Theme VI: Guilty Pleasures, Intro

With an undergraduate population of roughly 22,000, NYU can seem like a constant flurry of faces. As we gain close friends and confidants, some of these faces will become familiar. Many of these faces, however, belong to peers who we will never meet or even see on campus again.

After the initial hurdle of making a new friend can sometimes come a greater challenge—how much of ourselves do we share? If we reveal our guilty pleasures, will it bring us closer together or bring judgment and embarrassment? Learning our new friends’ secrets and quirks can surprise, enchant, or shock us, but most often, these revelations make or break true bonds.

You may have wondered if you’re the only one at NYU with a peculiar habit. Do you hoard fruit? Can’t stop stalking your ex on facebook? Eat rice krispies in the shower? Maybe you’re obsessed with tinder, grindr, and other dating apps? Trust me—you are not alone. From secret eccentricities to potentially disastrous illegal activities, join us as we survey the guilty pleasures of NYU. This week, you’re in for a wild ride.

Happy Reading,

Emma Scoble

Under the Arch Editor

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Campus Confessions by Emily Harris

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Theme VI: Guilty Pleasures, Campus Confessions

by Emily Harris

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“Ordering Seamless with my mom’s credit card.” Jay Rymal, Liberal Studies ’18

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“Listening to Shakira.” Jonah Stern, Liberal Studies ’18

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“I don’t get guilty pleasures…Why would you do something you would feel guilty about? I, at least, don’t.” Samantha Craig, Steinhardt ’17

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“Melting butter.” Amelia Chu, Steinhardt’16

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“Being too cool.” Alyssa Mullally, CAS ’17

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“Spending an entire weekend watching Doctor Who.” Alexander Knoll, Gallatin ’16

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“Books.” Mayank Parashar, CAS ’17

DSC08381“Sleeping in…on a Monday or a Tuesday.” Devon H., CAS’16

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Theme V: LGBTQ, From Tipperary to Manhattan

by Tommy Collison

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In my bio for the Washington Square News, I write that I grew up “among cows, computers, and not much else” in Tipperary, a small town in rural Ireland. My older brothers were fond of taking old laptops apart to see how they worked, and I think that love of tinkering was passed to me in turn. But growing up in such an isolated spot wasn’t always fun — there was an almost total lack of LGBTQ community.

Ireland’s political and social situation has definitely improved in the last 3 or 4 years, but when I was in my early teens, being gay wasn’t something that was often discussed. In my experience, people rarely spoke out against it, but that’s a long way from there being a positive community around the idea that it’s okay to be something other than straight. Two posters that read “he’s gay, and we’re okay,” was the extent of LGBTQ programming that we enjoyed in high school. I was lucky in that my parents and friends were supportive after I came out, but there was still a distinct lack of a sense of community. It wasn’t that I was actively unhappy, I just couldn’t look around and see people like me.

Moving to a new country as a teenager to start college was vaguely terrifying, as to be expected. Will I make friends? What does “my community” look like, and will I find it? At the end of my freshman year, I visited the LGBTQ Center at NYU, housed on Kimmel’s sixth floor. Then, I started working there as an OUTSpoken Peer Educator, doing outreach and advocacy on issues on campus relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. Students can chill and grab free coffee at the center’s lounge, and it’s become something of a second home to me this year.

Photo courtesy of Tommy Collison

Tommy Collison leads a Safe Zone training.

Part of being an OUTSpoken Peer Educator is conducting Safe Zone trainings, 2-3 hour workshops where other students, faculty-members and administrators can learn more about LGBTQ issues. We’re given a script but we’re encouraged to make the presentation personal with anecdotes and flourishes. When I facilitate these discussions, I often describe growing up in Ireland and not knowing what having a community felt like. I do this because I’m trying to convey that Safe Zones are, in a sense, recruitment tools. By signing up for one, you’re saying that you want to be an ally. By learning about the issues, we’re making NYU not just a more accepting place, but a place where people can feel safe and comfortable, regardless of how they present their gender or their sexuality.

In May, Ireland is going to vote on whether our constitution should be amended to allow same-sex couples to marry. I go back about once a year, so I’ve been watching the progress of the referendum since it was first announced. The work I’m doing at the LGBTQ center is based on trying to improve the community at NYU, and it makes me wonder if I can or should be doing more at home. Since coming to the U.S. two years ago, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to adopt a country — and to be welcomed by one. One of the things that makes me proud to live in New York is that my friends and I aren’t limited in who we can marry based on their gender. I hope to soon see the day when the same is true in Ireland.

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Theme V: LGBTQ, “Young Queer New York”

by Erin Siu

Tommy Craven

Tommy Craven

“Young Queer New York” is a new documentary directed by Gallatin senior Tommy Craven, featuring the voices of LGBTQ students living in New York City. The film discusses issues such as ideal queer beauty, bisexual fetishizing, and the political and media representation of transgender individuals, all of which extend from NYU to the larger NYC community.

Craven was inspired after watching the HBO documentary, “The Out List,” which included interviews of well known members of the LGBTQ community, including Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres. Craven said he modeled the format of “Young Queer New York” after “The Out List” but that instead of using intimate interviews with older, established, employed celebrities, he wanted to convey the perspectives of people under the age of twenty.

Craven’s film explores the wide spectrum of queer experiences in New York City, which he said is often determined by one’s the socio-economic class. “Young Queer New York” investigates this issue by interviewing several queer NYU students as well as native New Yorkers, including one woman who is currently homeless.

In regard to NYU, Craven said that while many LGBTQ NYU students come from different countries and regions of the U.S. that have different levels of acceptance for queer people, NYU itself offers a great deal of safety.

“Once you get to NYU, you have a certain privilege versus people in the outskirts of the Bronx or Queens. Those who are homeless or working a minimum wage job and identify as a person of color don’t get the privilege of living on a campus where they can feel safe.” he explained.

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Film still from “Young Queer New York”

Furthermore, Craven spoke of LGBTQ youths who came to New York City seeking a safe environment, but were able to return home, “They came from a place where their families were unaccepting, but over the years, their families have slowly accepted and learned and grew. That’s a joyful experience—to come from a place where you feel uncomfortable at home and move into a space where your family understands you.”

Although Craven’s film highlights the prevalent challenges facing the LGBTQ community, it also emphasizes the joys of the young queer experience in New York City. “We definitely critique a lot of stuff, but at the end of the day, we have a lot of people talking about New York City Pride and how fun it is to be able to enter into the street with thousands of people who identify within the same community as they do.” he reflected.

Another one of the documentary’s goals is to expand the mainstream emphasis from the gay community’s issues to issues that also affect the transgender and queer-identifying community as a whole. Though New York was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage, Craven said that many issues affecting the entire LGBTQ community do not receive mainstream visibility.

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Film still from “Young Queer New York”

“The white, gay male identity is definitely more prevalent. People tend to understand gay people more than non-binary people. Sometimes people don’t understand what queer or transgender means and have a hard time supporting causes for them.” Craven explained.

Craven’s film also discusses the harmful assumptions which arise from stereotyping certain sexual identities, especially the sexual fetishization of those who identify as bisexual. “People seek them about because they want to have threesomes with a guy and a girl. We’re trying to dispel the common myth that although bisexual people like men and women, they don’t necessarily want both in their lives at the same time. They can be with either one in the same way a lot of straight people want to be monogamous.” he said.

According to Craven, the largest issue facing the transgender community today is gaining media and political representation. He said gay and lesbian populations have been gaining popular and financial support nationally as well as political traction since the 60s, whereas the transgender cause has gained national attention much more recently.

Another issue “Young Queer New York” deals with is challenging the common perception of transgender people. “Just because a person physically hasn’t done anything does not mean they are not transgender. It’s about how they feel and how they identify.” he said.

Though Craven acknowledged that LGBTQ tolerance has progressed over the past few years in ways that were unimaginable ten years ago, he said, “It’s dangerous to say that everything is getting better without taking action. Just because you know a gay person, you still need to be able to understand all parts of their background that play a part in the queer experience. I want people to be critical of that and to be conscious. There’s always other issues to be aware of. The only way we can be aware is to constantly give queer people a microphone.”

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Theme V: LGBTQ, NYU Drag Queens

by Felipe De La Hoz

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Drag Name: La Gaysha

“For me it started because I love playing with makeup. This event is very dear to my heart because the organization that sponsors us helps homeless LGBT youth. Coming out for anyone is tough, but I couldn’t imagine how it must be for someone who didn’t get the response they deserve as a human being.” Li Lu, Stern ’16

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Drag Name: Matte

“It’s been rough. There’s a lot of pressure not to fall into all of the stereotypes, not to be that person who fails in the community, the drag community and the gay community.” Matt McPhillips, Poly ’17

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Drag Name: Gaia Softcore

“I’m new to drag. I’m still only 20 years old, I can’t go out to clubs and stuff, so any chance I get to express this, my art form, I love. I’m just loving all of this.” Jeremy Harris, Tisch ’17

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Drag Name: Veronica Silver

“A defining moment for me was the first time I broke a heel. I was like ‘Oh God, I’m fucked.’ But I made it through.” Juan Guadalupe, visiting performer

These photos were taken Sixth Annual H.O.T.T. NYU Drag Race, hosted by the Beta Xi Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi.

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