Web Exclusives: LetterBox

Letter from an alumnus about A taste of homophobia

Date Posted: 05/22/05

Disappointed, dismayed, and disgusted -- these were my initial feelings over Nicholas Gotten '61's letter (April 6). The more I reflected on the matter, the more strongly I felt each of them. At the outset of my first year at Princeton, I participated in an awareness and tolerance meeting with the LGBA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance). At that meeting, I was simply introduced without any discussion of my sexual orientation, and so the general consensus was that I was a homosexual. For the first 20 minutes, I learned a small part of what it must be like to be gay. I surveyed the room with a smile on my face, as one after another of the "brilliant future leaders of tomorrow" flinched and looked quickly away when our eyes met, and avoided looking directly at me. When I began to speak, I started out by saying I was not gay, and at that point, numerous students giggled, whispered " I told you he wasn't," and everyone began to look me in the eyes, no longer afraid. This was only a small taste of the homophobia that is present in the Princeton community.

Mr. Gotten believes that disclosing the University's funding for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center will prevent some parents from allowing their children to attend Princeton, because it is "not the right place" for them. Let me be the first alumnus to stand up and say "goodbye" and "good riddance" to these ignorant and insensitive future students. It is incorrect to say that Princeton is not right for them; rather, they are not right for Princeton. Bigotry and intolerance are viruses, and I wholeheartedly applaud the University for doing whatever it can to help find a cure.

Daniel J. Sattizahn, '99

Plano, Texas


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