Raising the Standard for News and Views


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Time By Escati       
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania it is:


November 2001


Former Survivor contestant visits Pitt

Homecoming elections carried SGB flavor


Editorial: The Standard Lives On

Letters to the editor

War is necessary for justice

Save American pride with peace

Not all Middle Easterner's are suspect

Race causes tension

Homosexuals are still people; deserve same respect

Being English in America

C-side "swiper" responds to many nicknames


Pitt students of different ethnic heritages react to Anthrax scare

Pitt student assimilates into Delta Zeta


Review of Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand


Homosexual activity is sinful in God's eyes

Bodies should be used as temples for souls

Passion concert results in spiritual sensation

Thanksgiving celebration because Gospel is given to all ethnicities


Pitt's dance team shakes their way into the spotlight



Homosexuals are still people; deserve same respect

Erin K. Johns
Pittsburgh Standard

Life has given me many turns, but not many were as fortunate as having a gay ex-boyfriend.  In fact, I turned him gay.  Well, many people would like to think that.  Growing up in West Virginia was certainly no picnic.  Trying to ignore some of the cultural background was the hardest.  West Virginia: home to the white supremacist warehouse and an occasional running ground for the KKK.  It’s amazing how easy racism and bigotry can be picked up. 

 A lot of my life, I had heard about homosexuals.  Mostly what I heard was from extremists who called themselves Christians.  They preached that all homosexuals will burn in hell, but really, they were just too afraid of people that were different.  I have never been a Christian, but I used to be slightly homophobic.  I did not believe so much that they would burn hell, but that they had a choice and chose a disgusting lifestyle.  Of course, I said this because many of the people I knew said this.  I hardly knew exactly what a homosexual was.  I just knew it was bad because so many other people told me to believe it. 

 In eleventh grade, I had my first brush with a “homo.”  There was this boy I liked because he read a lot, was interested in music, and would go to plays with me.  Growing up in West Virginia, I knew the fact that he didn’t want to skin a deer right there was definitely a little different.  But I was also a little too naďve.  How could anyone I know or anyone as young as I am be a homosexual?  But nonetheless, homosexual he was.  Try having my background: a back ground that set homosexuality as one of the worst things a person could ever choose to do.  Then imagine having your best friend in the whole world ask you to accept the fact that he was gay.  How exactly does one deal with that?

 Of course, it is a little upsetting.  I mean, what if I really did turn him gay?  Wouldn’t that be horrible for me?  This was one of the mindsets that I had.  All I could think about was me.  Then one day he came to see me; he needed to talk to someone and I was the only one who would listen.  It was the first time I had to ignore my bigoted culture.  I had to do what was right no matter what it would do to me.  No matter how much pain it caused me, I could never imagine how much pain he would have to go through living where we live.  So one day he came and asked me if I was a good person at heart.  He asked me to accept him for the person he was without ever speaking the words.  So, I made the choice.

 I chose to be his shoulder and be his crutch when he needed me the most.  I chose to take one of the hardest paths I’ve ever had to take.  I chose to turn my back on what I thought I knew rather than on him.  I never made the coming out process easier on him.  I never told him what he wanted to hear.  I told him what I finally understood about many of the people I had grown up with.  I told him to make his own choices.  But most importantly, I told him to pick his battles. 

 He did everything on his own.  He just kept me around to listen.  Two years later, he is pretty much out of the closet.  He braved the background that had more prejudices against him than almost anywhere on Earth.  He is also one of the most courageous people I know because he did not take the easy path.  He chose the one that best suited him.  His only problem was that he expected people to have better hearts than they did.  He wanted to find friends, but all he found were enemies.  So the next time you think about making fun of people who are gay—just think for two seconds about what that person had to go through.  Try to overcome your background and your religious beliefs to become an understanding person: to be the type of person in which Anne Frank believed.  For she put it best, “…in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”


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Volume I, Issue III