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mefloquine

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I admit that I am new to this forum; though I have found it much to my liking. I was looking for perspectives (NOT from my own medical school, at which i am a second year, prepping for USMLE 1 as I write) from fellow GLBT medical students regarding their experiences in both school and in rotations. Currently, though the city in which I live (I would like it to remain anonymous, same with my school) is very GLBT tolerant; however, my medical school class is not. There is no GLBTA group in my class; there are rampant homophobic and disturbing remarks issued daily; there is, to wit, a virulent antipathy toward gays and lesbians that, in my exerience, has been evinced in public and private by almost 20% of my class. I pray this is not typical; this is why I'm looking for feedback from students at other medical schools. I simply am increasingly unable to deal with: A) the hypocrisy of students faking tolerance and understanding when entering into a practice patient's room or a real patient's on a rotation; and B) feeling as if, were I to be open about how I was, that I would immediately be a paragon in my class.

Has anyone else had similar experiences?

-mefloquine
 

AmoryBlaine

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I admit that I am new to this forum; though I have found it much to my liking. I was looking for perspectives (NOT from my own medical school, at which i am a second year, prepping for USMLE 1 as I write) from fellow GLBT medical students regarding their experiences in both school and in rotations. Currently, though the city in which I live (I would like it to remain anonymous, same with my school) is very GLBT tolerant; however, my medical school class is not. There is no GLBTA group in my class; there are rampant homophobic and disturbing remarks issued daily; there is, to wit, a virulent antipathy toward gays and lesbians that, in my exerience, has been evinced in public and private by almost 20% of my class. I pray this is not typical; this is why I'm looking for feedback from students at other medical schools. I simply am increasingly unable to deal with: A) the hypocrisy of students faking tolerance and understanding when entering into a practice patient's room or a real patient's on a rotation; and B) feeling as if, were I to be open about how I was, that I would immediately be a paragon in my class.

Has anyone else had similar experiences?

-mefloquine


Homophobia is a disgusting pimple on our society that makes my usually level head shake with rage. While I am straight I too have noted a remarkable rate of homophobia in otherwise intelligent medical students. I have heard many medical students say things like "I don't like gay people." Substitute black, Jewish, or handicapped into that sentence and the uproar would be immediate.

What can we say about it? Some people are stupid and those that would dislike you for your sexual orientation are not worth your time.

I know it's easier said than done but I'd say to hide nothing and let the phillistines wallow in their ignorance. Keep your head up and be yourself, I know many queer physicians that are wildly succesful.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your difficult times. Our class has been very tolerant and open about sexual orientation, there's a good 8-10 people in our class who are openly homosexual. My former anatomy lab partner is currently raising her child with her partner and is a wonderful woman. We've had a fair number of case studies involving homosexual patients and my classmates have all been very professional when navigating the various issues of the cases.

I found it a nice surprise, since I was involved in GLBT issues at my undergrad and know the harsh realities many segments of our society hold.
 
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I'm so sorry to hear that.

I live in a tiny, Roman-Catholic country with medieval views on most things. My dearest friend at school is a lesbian and she has to put up silently with ridiculous, ignorant things that the rest of our classmates and teachers say about homosexuality (one of them said something about little boys not being allowed to play with dolls, I tried not to listen too carefully).

It sounds counter-intuitive in this day and age, but in that kind of homophobic environment it's best not to be open about your sexuality. Hate crimes happen all the time, and no matter what their degree, it's always painful. Hell, you wouldn't want to get near that kind of awful person anyway.
 

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I honestly find it hard to believe there's a medical school in the country where the med students are more hostile towards gays than the surrounding city. Most of the medical students at my school (and at all my friends) are somewhere to the left of Mao on most issues and I'm not even in a very gay-friendly region. You're talking about people who volunteered to participate in a "sexual diversity workshop" in their (minimal) spare time. If there are anti-gay sentiments, people would have to be real idiots to say anything because they'd get ostracized.
 

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Let's try to be more inclusive and politically correct, I believe the term is " LGBTQ"
 

cpants

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I admit that I am new to this forum; though I have found it much to my liking. I was looking for perspectives (NOT from my own medical school, at which i am a second year, prepping for USMLE 1 as I write) from fellow GLBT medical students regarding their experiences in both school and in rotations. Currently, though the city in which I live (I would like it to remain anonymous, same with my school) is very GLBT tolerant; however, my medical school class is not. There is no GLBTA group in my class; there are rampant homophobic and disturbing remarks issued daily; there is, to wit, a virulent antipathy toward gays and lesbians that, in my exerience, has been evinced in public and private by almost 20% of my class. I pray this is not typical; this is why I'm looking for feedback from students at other medical schools. I simply am increasingly unable to deal with: A) the hypocrisy of students faking tolerance and understanding when entering into a practice patient's room or a real patient's on a rotation; and B) feeling as if, were I to be open about how I was, that I would immediately be a paragon in my class.

Has anyone else had similar experiences?

-mefloquine

What school? And specifically what remarks are you talking about?

I have yet to see any blatant discrimination of any type at my school. Maybe I am just insensitive to it since I am a male WASP.
 
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I admit that I am new to this forum; though I have found it much to my liking. I was looking for perspectives (NOT from my own medical school, at which i am a second year, prepping for USMLE 1 as I write) from fellow GLBT medical students regarding their experiences in both school and in rotations. Currently, though the city in which I live (I would like it to remain anonymous, same with my school) is very GLBT tolerant; however, my medical school class is not. There is no GLBTA group in my class; there are rampant homophobic and disturbing remarks issued daily; there is, to wit, a virulent antipathy toward gays and lesbians that, in my exerience, has been evinced in public and private by almost 20% of my class. I pray this is not typical; this is why I'm looking for feedback from students at other medical schools. I simply am increasingly unable to deal with: A) the hypocrisy of students faking tolerance and understanding when entering into a practice patient's room or a real patient's on a rotation; and B) feeling as if, were I to be open about how I was, that I would immediately be a paragon in my class.

Has anyone else had similar experiences?

-mefloquine

I think that most students that I am friends with in my class are pretty accepting, but at the same time I was pretty shocked that there were only two openly gay students out of 186. I'm straight though so maybe I'm not picking up on subtle issues. I certainly wouldn't say there is a climate of hostility here.

By the way, I think you meant pariah ("an outcast"), not paragon ("a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality"). ;)
 

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By the way, I think you meant pariah ("an outcast"), not paragon ("a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality"). ;)

Maybe he's a paragon because he envinces big words incorrectly.
 

mefloquine

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I do apologize for my errors in diction; I am a writer by hobby and trade, and I wrote that post in a particularly tired and angry state.

I agree with previous posters that, traditionally, medical students DO trend leftward politically; but one must consider said (and "stated") positions with discretion and care, for there are numerous confounding factors. First, medical students are graduate students; hence, there may be a social pressure to accord with the political Weltanschauung. Statements accordingly issued, in public, may bear no accord with the statements medical students issue amongst themselves or their friends, in the privacy of a study room or other gathering of students/friends. Secondly, medical students, in my experience, are taught to not judge the patient; and in many cases, they do not. That is because the patient is one with whom they can identify -- high blood pressure, perhaps; or a patient concerned about a possible STD. Many medical students and "put themselves in that patient's shoes" far more easily than they could a gay or lesbian patient's footware.

I've other thoughts on the matter, but board and exam prep have left me rather spent. I would be glad to continue the discussion later.

And for the record, I attend the University of Minnesota Medical School.
 

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I honestly find it hard to believe there's a medical school in the country where the med students are more hostile towards gays than the surrounding city. Most of the medical students at my school (and at all my friends) are somewhere to the left of Mao on most issues and I'm not even in a very gay-friendly region. You're talking about people who volunteered to participate in a "sexual diversity workshop" in their (minimal) spare time. If there are anti-gay sentiments, people would have to be real idiots to say anything because they'd get ostracized.
I feel the same way. I can't help but wonder if the OP is being overly sensitive out of fear. I mean I have a lot of friends that are parts of minorities whether it be religious, race, sexuality, etc, but that doesn't mean I don't still make jokes about it, most of the time to their faces, but I never mean anything by it and I don't think of them based on anything other than the fact that they are good people no matter what their race, religion, sexuality, etc happens to be. What I am trying to say is, you know that 20% of the class is openly anti-gay, but I would bet that you thinking they are anti-gay is based on a joke you heard them make, but you can't base someones beliefs on a joke they make. Face it, minority jokes are usually funny, but it doesn't mean that the person hates the minority. I highly doubt your classmates are running around telling people they're "gonna lynch some fags tonight" or something like that. (pardon the french)
 

Blesbok

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I do apologize for my errors in diction; I am a writer by hobby and trade, and I wrote that post in a particularly tired and angry state.

I agree with previous posters that, traditionally, medical students DO trend leftward politically; but one must consider said (and "stated") positions with discretion and care, for there are numerous confounding factors. First, medical students are graduate students; hence, there may be a social pressure to accord with the political Weltanschauung. Statements accordingly issued, in public, may bear no accord with the statements medical students issue amongst themselves or their friends, in the privacy of a study room or other gathering of students/friends. Secondly, medical students, in my experience, are taught to not judge the patient; and in many cases, they do not. That is because the patient is one with whom they can identify -- high blood pressure, perhaps; or a patient concerned about a possible STD. Many medical students and "put themselves in that patient's shoes" far more easily than they could a gay or lesbian patient's footware.

I've other thoughts on the matter, but board and exam prep have left me rather spent. I would be glad to continue the discussion later.

And for the record, I attend the University of Minnesota Medical School.
I don't know if you managed to read any of the other threads, mainly the one about judging patients, but medical students judge patients all the time. It is part of being human. If you noticed, they hate people that are lazy and don't care for themselves but expect a doctor to fix it. However, not once in that thread did I hear anyone mention anything about how they don't like a patient because they are black or gay. If anything medical professionals are more tolerant of homosexuality. Why? A) Because they have enough knowledge to know the physiogenesis behind it and 2) because despite a lot of medical professionals being religious, most of them are more tolerant in their beliefs, which is where a large part of the homosexual intolerance stems from.
 
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mglavin

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You can't change how other people behave, you only have control over how you react to what happens in your life. If people have some unjustified problem with your race, religion, activities, etc, you can either ignore them and have confidence in yourself or let it upset you and control you. I'm afraid that if you are having problems with your classmates who are in professional school its only going to get worse once you start dealing with normal and sometimes very uneducated people on the wards and throughout your career.

Either rise above and be confident in yourself and the person you are or let it control you and cause you distress.

I'm assuming the problems you describe are normal jokes and such made in college age people not actual specific threats of violence in which case it might be a good idea to talk to a dean or police. Medicine is one of the most conservative professions around despite how your classmates may "lean" their early years in med school (ever wonder why derm and plastics is so competitive and rural area family med isn't even with all the loan forgiveness and such available) Also keep in mind these people may have been living in a culture vastly different from yours where the term "gay" is a synonym for "stupid". It may be a wrong but it might also be very ingrained in someones vocabulary who might not have a hidden or malicious intent, even though by now they should be growing out of this because it is wrong in a professional setting such as med school.
 

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First of all, "homosexual" should be reserved for a clinical/behavioral context (e.g. homosexual behavior, homosexual tendencies), and "gay" is preferable for phrases like "openly gay." Even the far-right Washington Times has started to catch onto this.

I go to school in Manhattan and many students in my class are gay, lesbian or bisexual, myself included. One of my criteria in selecting a medical school was to be certain that it would be a BGLT-friendly environment. We have an active BGLT group (Lambda), though I only occasionally attend their events. In general, people are extremely tolerant, though sometimes hospital staff make homophobic comments. I would certainly confront a classmate who was making inappropriate remarks (e.g. "that's gay" or calling someone a "***") and would be supported by most peers. I actually can't think of any members of my class who don't support marriage equality, but we're pretty heavily balanced toward people from MA (like me), NY, and liberal university backgrounds. I expect most students will be respectful and understanding of their patients' sexual orientations on the wards.
 

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First of all, "homosexual" should be reserved for a clinical/behavioral context (e.g. homosexual behavior, homosexual tendencies), and "gay" is preferable for phrases like "openly gay." Even the far-right Washington Times has started to catch onto this.

I go to school in Manhattan and many students in my class are gay, lesbian or bisexual, myself included. One of my criteria in selecting a medical school was to be certain that it would be a BGLT-friendly environment. We have an active BGLT group (Lambda), though I only occasionally attend their events. In general, people are extremely tolerant, though sometimes hospital staff make homophobic comments. I would certainly confront a classmate who was making inappropriate remarks (e.g. "that's gay" or calling someone a "***") and would be supported by most peers. I actually can't think of any members of my class who don't support marriage equality, but we're pretty heavily balanced toward people from MA (like me), NY, and liberal university backgrounds. I expect most students will be respectful and understanding of their patients' sexual orientations on the wards.

man that's so gay you would do that!
 

Blesbok

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First of all, "homosexual" should be reserved for a clinical/behavioral context (e.g. homosexual behavior, homosexual tendencies), and "gay" is preferable for phrases like "openly gay." Even the far-right Washington Times has started to catch onto this.

I go to school in Manhattan and many students in my class are gay, lesbian or bisexual, myself included. One of my criteria in selecting a medical school was to be certain that it would be a BGLT-friendly environment. We have an active BGLT group (Lambda), though I only occasionally attend their events. In general, people are extremely tolerant, though sometimes hospital staff make homophobic comments. I would certainly confront a classmate who was making inappropriate remarks (e.g. "that's gay" or calling someone a "***") and would be supported by most peers. I actually can't think of any members of my class who don't support marriage equality, but we're pretty heavily balanced toward people from MA (like me), NY, and liberal university backgrounds. I expect most students will be respectful and understanding of their patients' sexual orientations on the wards.
Would you confront someone for telling another guy "you're such a girl"? Because it is the exact same concept. You are going to have to face the fact that in your life people are going to say "you're such a ***" to other people in your presence. It is just a turn of speech and doesn't automatically mean that the person is a gay bashing bigot. I understand that it hits closer to home for you than for most, but it is going to happen and every time someone in the hospital says "that was so gay", you can't start going off on them in the halls. These are the kinds of things that people don't understand. If you want people to be tolerant you need to be tolerant with them or they are going to dislike you and it won't be due to your sexuality.
 
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Would you confront someone for telling another guy "you're such a girl"? Because it is the exact same concept. You are going to have to face the fact that in your life people are going to say "you're such a ***" to other people in your presence. It is just a turn of speech and doesn't automatically mean that the person is a gay bashing bigot. I understand that it hits closer to home for you than for most, but it is going to happen and every time someone in the hospital says "that was so gay", you can't start going off on them in the halls. These are the kinds of things that people don't understand. If you want people to be tolerant you need to be tolerant with them or they are going to dislike you and it won't be due to your sexuality.
The word "f****t" is entirely derogatory. I would no more expect a gay person to tolerate its use in their presence than I would expect a black person to OK with the word "n***er."
 
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da8s0859q

I have yet to see any blatant discrimination of any type at my school. Maybe I am just insensitive to it since I am a male WASP.

:laugh:

My undergrad has been alright-ish with such things. Being in TX, it's easy to find people who will gay-bash, but for each of them, there's someone who cries about every little thing that's not 100% politically correct or even remotely offensive.

Works both ways, I guess.
 

Blesbok

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The word "f****t" is entirely derogatory. I would no more expect a gay person to tolerate its use in their presence than I would expect a black person to OK with the word "n***er."
Looking a person in the face and calling them a ******, is quite different from saying "you're such a ***" to a friend who does something stupid. I call my friends crazy krackers. It doesn't mean that I want to kill whitey, it is just an expression of speech with no derogatory meaning behind it.

I am not justifying its use, I am just saying that the thread starter needs to realize that just because someone says something like that does not make them intolerant and does not mean that they hate gay people. I have gay friends and I will tell them "you're so gay" when they do something stupid, but amazingly they realize I am joking with them. I know it is a tough concept for a lot of people to grasp. Just remember that humor is a mature defense mechanism.
 

cpants

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Looking a person in the face and calling them a ******, is quite different from saying "you're such a ***" to a friend who does something stupid. I call my friends crazy krackers. It doesn't mean that I want to kill whitey, it is just an expression of speech with no derogatory meaning behind it.

I am not justifying its use, I am just saying that the thread starter needs to realize that just because someone says something like that does not make them intolerant and does not mean that they hate gay people. I have gay friends and I will tell them "you're so gay" when they do something stupid, but amazingly they realize I am joking with them. I know it is a tough concept for a lot of people to grasp. Just remember that humor is a mature defense mechanism.

It's different, but it is still not right. *** and gay are not synonyms for idiot and stupid. You should eliminate "you're such a ***" and "you're so gay" from your vocabulary, not to avoid offending people, but to avoid sounding like a total a$shole.
 

Blesbok

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It's different, but it is still not right. *** and gay are not synonyms for idiot and stupid. You should eliminate "you're such a ***" and "you're so gay" from your vocabulary, not to avoid offending people, but to avoid sounding like a total a$shole.
I don't really say stuff like that all that often, I am just trying to point out that people can say insensitive things every once in a while, but that doesn't mean they are completely cold hearted people who hate a certain group because of it. Just because 20% of his class makes a stupid meaningless remark every once in a while doesn't mean that 20% of his class openly hates gay people. I have never met a med student that has openly said "I hate gay people." or said anything that even remotely resembles that, nonetheless 20% of them.
 
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Homophobia is a disgusting pimple on our society that makes my usually level head shake with rage. While I am straight I too have noted a remarkable rate of homophobia in otherwise intelligent medical students. I have heard many medical students say things like "I don't like gay people." Substitute black, Jewish, or handicapped into that sentence and the uproar would be immediate.

What can we say about it? Some people are stupid and those that would dislike you for your sexual orientation are not worth your time.

I know it's easier said than done but I'd say to hide nothing and let the phillistines wallow in their ignorance. Keep your head up and be yourself, I know many queer physicians that are wildly succesful.

Come on now. You need to be more tolerant of other people's opinions. Celebrate diversity and all that, especially the diverse opinions of people who don't approve of homosexuality.

Yessirreee Bob, we're all "Diversity this" and "Diversity that" until we get out of our comfort zone and actually meet someone with a different opinion...and then it's all "I shake with rage" and "stupidity."
 
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I do apologize for my errors in diction; I am a writer by hobby and trade, and I wrote that post in a particularly tired and angry state.

I agree with previous posters that, traditionally, medical students DO trend leftward politically; but one must consider said (and "stated") positions with discretion and care, for there are numerous confounding factors. First, medical students are graduate students; hence, there may be a social pressure to accord with the political Weltanschauung. Statements accordingly issued, in public, may bear no accord with the statements medical students issue amongst themselves or their friends, in the privacy of a study room or other gathering of students/friends. Secondly, medical students, in my experience, are taught to not judge the patient; and in many cases, they do not. That is because the patient is one with whom they can identify -- high blood pressure, perhaps; or a patient concerned about a possible STD. Many medical students and "put themselves in that patient's shoes" far more easily than they could a gay or lesbian patient's footware.

I've other thoughts on the matter, but board and exam prep have left me rather spent. I would be glad to continue the discussion later.

And for the record, I attend the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Jesus. they may just not like you because, at least from your post, you seem to be somewhat pompous and heavy handed. Are you some kind of mind-reader? How do you know what your fellow medical students are thinking. I betcha' most of them don't care that you're gay. I think you are just looking for some way to make yourself feel special...I mean seeing that you are now surrounded by people as equally intelligent you're just another medical student if you can't play the oppression card.
 

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Come on now. You need to be more tolerant of other people's opinions. Celebrate diversity and all that, especially the diverse opinions of people who don't approve of homosexuality.

Yessirreee Bob, we're all "Diversity this" and "Diversity that" until we get out of our comfort zone and actually meet someone with a different opinion...and then it's all "I shake with rage" and "stupidity."

No one cares if you think homosexuality is wrong. It's just not cool to walk around calling people fags and gay as an insult. I can't believe that you and others are actually arguing that it is acceptable to do this.
 
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da8s0859q

No one cares if you think homosexuality is wrong. It's just not cool to walk around calling people fags and gay as an insult. I can't believe that you and others are actually arguing that it is acceptable to do this.

Similarly, no one cares if you think homosexuality is okay. By its simplest definition, being all pro-diversity would also mean to accept the fact that there will be those who are openly disapproving of gays.

Hence Uncle Panda's post.
 

cpants

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Similarly, no one cares if you think homosexuality is okay. By its simplest definition, being all pro-diversity would also mean to accept the fact that there will be those who are openly disapproving of gays.

Hence Uncle Panda's post.

I am ok with people who are openly disapproving of gays. In fact, I have several friends who believe that homosexuality is morally wrong. These people believe the way Jews and Muslims live is not right either. Yet, none of these people use slurs for gay people, just as they don't call Jews "kikes". You can openly disagree with homosexuality without using slurs or using the word "gay" as a synonym for stupid.
 

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Similarly, no one cares if you think homosexuality is okay. By its simplest definition, being all pro-diversity would also mean to accept the fact that there will be those who are openly disapproving of gays.

Hence Uncle Panda's post.

Yay for proving the OP's point. yayyyyyyyyyy :rolleyes:

It's very hard to be out in med school. Period. Unlike choosing a college for it's atmosphere, there's a little more "diversity" of opinion in med school. It is a bit more like the real world, because we're stuck with people who range from anti-pc (like on this board) to straight out ignorant. I guess it's easier to meet people of similar mind if you're out, but I think a lot of people like to find out who they trust first.

Don't fool yourself into thinking being anti-pc but gay-friendly is going to get you a lot of gay friends.
 
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da8s0859q

Yay for proving the OP's point. yayyyyyyyyyy :rolleyes:

I'm not sure which point it is that I just proved. The OP, in his malaria-treating, verbose ranting, was complaining about the hypocrisy in tolerance that isn't.

I don't condemn guys for chasing guys, girls for girls (I feel left out!), or what have you. I get equally irritated with people who take it too far to either side (i.e., "accept it or you're a closed-minded bigot" vs. "they're all gonna burn in hell - I'll bring the marshmallows!"). I just think that when people preach about diversity, they very damn well ought to realize that diversity includes things you will NOT want to hear.

I won't be the one to say them, but if they weren't there, then it's just relative diversity, isn't it? Semantics and all, sure, but a valid point nonetheless considering that people come in all sorts o' shades of gray.

Or all the colors of the rainbow, apparently.
 
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Oh come on. There is a difference between being tolerant of characteristics that don't hurt other people and those that do. Hatred falls into the latter category. If it is moral to be accepting of Jewish people, it does not follow that one also must be tolerant of anti-Semitism. The arguments made by Panda et al. are hollow sophistry and I'm sure that even they can see the difference.
 
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da8s0859q

Not so much sophistry as it is a slightly more literal-than-popular take on "diversity," is all. Again, I don't condone it, but I'm not all PC about it (or anything else). I just think that diversity, and I mean diversity in the popular sense of hugs-and-rainbows-for-all-dammit!, is a bit of a pipe dream right now because diversity, by its very definition, runs the gamut of human opinion. And some humans are just pricks.
 
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  7. This thread is locked.