Wyoming Football Coach Quits Over Survey Asking Players if They’re ‘Queer’ or Have ‘Woman-Like Hormones’

Hurtfeelings

Pat Lynch, the football coach of Buffalo High School in Wyoming resigned this week after it was revealed he had handed out an offensive "Hurt Feelings Report" to players which included boxes for them to check with attributes like "I am a pussy", "I am a queer", "I am a little bitch", and "My butt is easily hurt" (see above).

LynchSaid Lynch in a resignation letter to the school board, according to the Buffalo Bulletin:

“I would like to apologize for my lack of judgment and the poor choice that I made from my position as head football coach for Buffalo High School. I know that this situation has caused you pain and discomfort, and for that I am truly sorry. As a person and a professional, I believe I will learn and grow from this experience and use it to help others. I appreciate having had the opportunity to coach in this community for the past 22 years. It has been a rewarding experience. I am eager to earn back your trust as I continue to serve in a profession that I truly love.”

Despite his resignation as football coach and weight room supervisor, Lynch is being allowed to remain on at the school as a guidance counselor, the Casper Tribune reports. (because I'm sure all the LGBTQ kids will feel comfortable talking to him)

Comments

  1. says

    While I can see why he might chuckle at it, it’s COMPLETELY out of line for him to passing this around school, especially to his young and impressionable students. This is far too common in Sports in 2011.

  2. Chuck Mielke says

    @ Jeremy: Thanks for the note! I think we sometimes rush to judgement and fail to recall that, for some of us, much of this new world of sensitivity and diversity is hard to get a handle on. When I was a kid (40+ years ago), that “survey” would have been very funny. I suspect my teachers would have gotten a hoot out of it. My gym teacher regularly “motivated” us with negative comparisons to his grandma, and nobody reprimanded him for sexism or related concerns. The basic point is that our country doesn’t all change in the same direction at the same time; different sectors have different “learning curves” just as individuals have. Even the best of us sometimes make bad choices. I’ll bet, in the absence of other evidence, that’s the case here.

  3. RJ says

    Jeremy and Chuck Mielke… yes, this joke survey is somewhat funny… if it was being circulated by a frat house or was featured on the sitcom Blue Mountain State. But it’s exceeding bad judgment coming from someone whose job it is to counsel and guide all types of students.

  4. Tim says

    The fact that he’s been made a guidance counselor only shows that they really don’t have a clue or care about what a counselor does. They obviously have the role there because they have to as a formality. Such a shame that given opportunities to really help their young people, they only know how to teach kids that the people there to help them can’t be trusted.

  5. BostonGRiTS says

    OK, I know the report’s been out for a while. And I might (not really) see how an adult could think this was funny. But a Guidance Counselor? To high school children? Really? Frankly I see it as intimidation at best.

  6. MKe says

    funny enough if its just a joke. maybe joking around like that with HS students isn’t that appropriate but still, hard to tell if he was just trying to be a commedian or not.

  7. Chris says

    While this is reprehensible / crosses the line, I do wonder where all this “political correctness” and anti-bullying is going.

    While the bully ostracizing anyone who’s different may be due partly to insecurity, I think there’s some aspect of human nature involved.

    Isn’t it human nature to give people a little bit of a hard time when they don’t conform to societal norms?

    That does not mean we should all conform to norms…but, when we don’t, we need to be prepared for some form of unwanted attention.

    Anything physical, or the threat of anything physical is not OK. But kidding-around? Jokes?

    Consider this:
    In my opinion, for centuries all immigrants wanted was to be “American”. Now even people who have been here for generations want to be “hyphenated” Americans.

    African-Americans in particular. I can see us wanting to identify ourselves as “Gay-Americans”. When we make a point that we’re different, how can we expect others to treat us as if we’re the same as they are.

    If we (gays, blacks, Mexicans, etc.) want to be treated the same as everyone else, should we not try to fit-in? That does not mean we lose our identity – just that we try to “fit-in”.

  8. Hollywood, CA says

    Is this from “THE ONION?” – LOL – I mean, this is a straight up joke, right? The picture of this guy even looks cartoonish! And, the letter is actually funny and creative, if I was in a Timewarp that landed me back into 1971!

    GET HIM THE F OUT OF THAT SCHOOL!

  9. RyanInSacto says

    @Chris: Please give me a list of instructions for how to fit-in. For instance, should I marry a woman so that I fit-in? Should I yell ‘faggot’ when I see an effeminate guy on the street? Should I beat the tar out of two guys for holding hands? Please, let me know what I should do to conform so that I don’t offend straight people and, thus, get what’s coming to me.

    I am a gay American whether I call myself that or not. And I already tore my closet door off the hinges. It was a lot of work. I don’t take kindly to you insinuating that it was a waste of time. I don’t even know if you realize it, but that’s what you’re saying. This line that you’re suggesting we walk – “not hiding our identity” but trying to “fit-in” is a line that is so thin that I’m not even sure it is visible.

    I grew up in a small town and played high school sports. The attitudes of my coaches and teachers toward those who were perceived to be different had a real effect on me. While I was not (usually) singled out as different – I’m one of those guys that can “pass,” for what that’s worth – their attitudes filled me with dread. It made me feel that it if I was ever “found out,” it would be the end of me. That’s NOT how coaches and teachers should be making kids feel. Not at all. I can only imagine what it felt like for the couple of classmates I had that were effeminate in their mannerisms. Not good.

  10. Paul R says

    @Chris: no. Why should anyone be forced to fit in to whatever other people define as “normal”? I would prefer that everyone be true to themselves. Otherwise it’s a lie. That not being overly PC, it’s allowing for freedom of expression.

    And this kind of thing, even in Wyoming (where my entire family save me was born), is utterly hideous for high school students. Sure, maybe most of the team laughed it off. I’m sure they all know the words. But getting encouragement to mock/bully the “weaklings” from an authority figure is reprehensible. And what about the chance that there may be gay kids on the team or under his “guidance” as a “counselor”?

  11. DearComrade says

    I don’t find his little hand out funny at all, but the fact that the school would make this neanderthal a counselor is hilarious in a most horrific way

  12. MTgirl says

    I actually went to Buffalo High School with this joke of a person as my guidence counselor. He’s always been a useless, arrogant ass and its great that he’s finally getting noticed for what he really is. He’s never had any business being near high school kids in general, let alone lgbtiq kids. I talked to my mom back in Buffalo and she said that there was enough parent outrage over this issue that he actually might be forced to resign after this school year. As out lesbian, it really sucks that my hometown and state only make news in our comminuty for being ignorant and backward regarding lgbtiq issues. I love Wyoming but I could never live there again

  13. Timothy says

    Let’s see, he uses the word “queer” to describe gays and he equates being gay with wanting to be a woman. He is either a homophobe or a cutting edge “queer academic”. For that matter, Andy Towle uses the word “queer” on this site and casually smears gay people as something called “LGBTQ” which represents that gay people are inextricably linked with crossdressers and transsexuals. Andy and this coach should be BFFs.

  14. Karl says

    Gay people, at least in the US, have been inextricably linked with crossdressers and transsexuals since they saved our asses at Stonewall in 1969. Get over it.

  15. Chris says

    @RyanInSacto:
    I am an out and proud gay man. As is my partner. I’ve been out since the mid-1990s.

    But I try not to rub anyone’s nose in the fact that I’m different.

    I’m suggesting that it’s human nature for bullies to focus their attention on anyone who’s different.

    Most people (think comics & people trying to be funny) find humor in exaggerated personality traits.

    Again, it’s just human nature.

    @Paul R:

    People should absolutely be themselves. Absolutely. But if that means they differ from what’s perceived to be mainstream, I think it’s reasonable to expect for that differentiation to attract attention.

  16. jason says

    That coach has the face of a 60 year old gay guy I know who has spent years dancing on podiums in gay nightclubs filled with chemical smoke to hide the ecstasy deals.

  17. Joe in CT says

    This shows a lack of judgement, but it hardly qualifies as some kind of “hate crime.”

    The guy may well be a jerk, but I think those who are reacting so intensely need to examine their motivations for wanting to see this guy’s head in a can. Save your energy for the big battles.

  18. johnny says

    OK, the “survey” did make me laugh because of the level of its investigatory probing. The name-calling? Not so much.

    …but I truly feel sorry for this idiot. It’s pretty obvious that he’s repressing some stuff and is probably homophobic in it’s best textbook definition.

    As a locker room boys joke, funny. As being handed to someone who has been bullied, not funny. And anyone who’s actually worked with high school kids can tell the difference right away. I picture this guy handing it to the latter.

    I had a coach exactly like this guy who regularly put the smallest guys he could find across from the largest in a scrimmage line just to “toughen them up”. When a kid ended up in the ER, the school finally canned his ass. One of my happiest high school memories! Buh bye, Coach!

  19. George M says

    Joe in CT
    What part of CT? I’m in new London county, did you read about the mayor in new London? So cool, when he announced he was running people in the local democratic party said new London would never elect an openly gay man. He won the primary and kicked assed nov 8. Good stuff! Anyway off topic sorry

  20. Joey says

    I am always amazed at how many people who post on this site think it is ok to be called names. How many think the answer is to just “fit in”. When someone equates being queer with being weak and whiny some say we should just laugh, don’t be so sensitive it really isn’t that bad. Or that it is really our fault because we don’t hate sissies enough ourselves . Don’t you get that that is exactly the behavior they are laughing at? Don’t you hear them saying to each other. I can’t believe they are so weak that they put up with that crap? No self respecting person does.

  21. says

    @Will Welch – thanks for the link to the petition, signed and sent. My goal was to spur readers into actually doing something positive rather then simply vent here at Towleroad. As a group we are a tremendous force.

    And to those of you who keep whining that we are gay and we should “get over it” or “ust accept this type of behavior as part of our lives my answer to you is – grow a freakin pair, huh? This is 2011 and it is no longer accepted. Maybe in your 1960 world but not today, not ever again.

    I encourage all who read these comments to sign the petition to have the coach removed. Eventually, when enough fools figure it out and lose their jobs or face tremendous public embarrassment, they will stop the degrading, belittlement and discrimination against gay people.

  22. Buffalonian says

    I live in the town where this took place. From what I understand, 2 players had gone to this coach with some sort of issues and not long after that, he passed this letter out to the team. If he was a math teacher I would say he’s just an idiot, but given that he’s a guidance counselor this is disgusting!! If my kids were old enough to be in that school and if their counselor was Pat Lynch, I would be beating down the door demanding a new counselor for my kids. Kids should not have to be bullied by a guidance counselor. Sick.

  23. Rovex says

    Context is needed here. Its an amusing little ‘survey’, IF sent out as a joke by someone with a sense of humour. The problem arises if it was meant seriously or as a dig at people.
    In his position he should have thought better of it whatever the case was.

  24. billmiller says

    Sorry dudes, I spent 32 years in a steel mill, trash like this is not funny, it is not a joke. This man has probably helped to damage a lot of vulnerable young men over his years as a coach. Folks like this will never understand that.

  25. JCF says

    The CASUAL misogyny of a “joke” like this form is what gets me…

    …and that misogyny is still ever-present (w/ or w/o the form) in locker rooms all over.

    When are males going to learn that IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to insult males by calling them female? WTF????

  26. oliver says

    @Chris,
    I want to make certain I understand what it is that you are saying here.

    “Isn’t it human nature to give people a little bit of a hard time when they don’t conform to societal norms?

    That does not mean we should all conform to norms…but, when we don’t, we need to be prepared for some form of unwanted attention.

    Anything physical, or the threat of anything physical is not OK. But kidding-around? Jokes?”

    So if some guy wears a Yohji Yamamoto wide legged trouser (almost appears to be a skirt) to class then it’s okay for someone to say “nice skirt” (with a snicker), but it’s not okay for someone to beat him up for wearing it.

    Did I get the gist of what you are saying?

  27. enough already says

    To all those here saying this is funny:
    Matt Sheppard was hung to die not all that far from where this man is a ‘guidance counselor’ to students.

  28. says

    @ Chris : and I’m an out lawyer……..and have no compunction in saying so……and I insist that conversations take into account that we gay people are part of society and are acknowledged as such…..and that includes paying us proper respect , even in ordinary everyday conversation. No one will disrespect me because I’m gay, I can assure you.
    Please don’t excuse reprehensible behaviour with a “it’s human nature”……..that’s just nonsense.

  29. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I agree with JCF, aside from using the word “queer”, it was mostly misogynistic. You have an adult teaching/reinforcing contempt for women to teen boys. Imagine how he counsels the girls in his school, steering them to careers in homemaking and cafeteria cookery.

  30. gaylib says

    So this is where all the self loathing goprouders are hanging out. As a former teacher I can assure you if this had been anyone other than a coach, they would have been out on their ass in a heartbeat for the foul language alone nevermind the homophobia and sexism. Just another example of straight, macho male privilege. I hope they can his caveman ass.

  31. Chris says

    @ OLIVER:
    Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

    Further, I’ll suggest the bully who says “nice skirt” may make this comment because he’s insecure, worried he himself may be gay, etc. So I’m not saying it’s healthy behavior to make the comment. But, really, shouldn’t the bully be able to express himself, as long as he does not do it in a threatening way?

    If I’m getting bullied, I’ll respond, and put the bully in his place. But I wouldn’t seek to have the bully’s right to express himself silenced.

    AND…
    @ Oliver and
    @ Jackfkntwist

    The bully IS going to disrespect you. The question is, will he do it in front of you, where you can respond to it and put him in his place…or does he do it behind your back, where he may be egged-on by others, and where you don’t have the chance to respond.

    I’d rather have the bully say whatever he’s going to say, and have the opportunity to respond.

  32. Lymis says

    Chris,
    “While the bully ostracizing anyone who’s different may be due partly to insecurity, I think there’s some aspect of human nature involved.”

    Well, yes. And there are other things that are “an aspect” of human nature – like physically intimidating people you disagree with, forcing sexual contact on someone, killing people who piss you off, and for that matter, things like farting at the dinner table.

    If this had been something the students were passing around, an authority figure saying “Hey, not cool, cut it out” would likely have been enough.

    But even if they are in indication of “human nature” they aren’t supposed to be things that adults in positions of authority are supposed to be allowing, much less initiating.

    If this was an isolated occurrence (something I very strongly doubt), then a warning or a suspension might have been reasonable. It’s a mistake to assume that the decision was made purely on the basis of this single thing.

  33. Robbie says

    I sure hope this was a joke like something from the “Onion”, then I could stomach it. Anything like this from someone in an position of authority or trust should know much much better! As a teacher, coach, counselor, etc that person is a role-model and should be holding themselves up to higher standard than what were shown here. This is true for the school board/trustees as well. They shouldn’t allow him to stay on at the school in another position of trust/influence at all. There should be a Zero Tolerance policy in place here!

  34. Chris says

    @ LYMIS
    Absolutely correct.

    The big problem here was this was done by an authority figure – and at school. He should be fired so quickly it would make his head spin.

    My comments were more general regarding how-far we think this anti-bullying should go.

    This particular case is clear-cut.

    But what would we all think/say if this “survey” had been circulated by another student, as a lame attempt at humor?

    I’m suggesting that would be distasteful, but, as you say, having the authority figure just say “cut it out” is as far as punishment should go in that case.

  35. George M says

    Chris how far do you think anti bullying policies should go? Personally for me zero tolerance. I’m not saying kick someone out of school for saying you’re gay but it needs to be addressed. Bullying someone in front of people or in person. Idk I think you come off as someone who’s ok with some bullying but where is the line for you?

  36. Chris says

    @ GEORGE M
    Last time I checked, we enjoy freedom of speech in this country. But we do not enjoy freedom to assault someone.

    Often bullying is mild, and falls under free speech. But when it becomes assault, it’s not OK.

    What kind of society will we live in if we’re afraid to say anything, for fear it might upset someone?

    But, along with freedom of speech, comes responsibility – the bully needs to take personal responsibility for what he says. If it’s hurtful, inaccurate, or elicits an angry response from the person he bullied, the bully has to live with that.

    So I’m all for freedom of speech – but one must be responsible for what they say – and anything crossing the line to assault should be punished.

  37. Jerry6 says

    It is one thing for a “JOKE” like this to be distributed by students among themselves, and quite another thing for a teacher (ESPECIALLY A SPORTS COACH)to distribute it to students. I suspect that in no way did he do it in innocense.

  38. Rowan says

    CHRIS

    You guys and your stupid freedom of speech! Please, I’ve never seen a bigger excuse to be mean sociopathic assholes like your FOS.

    Considering Europe is suppose to be one nanny state continent, you will never find more honest people then Europeans but there’s no need to be spiteful.

    Oh and why is it when it comes to celebrities, you guys more then anyone, create a warped nanny state?

  39. George M says

    I forgot to add with different levels of discipline, I agree addressing it verbally for “mild” bullying working up from there as needed but addressing it all.

  40. says

    OK, LGBT “community” . . . now that you see this evidence of how tightly hetero-bigots cling to derogatory slurs like “b*tch” and “queer”, tell me again how these ignorant labels can be “reclaimed” by LGBT folk. Please tell me why these labels are worth “reclaiming”, too. I don’t believe you’ve ever broached that subject.

  41. Diogenes says

    That is the photo of some one who has a clue to how pathetic he is and the realization that there is nothing he can do about it. He’s insignificant and pissed off and can only succeed by trying to make others feel as insignificant as he is.

  42. mcNnyc says

    IF only a few of you commenters would read the linked articles you would find that this “survey” was given out BEFORE the teams 1st round playoff game. GREAT motivation Coach. Oh and why is he still a guidance councilor ..hmm think it has anything to do with winning back to back 4A State Championships in 2004-05

    As adults we can think it may be funny but CHRIS et al. it’s also sexist. it’s easy to explain away his anti gay comments but I’m sure many of the mothers of these students would rather not have their sons think about women along these lines either.

  43. bandanajack says

    to those of you that don’t think this should be taken seriously, may i suggest you do a google search on wyoming teen suicide.

    you get some very interesting information. like wyoming just got done spending 2 million bucks on suicide prevention programs aimed primarily at teens because they make up a disproportionate number of the state’s suicide deaths, and because wyoming has the 5th hghest suicide rate in the country. ts also the 2nd highest cause of death for teens. check out this article for starters.

    http://ow.ly/7rvI3

    if you can’t feel and see the inherent misogyny and homophobia, however casual, in that ‘GAG’ i feel sorry for you. something has died in you.

  44. anon says

    I guess it’s doubly ironic that he was fired over people’s hurt feelings, and Mr. Gay Face should take it all in stride owing to his own advice! That’s a two-fer fer sure.

    Anyway, for those not up on the sprawl of the public education system. The position of GC is that of a warm body either featherbedding for a union or no-work political appointment and requires no skills whatsoever. And people wonder why their property taxes are so high.

  45. bandanajack says

    i also did a search in the casper tribune and found out coincidentally that the same school just had to fire another coach for verbally threatening a competing player in track. good going buffalo HS

  46. Bobsyouruncle says

    “I have woman like hormones”?

    I hate to see the look on this guy’s face when someone lets him know that men and women have the same hormones in their bodies and that means he’s got estrogen and progesterone coursing through that crazy gourd of his.

  47. bandanajack says

    this is a copy of a letter i sent to the tribune and the school district.

    i have also posted the article on facebook and tweeted it.

    i just read clint robus’s article regarding pat lynch, his “survey”, and the school board’s decision to keep him on as a “guidance” counselor, and i was FLOORED.

    let me be clear, i am not a local, parent or otherwise. i am, for all intents and purposes, a retired “little old man” living in the heart of conservative south west florida. if the school board didn’t know it, this is now the age of the internet. they aren’t answering only to a few local parents of players, they are being observed by educators and parents nationwide, and indeed worldwide.

    the form mr lynch passed out is in the worst possible taste and a glaring example of the misogyny and homophobia that permeate athletic programs and by extension, the student bodies of schools everywhere. with bullying related teen suicides making big news all around the united states, as well as wyoming, largely fueled by the same attitudes, i propose that there is a serious deficiency in mr lynch’s judgement, and not to put to fine a point on it, his character.

    having said that, i think the school board has made an even more egregious decision to keep him in contact with students in a counseling capacity. would you really want your child or any child who may be having troubles in school visiting him, or what is more likely, NOT doing so in light of his mindset?

    i very much doubt the ripple effect of this decision is over, nor should it be. i hope you would do your part, and the community a service, by addressing this further in any capacity you deem wisest.

    respectfully,

    jack magnan

  48. paulus says

    This guy has been a high school coach for 22 yrs. and I’m sure if he is a homophobe, it would have come out long before this ‘incident.’ Perhaps he had it up to here with all this feel good sensitivity b.s. going around now in our school system and wanted to bring things into perspective by poking fun at it. However, he didn’t realize that the ‘long knives’ of PC were waiting for him at the administration level!

  49. RyanInSacto says

    @Paulus: That’s great logic you’re using there, buddy. Sure, people have always been concerned about homophobia in high schools. This is something that people have been worried about for years and years, right? So, of course, with all this concern that people have shown for GLBT students over the years, surely this high school football coach in a small town in Wyoming would have been discovered long ago if he was truly homophobic. Does that sound about right?

    Or, I don’t know, maybe this is first time anyone has spoken up about it. That’s a long shot explanation, I know, but just maybe…

  50. Paul R says

    Let’s just face it. About 90% of the time that someone is accused of being overly PC, it means that the accuser is trying to excuse and justify bigotry, hatred, and other BS. Those are just facts.

    To see some gay posters defend the right of a person in a position of authority to insult his charges is simply awful. Some of us can take these “jokes”; some others kill themselves because of their toxic environment. End of story.

  51. Chuck Mielke says

    Here’s something else to consider: Maybe this fellow was a guidance counsellor before he was a coach? Maybe he’s a very good guidance counsellor and the school needs him in that capacity?

    Please understand, too, that the photo of him that accompanies this article is very unflattering. Maybe it was taken at a time that he was making a difficult decision during an important game? Why, I’ll bet he’s rather handsome when he smiles. Perhaps the photo was chosen specifically to make him seem unsympathetic?

  52. bisonpride says

    hat some people don’t know is this is actually how lynch feels. He’s not sorry he did this …………..he’s sorry he got caught. Lynch has used this sort of tactic for years on students. Ills part of his belief system. The concerning part of all this is the admin team, the school board know and have received complaints regarding lynch and his counseling for at least the last 10 years. How can the supt and board members even look themselves in the mirror. They are just as big of problem if they don’t dismiss. I promise u they have heard the issues about this guy more that once. Ask them and if they say no……….they are not telling the truth.

  53. anonymous says

    This is mild compared to the comments and language that’s exchanged during the game between players. It’s all a “mental” preparation and making you “thick skinned” so you don’t let the stupid carp defeat you in your game playing ability.
    There’s so many different “get-tough” approaches and this is just one of them. Just let this assinine event ride off into the sunset as your school board and community await the next “OH MY GOD” news release that surfaces next Monday and we won’t even remember What’s His Name from Wyoming with that silly list. Stop being so freaking polotically correct people. I guarantee the language could have been FAR WORSE if this form hadn’t been from the 70’s, maybe the 80’s. It’s been around so long it’s not funny. I can guarantee the only reason this made the news is only due to one student forgetting to toss it out or their “mommy” found it while cleaning their kid’s room and went crazy. This truly successful Coach gets castrated after 22 years, 12 consecutive playoff appearances and 2 State Champion Titles??? If all of you only knew the B.S. that goes on in locker rooms of College and Pro sports to mentally charge the players to outplay and beat the opposing team every week!!!

  54. Tyron says

    “lack of judgement’? Is he serious? What is he a third grader? Even if he found this amusing (and I’m pretty sure he did) one would think he would be smart enough to only pass it along to his other “macho real men” buddies and not to a bunch of high school students. This man isn’t smart enough to be be working in a school as a janitor let alone as a coach or guidance counselor. Maybe the only one at the school dumber than Lynch is the Principal – but they’re probably old drinkin’ buddies and think this will just blow over. Regardless of his intent, his days as an employee of Buffalo High School are numbered. – but there’s a job opening at Penn State that he just might be suited for.

  55. Tera says

    What’s really fascinating to me is that most of you are reading this from the perspective of being gay and therefore possibly compared to a female – which is not only illogical, but an insult.

    As a female, I don’t give a rat’s ass how many years ago this would have been “funny.” The carefully manufactured gender-role stratification is what leads to misogyny. And that’s no better than homophobia.

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