Classic Signals: LGBTQ+ students share their experiences

By Emmy Liederman
Features Editor

In a February 1977 issue of The Signal, two student members of the LGBTQ+ community, Carol and Keith, were profiled on what it was like to come out to both their families and the campus community. Although the students were accepted by some of their peers, they were ostracized by others.

Campus life for LGBTQ+ students is more inclusive now. (Photo Courtesy of TCNJ Digital Archive)

Carol shared that after coming out, her dad cried for a week, and after telling her friends at the College, she “wasn’t one of the girls anymore. One girl was afraid of me; maybe afraid I’d rape her or something.”

Keith, who identified as bisexual, told The Signal that he had yet to come out to his father due to fear of rejection. Carol also noted that it is not just the personal reactions that made revealing her sexuality difficult, but also her lack of legal protections and right to marriage.

With the legalization of gay marriage in 2015 and an increasingly widespread acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, it is clear that we have come a long way since 1977.

Last month a lesbian became an ordained Episcopalian priest. All over this country barriers are being broken down. Gay liberation has come to America. Gay liberation is also coming to Trenton State College and recently the Signal interviewed two members of the gay community trying to find out what gay life is like.

“Being gay is a pleasure and a difficulty. I never know who I’m going to be attracted to. I try to meet people as people, not as sex objects,” said Keith.

Keith is currently working so he can come back to TSC and get his degree. According to him, he is a bisexual.

“Once I came out I didn’t want to see women. Then I realized that I wanted to.” He thought for a moment and said, “I couldn’t put myself in a certain role.”

It’s difficult to be bisexual. Some gay people even reject him, according to Keith. “I don’t feel I have to limit myself, but I feel the pressure too,” he added.

Carol, a member of the Gay Union of Trenton State (GUTS) said, “I know it’s not a phase. . . if I were to try straight life it would be like giving up… it’s my heart.”

As a sophomore campus resident, Carol has experienced numerous difficulties. As soon as people found out, Carol says, “I wasn’t one of the girls anymore. One girl was afraid of me; maybe afraid I’d rape her or something.” She shook her head in disbelief.

According to Carol, she tried talking with them and told them to ask her questions, but they didn’t even try. Carol’s roommate knew she was gay, but when the floor members found out, her roommate was afraid they’d think she was gay too.