thoughts on national coming out day

some blunders and absurdities

>an unedited ramble. With student names changed.

I taught a literature class at Louisiana State University this summer. As I chose readings and wrote my syllabus, I had the same two things on my mind that I always consider when planning a class: first, what are the most enriching and potentially transformative texts I can put in front of students? And second, how can I be utterly certain that I am not pushing a personal or political agenda? I guess all the talk of the liberal academy has got under my skin, probably because it’s not nonsense. For this reason, I hesitated before assigning Gloria Naylor’s story, “The Two.” It’s a beautiful, thoughtful and powerful text, but it is also clearly about the persecution of lesbians by everyone from outwardly violent young men to “harmless” old gossiping women.

When I began teaching, in 2000, I was even more paranoid…

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