With colleges making the change to an online environment this fall, many incoming closeted freshmen are concerned about this roadblock on their path to sexual discovery. This shift to virtual learning will be a huge blow for freshmen who, lacking in-person instruction, will be forced to wait another year until they find out if they actually enjoy kissing.
For many of these colleges, the decision to go remote comes with a commitment to offer virtual alternatives to traditional homoerotic experimentation. “Though orientation will be held online, we understand that typically this is an important time for new students to form unreciprocated same-sex crushes on visibly queer upperclassmen,” said one university in an official statement.
To remedy this, some schools will be offering a Sexual Orientation Leaders Online (SOLO) Program. The SOLO Program will pair up freshmen with the gayest junior and senior students for pining via video chat. Other proposed programs include Zoom underwear parties and online asymmetrical hair cutting tutorials.
Even with these proposed alternatives to in-person queer self-discovery, many freshmen complain that colleges aren’t doing enough, especially when tuition remains the same. One student said in response to the SOLO Program: “How am I expected to pine after someone who’s giving me that much eye contact? Is it even worth the student loan debt?”
Another expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of Zoom underwear parties, stating, “The Wi-Fi signal sucks in my closet, and I can’t have my mom walking in on me staring at dudes in their underwear again.”
Some students disappointed with the alternative offerings from colleges are opting instead to discover their queerness during a gap year. One closeted lesbian who planned to spend her fall in the countryside of France explained her choice: “I pictured myself having a passionate and heartbreaking relationship with a sexually-liberated local woman. Now I’m streaming Blue Is the Warmest Colour on incognito mode, which is pretty much the same thing, right?”
Many queer upperclassmen expressed their sympathy to incoming freshmen, affirming the importance of the on-campus experience in their own sexual awakenings. “It breaks my heart. I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t had that first obsessive, codependent lesbian relationship my freshman year,” one senior remarked. “I definitely wouldn’t have gotten a therapist as soon!”