Friday, March 12, 2010

I had intended this post to be about God, and starting to renegotiate what it means to be gay and christian (a response to a close friend of mine who challenged me last week), but far too many ridiculous events are taking place in the world. And so, once again, I am directed towards the topic of homosexuality.

For those of you who are unaware, I am trained as a teacher. For those of you who are unaware, my experience in high school was engulfed in bouts of depression largely circling around my burgeoning sexuality and concerns of coming out to a community that I was certain would not accept me. Once again, for those of you who are unaware, I largely entered the field of education convinced that I would provide some measure of assurance that homosexuality among the student body would become more and more accepted.

I was excited to hear that many schools in my city now have a Gay-Straight Alliance student body. I don't know if that would have resulted in me coming out in high school, but the idea of having a community in which I could find support would have really helped out a lot.

These kind of student groups do not exist in Mississippi. At a county high school in this southern American state, an 18-year old Lesbian student regularly receives education on what it means to live in society. Unfortunately, the education she is getting, both formal and informal, reminds me of why I chose not to come out to very many people in high school.

Constance McMillen was hoping to bring her partner to her high school prom. And wear a tuxedo. Her county school board, rather than saying no to her specifically (well, they already had told her no, but she persisted), decided to cancel the event entirely. Not only adversely affecting her but also her entire senior class. They've released a statement, quoting "distractions to the educational process caused by recent events" as the cause of the cancellation.

1 comment:

  1. I find it very interesting, and admirable too, that you entered the field of education "for the cause" (so-to-speak.) I've said this before, and I'll say it again, I don't think that same-sex marriage should be the big issue on the agenda at the moment. There's so much more to take care of: transphobia, lesbophobia etc. Most importantly, however, tackling homophobia in schools and creating safe spaces for young adolescents is what should really be on the agenda right now.
    I teach in a university too. The homophobia within the classroom can sometimes be outrageous; let's not even get into what happens outside of the classroom.
    Well, keep up the good work!