UM tried to teach students how to be Gay. Fail.
It’s about that time, kids, Registration time. Time to pick out your classes for next semester fall. While talking to one of my freshmen friends and recommending the Queer Race class for next year, I was surprised to find out the past controversy surrounding a “LGBT” class offered at the University of Michigan in 2000. The course (not offered at Maryland, THANK GOD) was an English class, called: How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.
The Course Description begins: “Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn’t mean that you don’t have to learn how to become one. Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not….In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: Hollywood movies, grand opera, Broadway musicals, and other works of classical and popular music, as well as camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style, and political activism”.
Huh? Am I missing something? This course is laughable to me. Since when does college offer courses teaching students to become homosexual? I thought we were supposed to be academic and getting degrees here, not learning how to be the poster child for homosexuals around the world. “Learn how to be gay” “Homosexual INITIATION”? I guess University of Michigan should also offer some classes on how to be “black”, how to be a “woman”, how to be distinctly hetero perhaps? What do you guys think? Opinons?
According to other articles, the title and description were “misinterpreted”, saying that it doesn’t teach students how to be homosexual, but “examines critically the odd notion that there are right and wrong ways to be gay, that homosexuality is not just a sexual practice or desire but a set of specific tastes in music, movies, and other cultural forms — a notion which is shared by straight and gay people alike” (1). Hmm, I say, nice try. What were you thinking UM?
You can read (AND LAUGH) more about this course on the University of Michigan website. Click here: http://www.ns.umich.edu/index.html?BG/317descr