school's out

Why Isn’t Morehouse Focused On Fostering Acceptance, Not Division?

Xem Van Adams runs a celebrity blog, but don’t hold it against him. Because the Los Angeles-via-Baltimore writer is also an outspoken fella on race, sexuality, masculinity — and this bullshit at Morehouse College.

“Going through Morehouse’s yearbook, it’s just like going through my Facebook friends list,” says Van Adams, establishing his cred to speak on the topic.

Morehouse, you’ll recall, banned its all-male campus from wearing women’s clothing, along with pajamas and do-rags. It’s all part of grooming students at the historically black college to become upstanding citizens.

That mission is an admirable one, but don’t all schools want, in addition to cashing tuition checks, for their student bodies to succeed in life? As a HBCU, Morehouse is especially concerned with fostering a regiment of classy black men. That, too, we can get behind.

But as Van Adams points out, this institutionalized prescription for what qualifies as “upstanding” actually weakens the entire mission. Morehouse should be concentrating on producing graduates who aren’t just successful in their careers, but who are accepting of their brothers (and sisters) who may not fit into the very norms Morehouse recommends.

Unless, of course, the real underly message of this policy is: no thugs, and no gays allowed.

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  • Jaroslaw

    I still have been unable to find out why only 3 of the 27 members of Morehouse’s Gay group voted AGAINST the policy.

    Anyone know?

  • terrance johnson

    i would like to address all those opposing of our, morehouse college, new policy because it is “discriminatory against gays and transgendered students” but the reality is these students who identify with these positions, addressing the students that solely identify as homosexual or “feminine” as stated above, these students are all male and identify as such, there is no discrimination against these students because they are gay so lets stop saying that because it does become a greater issue from that false perspective; your clothing does not determine nor define your orientation, if you are gay are you gay because you put on womens clothing? thats a false identity if that is the case, there is no perscriptive diagnosis provided to the college stating these students will not be able to produce or become a great leader, as morehouse is known to produce, on the basis they are uncomfortable in clothing for males.also knowing the history of the college and its mission is important, a lot of these brothers come to morehouse for ATLANTA and not the rich tradition and nurturing provided at morehouse so it becomes blurry when they become engulfed in the sub-cultures of the city and transcend them into the culture of the campus. transgender students alike are responsible for knowing the institution they have chosen, there is no animosity towards any or none of my brothers alike; i have love for everyone, and in that i feel it is more important to figure out honestly if morehouse is the best choice, being an all male historic institution, rich and set in its own culture and development and leadership building skills for men, if identifying as transgender prohibits any of those, especially when it deals with changing the school for case by case accommodations; we have to really think rationally before we go head into situations, i know morehouse, i am morehouse, sexual orientation is not a determinant of that, what i produce is the etermining factor of that.

  • edgyguy1426

    Ok, that was almost unreadable….so I hope this wasn’t a typical example of what you produce.


    @ Terrance Johnson

    What you DON’T know could fill an olympic sized pool. And I have to agree with the above poster…if this is the sort of writing and organization of ideas that Morehouse is producing…there is QUITE an emergency on that campus, and it has nothing to do with what students are wearing.


  • rhydderch

    come on lets be honest. The only reason Queerty is interested in this topic is because it paints blacks as being homophobes.

  • Sydney

    RHYDDERCH, you’re an idiot. Why are you even here?

  • McShane

    @No. 2 · terrance johnson; If you want to be convincingly pretentious, you need to learn to write at least.
    @ No. 5 · rhydderch : it certainly points Morehouse college as being both homophobes and full fledged bigots against even blacks.

  • Jaroslaw

    Terrance Johnson – wow, all that writing and you can’t answer my one question?

    And it is very difficult to read what you wrote. I surely hope you are not a typical Morehouse student with those horrendous writing skills.

  • paul

    fuck off Sydney, why are you here except to stifle the discussion

  • rhydderch

    So Morehouse Collegem, a private school, doesn’t want students dressing in pj’s and women’s clothing and Queerty is elevating the ramblings of some dude no one has ever heard of (simply because he’s black) so I guess his skin color helps the argument that blacks are homophobes. Why would any transsexual want to attend a all-male college anyway except to make waves, and get HRC all up in arms, like when that fat chick fought her way into the Citadel and couldn’t hack it and dropped out after two weeks. I believe that Bob Jones University still doesn’t allow interracial relationships among it’s students, where’s Queerty’s outrage?

  • Jaroslaw

    #9 Queerty is a Gay site, it is under no obligation to take on all the problems on planet earth (ie your reference to interracial dating)…..

    Further, Morehouse is telling students what they can wear in their free time. Yes it is a private college, but that does not mean it can do anything it wants. Also, as I said in another post, powers that be must use their power with discretion and common sense. Rules are there for a reason, not just because. I fail to see how five guys on a campus of 2700 can be so threatening. If they are, the other 2695 got some real issues…..

  • rhydderch

    @ No.11: I’m afraid you’re wrong. A private school can inact whatever dress code it wants, sort of how Hampden-Sydney College has dress code of khakis/jeans, Oxford button down, Hampden-Sydney sweatshirt, and a cap. Further, Morehouse isn’t saying that students can’t wear skirts in their free time, what was said is that students must abide by the dress code on campus. So students can wear whatever they want off campus. Sort of like how at my Jesuit prep school my uniform consisted of khakis, white oxford, school tie and a blue blazer. Don’t like it? Go to a public school.

  • Jaroslaw

    #13 since you’re bothering to respond,why don’t you answer everything? Since you didn’t, I assume you agree

    (A) a Gay blog doesn’t have to answer every issue on planet earth

    (B) I didn’t say the school couldn’t regulate dress codes, I said they couldn’t do anything they wanted. (personally, I can’t imagine why they would want to regulate dress outside of school hours other than for sufficient modesty)

    (C)since five cross dressing guys out of 2700 is a threat apparently, proving straight men and conservative are easily intimidated.

  • Jaroslaw

    sorry, forgot to add onto (B) above – wonder what will happen if someone takes it to court (about regulating dress on non school hours)

  • rhydderch

    #14, you didn’t pose a question so what is/was there to answer? And to my point, you’re still wrong because the policy states that men are not to wear women’s clothing on campus and campus sponsored events. Morehouse is not policing student dress off campus. Also I use Bob Jones University as an example because students who apply to BJU know the policy regarding interracial dating. It’s tough to prove damages when you’re well aware of the organizations policy. This has been the Morehouse dress code for over 12 years but now they have chosen to enforce it. Also why do you assume that these 5 men have intimidated anyone, they’re violating the dress code, period. If these students where wearing “gold grills” which are also banned, they would be in clear violation of the dress code as well.

  • rhydderch

    #14: why are you so transfixed with men wearing women’s clothes? The dress code describes infractions beyond cross-dressing. So you’re assuming that the biggest injustice here is homophobia. What do you have no faux concerns for the thugs and how their rights are being trampled on?
    The Morehouse Dress Code
    1. No caps, do-rags and/or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues. This policy item does not apply to headgear considered as a part of religious or cultural dress.

    2. Sun glasses or “shades” are not to be worn in class or at formal programs, unless medical documentation is provided to support use.

    3. Decorative orthodontic appliances (e.g. “grillz”) be they permanent or removable, shall not be worn on the campus or at College-sponsored events.

    4. Jeans at major programs such as, Opening Convocation, Commencement, Founder’s Day or other programs dictating professional, business casual attire, semi-formal or formal attire.

    5. Clothing with derogatory, offense and/or lewd messages either in words or pictures.

    6. Top and bottom coverings should be work at all times. No bare feet in public venues.

    7. No sagging–the wearing of one’s pants or shorts low enough to reveal undergarments or secondary layers of clothing.

    8. Pajamas, shall not be worn while in public or in common areas of the College.

    9. No wearing of clothing associated with women’s garb (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at College-sponsored events.

    10. Additional dress regulations may be imposed upon students participating in certain extracurricular activities that are sponsored or organized by the College (e.g. athletic teams, the band, Glee Club, etc).

    11. The college reserves the right to modify this policy as deemed appropriate.

  • Jaroslaw

    regurgitate #17 I didn’t ask a question in post #12 and you answered the ONE part you wanted.

    Also, why am I “transfixed?” Exactly why you said – the dress code has been in place for 12 years, only when the Gays get involved is it an issue. You’re stupider than I thought. End of discussion for me.

  • rhydderch

    Typical…make a personal attack and then promptly exit

  • Schteve


    I wonder if you’re the type who would argue DOMA isn’t discriminatory because it doesn’t explicitly reference gays too :p
    (Don’t worry, Obama’s Justice Department feels the same way!)

    Why you really should be arguing this isn’t discriminatory is because it’s perfectly acceptable for private schools to establish dress codes. This is a far cry from anything unusual or wrong.

  • Jaroslaw

    19 typical – only pick and choose what you want to answer and ignore the rest!

  • rhydderch


    Queerty is a Gay site, it is under no obligation to take on all the problems on planet earth (ie your reference to interracial dating)…..

    (Agreed but I never stated that Queerty was obligated to take on all the ills of the world but however we have two colleges Morehouse and Bob Jones University and two controversial codes of conduct that places limitations on student freedom. My question was: Why isn’t Queerty addresses that issue?

    Further, Morehouse is telling students what they can wear in their free time.

    (That’s a pretty broad statement. The Morehouse dress code is only being enforced on campus and college sponsored events. Students can wear whatever they want off campus.)

    Yes it is a private college, but that does not mean it can do anything it wants.

    (That’s true but can any us do whatever we want?)

    Also, as I said in another post, powers that be must use their power with discretion and common sense.


    Rules are there for a reason, not just because.

    (Morehouse officials have stated that campus dress had become too casual)

    I fail to see how five guys on a campus of 2700 can be so threatening.

    (From what I’ve read students weren’t threatened by cross dressers, but administrators felt that student dress had become too casual)

    If they are, the other 2695 got some real issues…..

    (You’re assuming that the dress code was only created to single out cross-dressers. The dress code will impact all students, have you read it?)

  • Jaroslaw

    Well, finally some rational discussion…..

    1. Student conduct and freedom of expression in the Bob Jones interracial dating situation is not a Gay issue. I don’t see why you think Queerty should address that.

    2. Morehouse is enforcing a dress code at all times on campus, so that would include a lot of student’s free time. How is that a “broad statement?” It is factual, nothing more or less.

    As I already said, I wonder what would happen if that dress code got challenged in court. I’m totally with you that students should dress appropriately for class or any official college functions. But who is threatened if a guy wears a dress at other times? Why is is a problem?

    I realize the dress code was not instituted yesterday, but something obviously has changed when we read “only 3 of the student’s 27 member Gay group” voted against the dress code. That was a recent activity and that is why this is news. Because (apparently) it is being ENFORCED in a way that it wasn’t before.

  • Ben conducted a study among 303 viewers of a news clip about a cross-dressing student who was sent home because of a dress code violation. Results found that that half of the viewers (61%) reported that they thought the school’s actions were appropriate. Furthermore, over one-third of viewers (37%) thought that the school’s actions were an act of discrimination and 55% said that if they were in high school they would support having this student attend their school.
    More in depth results can be seen at:

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