November is Date Month at Bowdoin, and dozens of students have participated in events ranging from “Screw Your Roommate” to “Date Night in Daggett” over the last few weeks. Two years ago, Simon Bordwin ’13 added a specifically LGBTQ event to what was then Date Week; this year, he is again seeking to make Date Month more inclusive with the launch of Rainbow Seven.
Rainbow Seven is an online networking service that will allow LGBTQ students to meet other members of Bowdoin’s queer community. The process happens in several phases. Over Thanksgiving vacation, students sent their names to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone who submitted his or her name received a list of all the other participants. Based on that list, each student sent in up to seven students they were interested in being matched with. The lists are currently being reviewed and matched up, and participants will be informed of any matches this coming Monday.
Bordwin said that he created Rainbow Seven in response to complaints about Date Month events being difficult or uncomfortable for LGBTQ students to participate in. Rainbow Seven is modeled off of Senior Seven, a senior week tradition that looks for matches among senior’s last chance hook-up dreams.
“It’s not necessarily as hypersexual as Senior Seven,” said Bordwin. “It’s a way for LGBTQ students to familiarize themselves with other people in the community in a more private way.
Rainbow Seven was a inspired by AddSeven.com, which was created by Yoni Ackerman ’11 and Noah Isaacson ’11. AddSeven operated on the same principle as Senior Seven, and students were informed of their matches online on a weekly basis.
Although hundreds of students registered for the AddSeven, Bordwin said that LGBTQ students were frustrated with it.
“People wanted to feel like they had a pool that they could draw from,” he said. “When you’re just reaching out into the unknown [without knowing if someone is LGBTQ], the likelihood of matching is slim.”
Rainbow Seven, unlike Add Seven, gives LGBTQ students a greater likelihood of a match.
“When you have a group of people you know are gay or bi, there’s at least a possibility of matching up with someone,” said Bordwin. “It’s nice to see this long list of possibilities, as people at Bowdoin—especially people in the LGBTQ community—often feel limited.”
Bordwin said that he hopes Rainbow Seven can happen again in the future.
“It’s a little ridiculous,” he said, “But I think it’s fun.”