Why This is Important?
When several students at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee tried to start a Gay-Straight Alliance club after years of bullying, their principal said no. When the students circulated a petition and gathered 150 student signatures supporting the club, the principal banned petitions. When this brought local media scrutiny and the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the administration blocked the club based on its failure to secure an advisor. Although the students found teachers who seemed supportive and willing to serve as advisers, all eventually withdrew without explanation.
Now, according to the ACLU, Principal Moser has allegedly assaulted one student, Chris Sigler, for wearing a handmade shirt that read “GSA: We’ve got your back” – grabbing his arm and chest-bumping him while asking “Who’s the big man now?”
Despite the complaint filed by Chris and his mother, the Sheriff’s Department has failed to interview his sister, who witnessed the alleged assault, or his mother, who witnessed additional behavior from the principal…
Under the Federal Equal Access Act, students have the right to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club in public schools that allow other extra-curricular clubs. GSA clubs can be a lifeline for students dealing with bullying and harassment. The tragic deaths of many young people by suicide in the past year have illustrated the importance of safe spaces, resources, and anti-bullying campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. It is unconscionable for the district to erect barriers between its students and a safe learning environment, but Sequoyah’s refusal to allow a GSA – and the administration’s harassment of supportive students and teachers – amounts to just that.
TAKE THE PLEDGE. BECOME AN ALLY.
“That word is the same as the N-word. Yes, it is. Don’t look at me like that. Yes. It. Is.This won’t be a popular stance among some of my African-American football acquaintances, but it’s a truthful one and it’s a conversation that needs to be had.
When black men degrade gays, we are hypocrites. We cheapen our own history and struggles. It remains stunning to me why more African-American athletes (not all by any stretch but enough) don’t understand this. When a slur is aimed at us, we feel the impact. So why wouldn’t gays?
There’s no question the N-word has deeper historical context and is among the ugliest ever used (and I don’t care what some rappers say). Because the F-word hasn’t been utilized as a weapon as long as the N-word isn’t justification for its use.”" — CBS Sports columnist Mike Freeman commenting on hockey player Wayne Simmonds’ use of the anti-gay slur “f****t” during a game. (via gay-men)
If the present can sometimes be a struggle, take comfortable in the future.
Of course bullying can be a problem regardless of sexual orientation. It is important to recognise though that being gay or lesbian - or being perceived as such, can dramatically increase rates of bullying. It’s a problem that should not be ignored - gay .org.uk
How’s this for a handy sexuality guide?