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28 April 2010



Rod, thanks a million for this post. I really enjoyed reading it and was encoraged by it. I continue to wish you all the best on this blog.


Well, let me give him an official welcome to the family.

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Hmmmmm......Ivy League Education....Doesn't conform to the most destructive, toxic, outdated stereotypes of African Americans and can speak actual English.

I would not be surprised if there a kids like him inner cities that managed to be "immune" to that. I'm also not too shocked about having friends of a different ethnic backgrounds that aren't Black. Usually, some of them who don't feel like they "belong" to a group we'll do that.


Bravo, Rod...just BRAVO!

Rodney B.

Thanks for this post Rod.

The one thing that bothers me the most is how he was taunted for trying to be "white". And unfortunately it still goes on today within the black/latino communities.

Being raised in a California city with only a 5% black population, i was constantly called out for trying to be white because I would strive to be the best academically and not on the basketball or football fields. I mean they already knew I was gay, and amazingly, i was picked on more for being "smart" and trying to white.

Yet, years have passed since my high school years, many of those same folks that taunted me for being white are dead, are in, or have been, in jail, or undereducated with kids all over the place. When they do see me now, they acknowledge me for the businesses I created and how I always shunned everyone's ignorant comments!

Well, mad props to him for being able to withstand the ignorance on both fronts and is succeeding quite nicely.

Tyson Benniti

Rod....do I have to be the first to comment on this? Of course this is a great story, but the first pic you used----he's running with a bat!!! YUM. There. Said it.


Thanks for this story. Cory seems like a great young man and I'm so happy that he's out there and proud of who he is. I hope to meet more wonderful people like him...

@ Tyson



It amazes me that some BROWN people actually believe that speaking correctly and excelling academically is somehow exclusive only for those with pale/olive skin. But then turn around and get upset when stereotyped. Ignorance is a disease. Bravo to Cory Benton and the others who are themselves at all costs.


I appreciate this story, Rod.

If Mr. Benton had such a struggle coming out at Columbia, just think how hard this would be at some other schools.

Can we imagine a gay athlete coming out at Hampton or Morehouse? How about at Tuskegee or Tougaloo? (We all know at Oakwood, given the bigotry of the denomination that runs it, it would mean instant expulsion.)


I dunno!!! Hate to be the debbie downer her, but, I'm kinda sick and tired of black folks saying that they were taunted for acting 'white'. In most cases, it's a matter of a poor choice of a word. I think if African Americans enounter someone who has no sense of racial pride, and are awkward around black folk, then yes, they unfortunatley are labeled as acting white. I find it hard to believe as big as Columbia U. is and as many smart black folks they have there, this person could not find and establish friendships with other people of color. This notion of not fitting in doesn't do it for me. Seek out your tribe, don't just go through with no notion of self or racial identity and expect to always fit in. Hell, he should be in a great position of having friends that run the gamut of colors and cultures. We can always learn from others, but we also have to bring something to the table. Too much self-pity and blame being laid here for me.

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"Acting white" is something that I still hear in this day and age, so please don't downplay something like this as self-pity and looking someone to blame. It's interesting because you fail to realize that while they may accept him as being Black, the fact that he is GAY is an issue for some. You've completely left out the that he's GAY, and does face a double standard.

"Seek out your tribe, don't just go through with no notion of self or racial identity and expect to always fit in"

Get real. This tribe you speak may not be as welcoming and be judegmental and exclusive. You have a sugar-coated view on this and seems that you're trying to victimize the people who actually are a fault that reinforce the stereotype. Why should someeone kill/break themselves trying to appease a group of people because they don't fit some narrow-minded and destructive point of view.

"In most cases, it's a matter of a poor choice of a word"
Bull****, a apologist would say that. Black and Latinos who do not act in a stereotypical manner that society and their culture dictates are the first ones to dismiss them, no the other way around. Maybe if POC weren't so judgemental, we're a bit more welcoming and tolerated a bit more diversity, not a homogenous view of what Black/Brown should be, this wouldn't be an issue.

Consider that places, cities, neighborhoods and locations that claim to be liberal and progressive may not awlays be that.

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I'm pretty sure if Corey spoke in ebonics, wore baggy pants, didn't go to college/university and acted like a stereotpical thug, he wouldn't have to "seek out his tribe" or "bring something to the table" like Brien is whining about and be given a much warmer welcome by the people that dismissed him as "acting White".

I'll say it again, it's pretty disgusting to think some of us should break our heads just to appease and be friends with a bunch of losers who cannot get their heads out of their **** when it comes to not acting out a ethnic stereotype or being gay.


Kevin, I hear you. As a black gay man, who grew up in Harlem, went to a small NE University, majored in English, I don't ever recall allowing anyone to dictate to me how I should 'act'. I welcomed people of all hues and tried to learn from everyone. Needless to say, I have been hearing this from black folks all my life but what the hell. the ones doing the teasing have nothing to offer and aren't worth anyone's time. I now have a collection of friends, most of whom are black, gay, and college educated and we've never given credence to anyone saying that we sound white. There's an even bigger issue here that no one has touched on yet!!!


Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to take the time to thank all of your for the support. These messages are too kind. I also want to personally thank Rod for the post. It really means a lot and hopefully will reach the right people and serve as a source of inspiration for them. I really wish I had known some of you when I was younger!

Brien, just to clarify, the racial problems I experienced were part of my childhood back at home, not at Columbia. I have a lot of black friends, and a considerable amount of black teammates who I love more than anything in the world. What happened during my childhood is what prevented me from coming out when I was younger. That's all. I was a little apprehensive about coming out at Columbia because of this, but the people I have met here, black, white, latino, etc, have been nothing but supportive. I guess my story did not explicitly say that things were totally different at Columbia/NYC, so I am sorry for the confusion!

Again, thank you all for your kind words!


Cory, you are too nice. It was perfectly clear from what you wrote at Outsports that the problems you had with being called "white" or "gay" took place in high school, not at Columbia. Brien just didn't read very well.

Thank you for taking the time to write your essay, and I hope that many will read it and be strengthened by it.

So, will we be seeing you compete one day in the Gay Games, perhaps this summer in Cologne?


Thanks Cory. and I do wish you continued success in all your endeavors.

James M

Thanks Corey, I know first hand what its like to be told, "I'm too proper" or "too white" for speaking correct English. Its ridiculous, especially hearing it from my own extended family. Its crazy to think that black people still think that speaking correctly means you've sold out.


Rod, thank you for this post. As a competitive masters (over 40) runner I enjoyed reading it. I also want Cory to know there are many clubs that would love to have his talent.


thanks Rod and Cory for posting this story. @ Cory, good to know that you have the support you need to run your race. I have a question. After reading the article, I'm under the impression that your father was struggling with your sexuality. So.. is he still struggling or.. is he not the "emotional supportive" type of person.

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