Student Calls Remix Religious Expression

“Not Gay” Chant Sparks Controversy

Athletic arenas have long been bastions of homophobia.

Case-in-point: students at the University of Virginia insist on shouting “I’m not gay” during one of the school’s traditional rally cries: “Good Old Song,” which includes the lyrics, “We come from old Virginia, Where all is bright and gay.” That’s where hundreds of students chime in their own sexual assertion.

Tired of their peers’ insensitivity, gay students have launched a campaign to quell the aural editorials. And, of course, they’re meeting some resistance, including a particularly inane op-ed from a freshman named Alex Cortes.

Cortes’ piece, entitled “Not Gay and Proud Of It,” reads:

When proudly shouting, “I’m not gay” during the “Good Ol’ Song,” I am simply publicizing my religiously-informed belief that it is wrong to act homosexual.

I find it pathetic that our Christian American majority, in this case shown at the University, is willing to set aside their religious beliefs for political correctness…Political correctness, a weakening morality and lack of courage are suffocating our once-great nation. You have an opportunity to stop the suffocation. Promote the “not gay” chant.

Cortes also tells Inside Higher Ed that by saying “I’m not gay,” he’s reasserting his heterosexuality, “and, through that, that it’s wrong to act gay.” That’s the gayest thing we’ve ever heard.

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  • Rowen

    We got a few problems here. First of all, there’s the whole changing of syntax. If the word dosen’t work, change the lyrics. Secondly, if you feel that you have to proclaim your heterosexuality to everyone, you’ve already lost half the battle.

  • Shaun Tom

    Although this is truly a sad reminder of the attitude held by young conservative men, I must say that I simply can’t take a person who misuses “homosexual” as an adverb seriously. I’ll take intellectual superiority over some hick’s perceived “moral” superiority any day.

  • Brandon85

    Sounds like Cortes needs to return to being a freshmen… High School.

  • Jordan

    Wow, I’m so sad that I left the South, where idiotic dicks try to use Catholic theology to defend shouting anti-gay slurs at a football game. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

  • Superman

    I wonder if Mr. Alex Cortes would have a problem if the verse ended with “…where all is bright and brown.” How would he feel if the majority were shouting “I’M NOT BROWN!” If he heard that shouted in his ear, then maybe he would understand how gay people feel about his unprovoked animosity. If he has a problem with gays, that’s fine. But if no one is in his face about his personal qualities not shared by the majority of Americans, then he should just show a little more wisdom and keep his piehole shut!

  • Superman

    By the way, before anyone gets offended by my previous post, I’m gay…and brown.

  • praenomenal

    I really could care less. People are allowed to say what they want when they want. We cannot limit speech like that. If they were saying “Don’t be gay” or something like that, maybe. But this is a personal assessment.

  • John Santos

    “People are allowed to say what they want when they want. We cannot limit speech like that.”

    That apparently doesn’t apply to those of us who oppose that ridiculous chant. Cortes’s speech cannot be limited, but the speech of those who oppose him can? Moron.

  • John Santos

    Wow. First that shithead coach makes an anti-gay comment, then the students use anti-gay chants. The U of V must be a really fucking paradise for LGBTQ’s.

  • Frank Rizzo

    John Santos, what the hell are you talking about? Phil Jackson coaches the Los Angeles Lakers, what does that have to do with the University of Virginia. In case you didn’t know, Los Angeles is a little ways away from Virginia, in California. Also, the Lakers are a professional team, not associated with any college.

  • Sarah

    I find this line from the editorial especially chilling:

    “Clearly there is nothing wrong with exerting our freedom of speech — especially responsible speech supported in Christianity.”

    We’re all created equal… but some of us are more equal than others.

  • Timothy

    “bright and gay”

    Cortes objected to the wrong adjective.

  • John Santos

    Frank Rizzo, who gives a shit? Phobes are phobes no matter geography.

  • Superman

    ““bright and gay”
    Cortes objected to the wrong adjective.”

    Timothy, that was the quip of the day. Thanks for that! lol

  • wahoo

    This article suggests that the “not gay” chant is universal and that it’s only gay students who are calling for change. In fact, there has been widespread activism against the chant in the entire community, including multiple columns and editorials in the school newspaper and posters distributed by one of UVa’s traditional secret societies. Cortes’s column met with an immediate and overwhelming negative response. The chant is currently carried on by a small and mostly drunk minority.

  • Steve Hansen

    Methinks he doth protest too much.

    The ones who make an effort to assert their own heterosexuality are, it seems, usually the ones who are the least secure in their own heterosexuality. They are usually the ones who are actually homosexual, but have not or cannot accept themselves. We see this time and time again. The most rabid anti-gay preachers and politicians are precisely the ones who get caught making sexual advances toward other men in public restrooms.

    By yelling out “I’m not gay”, he actually gives others cause to believe that he is, indeed, gay.

    The claim of conflict between Christian teachings and homosexuality is, of course, not true either. See, “Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century”, by John Boswell, for an informed history.

  • Jonathan

    I realize the line between a joke and a slur can get pretty fuzzy, but in my opinion (in my GAY opinion, that is) this is little more than a joke. Not a PC joke, granted, but not a hate song either. You know, “gay” as in “cheerful” and “gay” as in “gay.” Ho, ho. It’s when people lose their sense of humor and take offense at nonsense that ideologies crop up on both ends of the political divide.

    Now how about organizing a few gay students at the U of VA to dress up as cheerleaders and sing along with the jocks? That would be far more effective than crying to the dean.

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