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.
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.