Project for Open Voices: “Coming Out at Kenyon”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of the Project for Open Voices. Today’s essay was authored by Chris Philpot ’12. POV is currently seeking submissions, so check out this link if you’re interested.

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I told my parents I was gay while they were visiting Kenyon last December. After a couple hours of crying and questioning in their Kenyon Inn room, my mom asked me if all of the friends they had met the night before knew. I said yes. She responded, “I’m glad you’ve found such an amazing group of people who really support you.” Every time I’ve retold this story since then, I always get choked up when I say that – because I know it’s true.

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Project for Open Voices: “Another Kind of Man”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of the Project for Open Voices. Today’s essay was authored by Charles Martin Meins ’12. POV is currently seeking submissions, so check out this link if you’re interested.

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One day back in October 2011, I sat down in the counseling center, knowing and dreading the fact that I was about to burst into tears. I explained this to my counselor, detailing this as a fear response, before I confided that I wasn’t genderqueer as I’d thought – I was transgender.

I sat there, a boy-faced senior with his hands clasped around a Styrofoam cup of tea, shaking in my sweatshirt and carpenter jeans, but I said it all the same. “I’m trans. I’m transgender.” I said this to my tea, to the wall, and only then did I risk looking at my counselor.

“I’m sorry…” she said (or something along those lines). Something full of compassion and concern, but also confusion. “I don’t know what that means.”

“I mean, I’m a guy,” I said. “I mean, I’m biologically female, but I’m a dude. I’m a transgender. I’m F-to-M.”

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Project for Open Voices: “Living under another language…can be a constant strain on the mind, embarrassment, and alienation.”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of the Project for Open Voices. Today’s essay was authored by an anonymous writer, and is a new publication that does not appear in the original publication. POV is currently seeking submissions, so check out this link if you’re interested!

Every time I started learning a new language, it is something like the delight of a conqueror within myself that worked, conquering the myths of another culture, conquering the barriers of my up-bringing that try to confine my vision. The experience of learning English really sends me to an ideal in which being able to master multiple languages is like being born in multiple countries and enjoying the kaleidoscopic mindsets they will give me. I’d think of Chinese, my native language, as nothing more than one of them—I’d sometimes loathe it because I know it too well, much better than I know other languages. And that makes me feel like I am not getting there.

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“Is This Being A Woman At Kenyon?”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of the Project for Open Voices. Today’s essay was authored anonymously for POV, but the author has allowed us to reprint it here in the hopes of fostering a dialogue about sexual misconduct at Kenyon. 

(Trigger warning: sexual assault discussed below.)

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I’ve wanted to share this story for a long time. I’ve stayed up hours on end thinking, and even more hours of hating, seething. It’s been inside me too long, now; I think this side of Kenyon has to be talked about. I’ll try to recount the events as true as I can remember them.

Years ago, when I was a first-year at Kenyon, I was sexually assaulted. I was in my own dorm lounge, with my friends, and a boy from one of my classes came and joined us. Maybe my friends didn’t see what was happening, how I struggled. Maybe they saw, but didn’t understand what was happening. Regardless, I never felt safe at Kenyon again. Continue reading

Personal Narrative: “An Elementary School Bully Inside of Your Head”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives. Today’s is authored by an anonymous student.

EDIT: Earlier this was posted as a piece from the Project for Open Voices. It is actually not POV sponsored, but just another kick-ass piece from the Kenyon community! 

Hi. I’m a Kenyon student, and talking to people makes me so scared that I start to shake sometimes. I’d appreciate it if you could take a little time-out from finals to listen to my story. It won’t take too long.

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Project for Open Voices: “My Mom Sent Money via Snail Mail…Cash, Often Rolled Into a Sock”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of the Project for Open Voices. Today’s essay was authored by an anonymous member of the class of 2011 for POV’s first publication.

The day I arrived at Kenyon the sky was a brilliant azure color; not one cloud hung in sight. The campus wasn’t full yet because I was one of the Pre-O service kids and we arrived a week before freshman Orientation. My roommate had already settled into the dorm room – she arrived a week earlier than I did for the Writing and Thinking program. She wasn’t in the room when I first opened the door. Looking back I wish that she was there, so I didn’t have to face the stark, empty side of the room, my side, by myself. I had two suitcases filled with stuff; it didn’t take me long to unpack. Once I put everything away, my side remained stark. I only brought the essentials, nothing that made the room look like home. I remember after everything was there looking out of my large Norton bedroom at the perfect green lawn, and the beautiful blue sky, and crying. No, it was more like wailing. Continue reading