Being Queer at Harvard

My old professor Tim McCarthy is quoted at length in this excellent piece on coming out and LGBT life at Harvard. The article is rare among Crimson writing for its degree of introspection on the mindset of the typical Harvard student. For me, this was the money quote:

Harvard is a very tolerant place, [McCarthy] agrees, but it also prizes a degree of confidence in people. “When you’ve always got to be a success, well, identity is far more complicated than that,” McCarthy says. “Among queer people, there can be a feeling that coming out entails a kind of vulnerability—and that’s potentially destabilizing in their lives, especially where people are so afraid of being vulnerable.” Everything at Harvard is competitive and exclusive, McCarthy opines, even his public service spring break trip. Students tend to move towards archetypes to find support and acceptance in certain communities. “Harvard is a place where we have a parade of façades,” says the lecturer. “I spent a lot of time here as an undergrad building up those façades, but I think we’re more interesting and complicated and worthy of love if we cast them aside.”

If you’re at all interested in LGBT issues, I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

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