campus life

Yale Approves Mixed-Gender Housing. And This Ends Discrimination Against Gay Students?

Debated at Columbia and approved at Yale, gender-neutral housing is a straight college student’s way to finally shack up with opposite sex partners. Awesome! But Yale’s move — which makes it the last of the Ivy Leagues to permit some form of mixed-gender housing — also strikes down a policy that, passively, discriminated against gays. Huh?

“One of the major concerns against [the policy] was that opposite-sex couples would cohabitate on campus, but if there isn’t such a policy, it means the administration is presupposing that there aren’t same-sex relationships,” says Benjamin Bernard, a board member of Yale’s LGBT Cooperative.

That is: By only allowing same-sex housing to minimize sexual interaction, Yale was, ipso facto, assuming gays and lesbian relationships didn’t exist. Which as any homo who’s ever stepped foot on Yale’s campus knows to be both untrue and ridiculous. (And now you don’t even need to visit Connecticut to know it to be true.) And here we thought these institutions of higher education were just cutting us a break the whole time by “forcing” us to live with the same-sex.

Yale’s new program is only for seniors, who will get to share a suite with the opposite sex; bedrooms, however, are supposed to be occupied only by members of the same-sex, which still means two dudes sleeping in the same room, but who’s going to police any of that?

One advantage of mixed-gender housing for queers, touted across the land, is the ability for, say, gay men to choose to live with more friendly straight female students, or transgender students to select a roommate with a gender they feel more comfortable around. Except if mixed-gender housing is only for seniors, LGBT freshman don’t really gain anything from the new rules, and will still be subjected to that could-be-awkward “She’s my girlfriend, not my girl friend” conversation.

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