Today was pretty interesting in Theoretical Approaches to Sexuality. About half way through the class time Dr. Stephenson conducted a bit of a “class introduction”. We went through the names of everyone and why they were in the class on the first day of class, but today instead we had a group coming out. I must admit that the idea made me a little uncomfortable at first. The general idea was that we were to go around the room and everyone was supposed to announce their sexual identity. Having never been much for the idea of labels or even with being particular open. I don’t have a need to lie about my sexuality, but I’ve never really felt the need to announce it either.
Anyway, we went around the room and expressed how we sexually identify ourselves. After we were all basically sworn to uphold the idea that whatever was said in the room was entirely confidential, Dr. Stephenson started. Unfortunately for me, I was the one sitting closest to Dr. Stephenson, so I had to go 2nd, being the first student to announce my sexuality. I was a little uncomfortable at first, announcing “I’m a gay male” just seemed awkward, but the more I spoke, the more I saw that my classmates were receptive to me and what I was saying about my personal life.
It was very interesting being directly asked in an academic setting to reveal something like that. In some ways it seems like it was inappropriate for her to ask us to do that, but then it also seems important. The class is Theoretical Approaches to Sexuality, so it is a relevant piece of information for such a discussion-based class. While at the time I couldn’t see the relevance, it is starting to make sense to me. By having us this early on, the week before we begin diving into actual theories of sexuality, there is a slight awkwardness released and an openness established that I am thinking may help the class be more productive by being able to freely express our opinions and perspectives on sexuality. I know that I feel that I have nothing to hide anymore in that class.