I once thought that I was an Aggie. Next year will be my 5th year of study. I am a Presidential Endowed
Scholar. I attended Fish Camp. I went to football games and yelled until my voice was dead and my ass
was red. I joined a FLO. I started two organizations. I received the prestigious Buck Weirus Spirit Award
for my contributions to this student body. I have made hundreds of friends, touched hundreds of
Aggies’ lives and been touched by thousands more. Yes, I once thought that I was an Aggie.
On April 20th, 2011 the Student Senate made it clear that, in their eyes, I am an Aggie no more.
That day, the student senate told me that I was not worth as much as other Aggies. You told me that
breaking the Aggie Honor Code and lying to my fellow students was preferable to you deciding to
respect me for who I am. On that night, S.B. 63-106, otherwise known as the “Sexual Education Equality
in Funding Bill” in support of Representative Wayne Christian’s amendment to HB 1 passed. And with its
passage, the Student Senate made its position clear: that because I am gay, I am not truly an Aggie.
Now you may be saying to yourself that I’m being overly dramatic, that that was not your intention in
passing that bill, or something else along those lines. Some of you may have stopped reading this letter
as soon as you saw the words “I am gay”. I would expect nothing less from the 17th least friendly
campus for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) students in the country (according to the
Princeton review). If you’re still reading, then allow me to explain why I don’t at all feel like I am being
melodramatic and state my reasons for concluding that the Student Senate no longer views me as an
1. Harming the Texas A&M GLBT Resource Center was the purpose of this bill, not, as the authors
claim, the creating of centers for the purpose of so-called “traditional values education.” This is
made clear in the second operative clause, where the opposition of increased student fees to
cover this new “traditional values education” is set forth. The authors of the bill are not fooling
anyone, since the drastic budget cuts make it clear that no additional government funding is at
all likely for this new “traditional values” education, leaving one clear option: cut the GLBT
Resource Center’s budget in half. This barely concealed attempt to attack the funding of the
biggest support system for GLBT students and their allies on this campus is not just an attack on
some perceived “immoral lifestyle choice” or whatever phrase people might choose to use. It is
a direct attack on Aggies like myself, a clear “shot over the bow”, warning us that we are not
welcome on this campus.
2. The purpose of this bill was not to promote equality of funding for support for all students. If
that were indeed the goal, then allow me to point you to several areas where there is a severe
problem. First of all, why is there a Women’s Resource Center on campus but no Men’s
Resource Center? Applying the same logic that has been applied in the passage of S.B. 63-106, it
is clearly unfair that my student fees, as a male, go toward funding the Women’s Resource
Center, especially if I disagree that women need any special attention. I should demand
equality of funding towards a center that supports me and my needs as a male. Likewise for the
Department of Multicultural Services, because I as a Caucasian Amercian have no need of their
services. Where is my Department of White American Services? Clearly, the student body does
not have a problem offering support to the communities of women and multicultural students
within the Aggie family. Thus, singling out support for GLBT students like me sends a crystal
clear message: “you and people like you are not worthy of our support. Women, multicultural
people, those groups deserve support. You do not.“
3. The assertion that there is not already “traditional values” education related to sex on this
campus is laughable. Anyone who has taken a KINE 198 class can tell you that only heterosexual
examples are given when discussing romantic or sexual interactions and the health guidelines
related to them. And a mandatory class is far more pervasive in educating the students of Texas
A&M than a resource center buried in Cain Hall that never requires people to pass through its
doors. The programming that the center offers is optional for those who wish to attend. There
is no requirement that straight Aggies listen to a discussion of sexual safety for gay men or
lesbian women, but clearly the same is not true for GLBT Aggies. We are treated to a discussion
of straight sexual safety and relationship guidelines whether we want to be or not. Thus, the
assertion that “alternative sexual education” is being funded more than “traditional values”
sexual education on this campus is not only patently false, but demeaning to those of us who
are consistently maligned for being attracted to (a) different gender(s) of people than the
Student Senate apparently feels we should be.
Senators, let me reiterate what I said at the beginning of this letter. Next year will be my 5th year of
study. I am a Presidential Endowed Scholar. I attended Fish Camp. I went to football games and yelled
until my voice was dead and my ass was red. I joined a FLO. I started two organizations. I received the
prestigious Buck Weirus Spirit Award for my contributions to this student body. I happen to be gay. I
am also a strong Christian, attend a local church, and have a wonderful relationship with my father.
A year ago, all of that almost vanished. I almost became a name read out at Silver Taps Senators,
because I was so tired of living the lie, feeling controlled by fear. And the voices that were in my head
were delivering the same message that the Student Senate is delivering to the GLBTQ students of this
university: you aren’t worth as much as everyone else. I’m not accusing the Student Senate of causing
suicides, but the passage of this bill simply reinforces a message that many GLBT people have been
hearing their whole lives. Will it take a Tyler Clementi here at Texas A&M before this becomes
You may think it’s a sin, that I chose to be gay, and that I’m having wild, promiscuous, unprotected sex
every chance I get. You may think of me as a faggot, a queer, a poof, a fairy, or a dirty homo. You may
think that I will certainly die of AIDS…some of you may even think that I should die because of it. I know
people on this campus and in this community who think that I deserve the death penalty for being gay.
That is the reality of being gay on this campus, Senators. Even if a GLBT man or woman never once
experiences outright discrimination, the knowledge that if it weren’t for Texas politeness they almost
certainly would stays with them. It is fear, a constant awareness that we have to have when we’re on a
date or walking across campus, an undercurrent of uncertainty about how people will react to us
holding hands, wearing a GLBTAggies t-shirt, or standing in front of an Aggie Allies table by the Academic
That is why the GLBT Resource Center is essential. It was part of what kept me alive a year ago, having a
community where I knew I could find support, be able to talk to people who knew what I was going
through and had the funding and resources to help get me (and every other person who visits the
center, gay or straight) the information and support that they need to make it through a day, a week, a
year, a lifetime.
Because guess what Senators? Somehow, most of us still love Texas A&M. Despite everything, we still
bleed maroon. That’s why we are still here, why we haven’t just up and left, packed our bags, and hit
the road for California or New York. The people who work at the GLBT resource center could have just
given up years ago; it would have been easier. GLBT Aggies and their allies are still bettering this
campus through our involvement in the student body. But we will continue to fight to be recognized
fully as Aggies, despite the Student Senate’s clear position that we are not.
In closing, you will notice that my name is not attached to this letter. You may accuse me of cowardice,
of choosing to hide behind the cloak of anonymity as I take potshots at you. Then again, you may not.
But let me be clear: I have chosen to withhold my name not out of fear, but because you, as a senate
body, have lost my trust. Choosing to come out to someone, which is what I would be doing if I included
my name, requires trust. However, I do not trust you with my name any more than you as a senate trust
that the GLBT students of this campus honestly need the support and resources that the GLBT Resource
Center offers. You clearly no longer represent me, so you are no longer entitled to my name.
Maybe when you are willing to repair the damage that you have done to the Aggie Family I might be
willing to trust you again.
An Aggie No More