Gay student harassed at Emory: Was it his sexual orientation or his hat? Either way, his assailant ought to quit the bottle.

The mistreatment of a gay student at a frat party has turned Emory into a flashpoint for the current concerns over homophobia on campuses.

The mistreatment of a gay student at a frat party has turned Emory into a flashpoint for the current concerns over homophobia on campuses.

I read the account of the gay student being tossed out of a frat party in the Emory Wheel newspaper in a Decatur coffee shop earlier this week, but felt the story lacked some key elements, including comments from the frat brother who allegedly did the tossing. Nor was I clear that this party — at a private residence off campus — qualified as a frat party.

In a nutshell, a gay student in a wizard hat, lime-green jacket and red slacks drew the ire of a recent Emory grad at a Sigma Nu party. According to the alleged victim, the grad, Adam Smith, threw him out of the party amid anti-gay comments and “cheering” from other party goers. Beforehand, Smith had taken the student’s wizard hat and was needling the guy.

According to a statement from the alleged victim to the Emory Wheel: “This guy approached me and asked why I was wearing my hat. … I said that I like the hat, just as you like your pink shirt. He then asked me if I was gay, and I said I was. He then started choking me with his elbow and put me into a head lock, and he dragged me out of the party by my neck.”

The Wheel interviewed students at the party who confirmed these events, but I was still confused as to why this happened. I gained a better understanding after reading the 209 comments posted to the online version, including a frank, if disturbing, explanation by Adam Smith himself about why he threw out the gay student, who has yet to be identified. He seems to be saying that he is not anti-gay; he is just a mean drunk.

Here is his explanation, sanitized a bit for a family newspaper:

Hello all. This is Adam, and I would like to add this:

I do not know the individual that I kicked out of the party. If I knew his name I would have already sent him a sincere and personal apology for the incident that occurred.

I am in NO WAY at all a homophobic person. I have many friends at Emory who will vouch for me as a friendly guy and a genuinely great person.

This article paints me in an unfairly negative way. It was originally written and published without my input at all, using accounts by the Wizard and his friend(s) only. I was told earlier tonight that an article had just been posted about me online. I shockingly read it in its entirety, including that “Smith was attempted to be reached for comment but did not respond.” For the record, I received zero emails, calls/texts, Facebook messages…I am sure if anyone on the Emory Wheel staff put in any sort of honest effort to contact me they easily could have. I tracked down the editor of the Wheel’s cell phone number and called him at 2am this morning, asking how this could have happened. He talked with me briefly, wrote down a few comments, and then informed me that the hard copy of the Wheel had already been printed but agreed to add in what I had to say in the online version.

If Emory wants to bring the issue to light that the student body and/or Greek system is unfriendly toward the LGBT community, and that “instances of violence [against LGBT] have been less visible on Emory’s campus”, I think this is a cheap, irresponsible, and unfair way to go about doing it. To take this hazy, isolated incident, blow it out of proportion, and turn me into a scapegoat and slander my name is ridiculous. I think it is unprofessional reporting and would hope for some sort of apology from the Emory Wheel.

Further there was not any “approving reaction” from the crowd at the party for me putting this kid in a headlock and throwing him out, nor was I walking around bragging to other people that I just kicked “this faggot kid” out of the party, high five bro…Really?? This whole dumb event occurred because I was drunk and thought it would be funny to throw someone out to the wrath of the huge security guard at the door, and the most ridiculous person that naturally stood out to me was this Wizard dressed kid. I purposely egged him on a little bit, he snapped back at me, and I threw him out.

So chalk this up as me being a drunk XXXhole, a frat guy with too much testosterone, or whatever you want to call me I really don’t care. I just want everyone to know that that’s literally all it was, that’s the honest truth. I’m not some ignorant bigot looking to bash homosexuals, so please don’t think that. I hope the Wheel in the future will find better content to publish, rather than turning something small like this into an inflated and untruthful story in order to spark artificial controversy at the cost of an individual like me.

Thanks,
Adam

This saga sounds so many alarm bells, including the problem of campus drinking and the mob mentality of frats.

Now, I know I’m going to get all the frat types telling me how great fraternities are, but they are linked to higher incidences of binge drinking and alcohol abuse in general on campuses.

I suggest Emory, which has been working on curbing student drinking, have a serious chat with the frats. And to the young man in the wizard hat: Sorry that you had to pay the price for a drunk looking to prove something.

86 comments Add your comment

john

October 27th, 2010
10:47 pm

- The more voices we have the children we can save. http://www.haltnow.ca – Humanity Against Local Terrorism – HALT
- A new website that offers education, prevention, support and services to abused and bullied victims throughout each of our communities. We do so in order to encourage education, prevention and support to aid people in our communities and our country . H.A.L.T. was created in order to help in finding a solution to stop this local terrorism of bullying, abuse and domestic violence within our communities. Please help us stop these senseless acts.

Yep

October 27th, 2010
11:00 pm

I’ve spent time in the Emory Sigma Nu house. Some good guys. And also some of the most obnoxious, entitled, petulant young adults you’ll ever meet.

Proud Black Man

October 27th, 2010
11:00 pm

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mike

October 28th, 2010
3:13 am

Maybe this clod is on his way to being a true politician. Say and do then apologize about it later. And just about blame the other person for your actions. Drinking sets free those things that would normally be held back in the first place. He targeted this person because he was gay and had a outlandish hat on. Now he wants to apologize and put his reasoning out there. There is no excuse for the behavior of a bully and that is exactly what this moron is. Who will be the next target of his behavior? The next person who is somewhat different than him also? People like this know who to target, drunk or not. Hopefully this is not representative of Emory.

[...] Więcej: Gay student harassed at Emory: Was it his sexual orientation or … [...]

shaggy

October 28th, 2010
6:46 am

It is not about sexual orientation. It is about attitude. I have known gay people that would have pulled little frat boy’s butt cheeks up over his vacant head. Those same gay people were very nice and civil persons, just don’t mess with them.

Fortunately, in my youth, I was friends with a group of anti-bullies. Yes, we picked exclusively ON bullies. If you were mean spirited and kept it to yourself, no problem. If you preyed on weaker kids, BIG problems were coming your way, from multiple directions. We would set you up or beat you down. It really didn’t matter to us, as long as you got what was coming to you. We still hang out together after all the years, and talk about the clods we cleaned, like one that received stiches from a well thrown rock, while riding his bicycle. Crickets chirped, when the adults wanted to know who did it, but the nerdy little kid being victimized, who was really pretty cool, was the only one who knew…and of course, the bully knew, but, was too scared to tell. He was never a problem again.

gonetoofar

October 28th, 2010
7:41 am

H.A.L.T. was created in order to help in finding a solution to stop this local terrorism of bullying, abuse and domestic violence within our communities. Please help us stop these senseless acts.

Bullying, abuse, and domestic violence aren’t nice, shouldn’t be done, and should be stopped, but they are not terrorism. I remember hearing last summer about some kids dropping rocks off of a bridge at cars. These kids were charged with terroristic acts. It was VERY STUPD to do, but it was not terrorism.

Dr NO

October 28th, 2010
7:41 am

Lets see if I have this correct. An Emory college student is being harrassed? This so-called student should be atleast 18 which would make his status and ADULT?

Lets all have a good cry for this adult who is unable to fend for themselves. Perhaps some diapers and paci are needed. Boo hoo.

What a crock.

Gay Student Has Fault Too

October 28th, 2010
7:49 am

Gay students, etc need to realize that they do not have the right to say outrageous things to and about others without consequences just because of their sexual orientation. Blacks have been playing that card for years.

Motocross Survivor

October 28th, 2010
7:58 am

I didn’t bother reading the straight “offender’s” grovel. It is clearly out of fear. This incident is of course going into the ionosphere, and he knows full well he will suffer for it, probably career wise and otherwise. This is a nothing story and the fact that it gets such publicity now pretty well illustrates the forces at work in media, and their support of perversion and everything else destructive to the Christian Anglo fabric on which America was built. The funny thing is, the general *straight* public doesn’t buy into homosexuality. Kids today commonly use the “gay” tag as a big insult to someone they don’t like..happens all the time. And no parent wants a queer kid, don’t fool yourself. They might play along, but they don’t support it; never will.

Motocross Survivor

October 28th, 2010
8:02 am

Shaggy shares his delusions. What does Shaggy’s mom say about Shaggy as a son? I was once standing behind a mother and (gay) son, waiting to get into a restaurant. He was a super fem, and was going on and on about his new bed sheets. The mother never said a word, but her look of disgust the whole time cannot be expressed with words.

drew

October 28th, 2010
8:07 am

OK…drunk college azzhole bullies a fellow student. Bet that’s never happened before! Oh, but wait a minute…the “victim” is gay! NOW we have a story!

NEWS FLASH….drunk azzholes sometimes act like drunk azzholes. If the Wizard’s straight, this isn’t even a story.

Dr NO

October 28th, 2010
8:11 am

H.A.L.T. I took a viewing of that site and my conclusion?

Pitiful and Stupid.

“They might play along, but they don’t support it; never will.”

Precisely.

On the other hand I hear “Mr Hollywood” was on the Daily show. We need are fulltime president. Not a fulltime egomanic/wannabe movie star.

Miss Mellie

October 28th, 2010
8:15 am

I really can’t stand Maureen Downey, but…she’s right. The guy in the stupid hat wore it precisely to attract attention at a private, off-campus party where there was likely to be *shudder* FREE BEER. And now everyone’s ripped out of the frame because there was a drunken jerk at the same party?

HS Public Teacher

October 28th, 2010
8:17 am

Until our society stops sanctioning that gay people are 2nd class citizens, this type of thing will continue. Gay people may as well be required to wear a triangle on their chest like they had to under the Nazi rule.

Our laws make gays 2nd class citizens – everything from marriage laws to the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.

Our children now use the word “gay” to mean “bad” and it is okay – no adult corrects them.

The word “gay” has replaced the “n-word” in our common language.

All of this puts a segment of our population – which are human beings, by the way – at risk. Worst of all, few others seem to care.

nope

October 28th, 2010
8:18 am

First Miss Mellie… it was NOT a private party. It had been advertised and opened to the campus. Secondly, I may expect this sort of boorish behavior at a high school party… maybe even UGA. But Emory should hold itself to a higher standard. And the drunken idiot was not even a student, but a 20-something year old alumni. Pathetic.

Huh?

October 28th, 2010
8:19 am

Why is it that I am forced to accept homosexual behavior and face scrutiny if I say anything against it? Personally, I think it is disgusting and against natural intention.

Miss Mellie

October 28th, 2010
8:36 am

@nope:

Honey, ‘open to the Emory campus’ still makes it a private, OFF-CAMPUS party. (I guarantee you that if some derelict from downtown had shown up, he would have been advised of same.)

Emory certainly DOES hold itself to a higher standard. Evidently this particular alum does not subscribe to the same standard.

There’s an excellent article in the current issue of Policy Review about campus drinking and the hand-wringing that surrounds it. http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/49796

And make no mistake, I’m as gay as they come, but wearing a wizard hat and green pants to a free beer swill is asking for trouble whether you’re gay, straight, or undecided… Dress smart, America!

No Longer Republican

October 28th, 2010
8:39 am

Huh? Seriously? What century do you live in? Have you not realized yet that people are born gay? Who would choose such disdain and hatred? Do you not know that there are gay animals? When you make such STUPID statements, it makes you appear, well, STUPID.

RAY

October 28th, 2010
8:41 am

and if that had been a black guy thowing him out, he would already be charge, with attemped murder, assault, robbery, and and other charge they can think of…it depends on who’s doing the throwing, cause this jerk still thinks what he done was no big deal, just like the guy standing on a ladies throat because they have different views, but neith of them would be considered a “thug”…..

Gay

October 28th, 2010
8:42 am

Guys who constantly pick on other guys gay, str8, etc really have secret crushes on them.

Bobby

October 28th, 2010
8:47 am

I think Adam’s comments are fine. He does not appear to be homophobic. Sounds like him and the other student simply had an altercation which sometimes happens at parties. I really think that should be the end of the story.

Ted

October 28th, 2010
8:48 am

Wizard hat? Lime green jacket? Really? He deserved to get thrown out for being a moron. Don’t dress like an idiot and then act surprised people are giving you crap.

Dr NO

October 28th, 2010
8:48 am

“The word “gay” has replaced the “n-word” in our common language”

Dont drink the propoganda. Both words are alive and well, honey.

Dr NO

October 28th, 2010
8:51 am

“homophobic” Look at the word. Its made to automatically put one on the defensive. People dont have to explain themselves for non-preference of something, someone etc and shouldnt.

Typical Democrats.

Old XI Chapter Geezer

October 28th, 2010
9:00 am

I’m just not sure why a young man would attend a fraternity party dressed in a lime jacket, red pants and a wizard hat. He just wanted to be inconspicuous, I guess.

Old XI Chapter Geezer

October 28th, 2010
9:02 am

Enter your comments here

Another HS Teacher

October 28th, 2010
9:02 am

Re: HS Teacher,
I think that things are moving in the right direction. Also, whenever I hear the word gay as an adjective for something lame/stupid, I always redirect the comment. I think that in high school a lot of heterosexual young men are a tad bit homophobic. Almost every bully under the sun uses anti-gay jargon and as a result students get defensive about aserting their heterosexuality. I think I might have been that way a bit in high school, although I wish I could say I hadn’t.

Then I went to college grew up, and realized that gay people actually exist on an individual level. I had never actually met a person who was openly gay and it wasn’t until college, and into the working world that I did. I think a lot of other high school students are like that too. All they have seen is the Hollywood depictions of homosexuality and it has no personal relevance to them. Once you actually meet some gay individuals you realize they aren’t gay individuals, they’re just individuals, like any other people. Some are extremely nice and pleasant. Some are not. Some you will become friends with, and others you’ll simply coexist with.

Hopefully these high school students (and apparently college students too) will have a chance to meet some people who are gay, realize that their sexual orientation doesn’t define who they are as a person, and as a result mature a little bit.
Yours Truly,
Another Teacher

LeeH1

October 28th, 2010
9:13 am

“Hi hickety-whoop-de-doo! What’s the matter with Sigma Nu?”

Decatur Taliban

October 28th, 2010
9:13 am

If this was an off campus occurrence there was no legal offense. I would think that this incident would fall under a private party/organization type of situation where the organizers have final say of who’s coming and going and if the organizing group didn’t want homosexuals in attendance they were within their legal rights of tossing him out.

Jim

October 28th, 2010
9:14 am

Miss Mellie

October 28th, 2010
9:16 am

“Hi hickety-whoop-de-doo! What’s the matter with Sigma Nu?”

LMAO

Pluto

October 28th, 2010
9:21 am

@shaggy What the hell is an anti-bully. Is that like anti-abortion instead of pro-life? You were and probably still are a misguided bully. Is it your desire to have people hold you and the punks you hung with as a celebrated vigilante? I hung with a pretty tough bunch as well when I was young and dumb but thank God we weren’t that dumb.

Main St

October 28th, 2010
9:22 am

Does anyone watch “Modern Family” on a regular basis? These shows do not help with the bullying because the characters do nothing but lampoon themselves into looking silly. When homosexuality is constantly promoted as a lifestyle choice, what do you expect? You are about to sterotype yourselves into oblivian.

Rod

October 28th, 2010
9:35 am

You forgot to mention that this poor defenseless kid insulted the assailant by calling him gay.

Call me gay and I’ll beat the crap out of you too.

JM

October 28th, 2010
9:36 am

I think we all know what it means when a guy like Smith exhibits such a visceral, aggressive reaction to gays and being called gay…

ADL

October 28th, 2010
9:36 am

I’ve spent time in the Emory Sigma Nu house. Some good guys. And also some of the most obnoxious, entitled, petulant young adults you’ll ever meet.

This can be said of any social or professional organization in the world today. Don’t paint everyone with a broad brush.

Larry

October 28th, 2010
9:39 am

yamama

October 28th, 2010
9:40 am

I agree with Ted. He was looking for attention and he got it.

Merlin

October 28th, 2010
9:41 am

When will this anti-wizard bigotry stop? I can’t tell you how many times I have been ejected from social engagements, harrased by the police, and followed around the store by suspicious shopkeeps simply because I am a wizard. I have had enough of it.

I’m here, I’m magic, get used to it!

MH

October 28th, 2010
9:42 am

“I think we all know what it means when a guy like Smith exhibits such a visceral, aggressive reaction to gays and being called gay…”

Recruitment. Maybe he didn’t want to join the lifestyle.

QDPi

October 28th, 2010
9:47 am

“You forgot to mention that this poor defenseless kid insulted the assailant by calling him gay”

Now, now, the GLBT community will pelt you with the myth that the “bully” is secretly gay. ;)

Vaughn

October 28th, 2010
9:48 am

You know what sounds ridiculous here? The fact that this is surprising to anyone. I’m so tired of hearing about “gay bullying” – what about normal bullying? What about the nerds? Where’s the love? What about short guys? What about the fatties?

Bullying has and always will be a part of society. If you’re extending the olive branch to one sect of people, then extend it to all of them. Otherwise, this isn’t news. This is just something that happened at a freaking college party. Wait, you mean a college guy got drunk and made a poor decision? REALLY???? GET OVER IT ALREADY.

puff

October 28th, 2010
9:52 am

How about the mob mentality of the press? Not to mention the drinking. Who will have a serious chat with you folks?

SDK

October 28th, 2010
9:53 am

@ Gay student…

You said, “Gay students, etc need to realize that they do not have the right to say outrageous things to and about others without consequences just because of their sexual orientation.” So, admitting a person is a gay constitute “outrageous things” in your mind?

@ Huh?
“Why is it that I am forced to accept homosexual behavior and face scrutiny if I say anything against it?” What does it mean to “accept” homosexual behavior? If you don’t like it, then don’t engage in homosexual behavior yourself. You have no right to say about anyone else’s personal relationships and activities – unless someone is forcing you to engage in a sexual behavior (homosexual or heterosexual).

dude

October 28th, 2010
10:02 am

Shaggy, If you’re an anti-bully, bullying on bullies, then you’re still a bully. It’s good to know you peaked in high school and still reminisce about the good ol days of beating up bullies. Whaqt color is your cape? Pathetic..

joe

October 28th, 2010
10:07 am

This episode is just gay-hyperbole. The wizard was just as guilty for talking smack to the bouncer guy and that alone was the main reason he was thrown out on his wizardly dressed keyster. The gay student newspaper, in typical fashion, slanted the story to get a reaction for their readers that aligns with their causes…nothing more. Not much of a story here, so let it die already. The NJ story from a few weeks ago that resulted in a student’s death is a story, but this one fails miserably in comparison.