Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Transferring Schools

This fall I will be starting at a new college in Chicago. I’m very excited about this because it’s a real 4 year college, instead of the technical school I have been at since 2009 (mostly part time). I am in the process of moving to Chicago to live there full time as well.

New places, new schools, and new cities offer opportunities to meet new people, discover new things, and change our perspectives on things. They also offer the possibility of being perceived differently in our new environment, and a chance to change our habits if we so choose.

I am going to need to decide how to get involved at my new school, who to come out to, and how much time and energy to spend in student life on campus. As an older student (I’m 31) the answers to these things aren’t always obvious. I know that I want to join the Secular Student Association group there, but other than that I’m uncertain.

What do you do when you find yourself in a new environment? Do you change your habits or try to reinvent yourself? What are some things you love about transitions like this? What about things you hate?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

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Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. May 15, 2013 at 11:18 am —

    Congrats, Benny! I might be up in Chicago come November for the American Anthro Assoc. conference.

    I often find myself sitting back and observing, getting a feel for the “lay of the land” when I’m in a new environment. I haven’t been in a new environment since I overcame my social anxieties (having to teach got rid of that quickly). It will be interesting to see how I respond when I go off to do fieldwork for 12-18 months!

  2. May 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm —

    I just moved across the country. I joined meetup and looked for skeptic groups. I joined two (the only two even remotely nearby). We’ll see how it goes. It seems like a pretty good set up, and my friend who’s used meetup before enjoyed her experiences.

    My wife knows someone here heavily involved with LGBT equality and is part of the group that was a major campaigner in marriage equality. Oh, and there’s already marriage equality here (what what!), but trans rights and outreach to the rural, still-homophobic/transphobic culture there are the next big efforts from that organization. So, I’m gonna find a way to get in on that.

    I think an LGBT meetup or event, especially if there are other students there, might be a good way to get a feel for how Chicago and your school in particular welcomes openly queer people.

    Also, congratulations!

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