Gay School Daze

GayslursGay students here and abroad are under attack, but thankfully many of them are standing up for themselves. Here’s some of the recent student-related brouhaha.

Last week I posted about the students trying to start a gay-straight alliance at White County High School in Georgia. Kerry Pacer, the student struggling to start the club, endured a “day of hell” Friday at the ironically named “Sweetheart Prom” where she was jeered by a packed school gymnasium and was told later when she went to her locker room for gym class, “You can’t change in here. You’re a lesbian.”

Meanwhile, in Victorville, California, where they are allowed to have a gay-straight alliance, 18 students participated in mock gay weddings while approximately 40 parents, students, and community members stood in the rain and protested.

In Spokane, a suspicious change of venue for a gay high school Valentine’s dance causes sponsors to ask if conservative parents are creating a hostile environment for gay and lesbian students there.

Over the next month, HarperCollins will be distributing 200,000 postcards promoting a gay romance book called Boy Meets Boy to 950 schools in the UK. Christians are outraged, naturally, calling the marketing campaign “disgusting” and warning that it could lead to bullying of gay students (like this isn’t happening already!) and promotion of homosexuality. The book’s author, David Levithan, said, “I am a strong believer in the power of reading and literature but I don’t think there is a single child who has been turned gay by a book.”

The “It Should Have Been a Week” Dept.: In Massachusetts, a student was suspended for one day for saying a teacher was being gay. “He said he was using ‘gay’ as a synonym for ‘stupid’ or ‘lame,’ and was not implying anything about the teacher’s sexuality. He and his friends often use the word in that context, he said.” The student didn’t seem to see anything wrong with using the word that way and was “nerved out about it all week.”

Posted February 14, 2005 at 9:00am ETC by Andy Towle
in Current Affairs