life.

However, when enjoyed responsibly, Youtube can provide great humor, quick breaks between work, and interesting information, and one of it’s biggest markets is college students. Some people have started youtube channels that specifically relate to the lives of college students. Some of these are on the more clever side, and some of them are just bro humor.

So, here’s a few of my go-to Youtube channels that are good for a laugh, and interesting idea, or multiple, uninterrupted hours of aggressive procrastination-

1- Barstool Sports’ Youtube Channel

Barstool Sports is a blog that is geared towards guys that was founded in Boston, MA, by Dave Portnoy. Although it started off as a newspaper, it is now one of the largest college blogs in the northeast. Their Youtube channel focuses on an extremely broad range of subjects. They do anything from local pizza reviews to having real NHL players shoot on Portnoy in net. Then there’s always random stuff involving beautiful women, like this.

Their youtube videos are extremely random and are sort of just by-products of the blog, so in order to truly appreciate surfing Barstool’s Youtube channel you need to be a frequent reader of their website.

2- College Humor

If you’re looking for a more approachable sight that can appeal to just about any college student, guy or girl, in one way or another, then you should check out College Humor.

The focus on their channel is to find out funny, quirky facts about college life, dramatize them, and put them into videos. They use titles like “The Six Girls You’ll Date in College” and “Honest College Ad” to both relate to you and to say the same things that you probably say about your own university, but in a funny, more professionally put together way.

3- TED

If you find yourself unable to pull yourself away from the internet, it never hurts to change gears from something like this, to a TED video. “TED Talks” are very interesting and extremely informative short intellectual videos in which an expert on any subject does a presentation. It could be about anything; technology, psychology, sociology, etc, but the material’s lack of consistency is made up for with the thought-provoking nature of the videos.

In the end, Youtube is all about balance. Limit your viewing of the extremes of the service (although very amusing), and mix in a TED talk or two.

Video: College Move-In Mania

August 31, 2013 in Campus Life, Videos

Carolyn Maynard’s video about moving back to college after a summer away.

Video: Internship Attire Tips

August 3, 2013 in Career, Style, Videos

Do you know how to dress appropriately for your summer internship? Carolyn Maynard explains.

Videos: 5 Essential Things To Do On A Weekend Home From College

July 12, 2013 in Travel, Videos

Carolyn Maynard gives you 5 activities to do when you are taking a weekend off from college life