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VIRGINIA: NOT GAY AND PROUD

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Not gay, and that needs to be said if you're gonna wear that outfit.

Virginia's fight song is played to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne" and has the following lyrics:

We come from old Virginia,
Where all is bright and gay.
Let's all join hands and give a yell
For dear old UVa.

Antiquated verbiage is common enough in fight songs, but UVA students have gotten around singing the word "gay" by hollering "NOT GAY!" over the lyric when sung. This counter has drawn the ire of gay and lesbian student groups, who claim the "NOT GAY!" cheer...

"...marginalizes the gay community by creating an environment in which certain people who may or may not identify as gay do not feel welcome.”"

So there's heated student editorials ("Not gay and proud of it," by a freshman at UVA), a lot of hooting and poop-tossing going back and forth, and flyers being handed out urging people not to sing the "NOT GAY" cheer when the song is sung. The whole thing reeks of tempest-in-teapot, especially when you consider some of the other hidden antiquated or potentially offensive language in fight songs and alma maters.

For instance:

1. Advocacy of murder of outsiders.

Once two strangers climbed on rocky top,
Lookin for a moonshine still.
Strangers aint come back from rocky top,
Guess they never will.

2. Bizarre pagan bear worship, as in Cal's "Fight for California:"

Our sturdy Golden Bear,
Is watching from the skies,
Looks down upon our colors fair,
And guards us from his lair.

2. Um...intrastate mass homicide, as in Georgia Tech's "White and Gold:"

So then it's up with the White and Gold
Down with the Red and the Black
Georgia Tech is out for a victory
We'll drop our battle axe on Georgia's head, CHOP!

So, a bit of a tiff about being gay or chanting "not gay" might be the least of a university's worries, really, what with every other fight song on the planet openly and giddily pushing for the murder of an opponent. (HT: Fesser.)