Thats what the bill coming from Tennessee senator Stacey Campfield seems to be saying. What the bill says is that teachers upto and including the 8th grade are forbidden from
mentioning or acknowledging LGBTQIA issues within school no matter how innocuous. The bill has the label of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, because effectively thats what it means.
Apparently this law has been the pet project of Senator Campfield for several years, and now its heading towards the state senate floor, and we’ve got ask what motivates him. I’m sure will ascribe misguided motives to him, and maybe thats what’s going on, but this bill seems purpose built to increase the rate of suicide in LGBTQIA youth.
Not only will this prevent teachers from acting to stop LGBTQIA-phobic bullying, it prevents them from offering any support to LGBTQIA youth who are beginning to come to terms with themselves. While California is pushing forward with SB48 in an effort to end LGBTQIA-phobia and intolerance, Tenesse seems to be trying to remove any ability from the schools to help vulnerable youth.
Now I’m sure that this comes from some idea about if you don’t mention “Gay” people wont be gay… but it comes from bigotry and ignorance.
This bill is going to increase the rate of suicides, not maybe, not possibly, not even probably, this is removing from LGBTQIA youth one of the most important sources of support and help. Senator Campfield even wants teachers investigated just to make sure that teachers do not offer said support.
This is about shoving us back in to the closet and hoping we go away… well we aren’t, and if this bill passes, the legislature of the state of Tennessee will have the blood of vulnerable youth on their hands.
If you are in Tennessee call your state senator, your representative, and the governor’s office, to protest.
Even if you aren’t in Tennessee call Senator Campfield’s office on (615)-741-1766 and remind him of the lives he is putting at risk.
Hatred is a strange and terrible beast, alone among all human emotions, it has no positive, no value, and it is born in ignorance. I was brought up in such an environment. Long before I had even come to terms with myself, the world around me treated LGBTQIA people as broken, twisted, and disgusting.
I remember being told the “tragic news” when my cousin came out as gay. I watched as a supposedly happy straight man on Eastenders was “corrupted” by the token gay character. Being gay was synonymous with something negative.
Now I’m a self aware polyamorous queer culture embracing, bisexual transwoman, who looks back in horror at her past viewpoint and tries to understand how I could have been so wrong. My parents didn’t hate gay people, they felt pity for them, but that was indoctrinated into me. Despite going to a christian school, I was fortunate that they were not openly homophobic.
I think this cuts at the root of so many of our problems. I didn’t have the experience, or the knowledge to know better. I was cut off from a world of experience, and a universe of perspectives. Our history is one of filtering out the extraordinary, the interesting, the deep, and the challenging. Society and Geography talked only about 2 parent heterosexual families, and skirted around the fact that the white picket fence was a rarity. No matter how deep I dove into my religious education, i’d never have been allowed to find out about the two-spirited of the first nations, the Galli of rome, or the triangle of Thai myth. The very society that raised me, conspired against my entire generation to limit our ideas, our expressions and our dreams.
We owe a duty to the next generation to not cripple them, the way the previous generation crippled us. Already some allies have stepped up, in California, in Massachusetts, and back here in the UK. Schools are attacking the ignorance head on, but not with truncheons and thought police, instead with stories, histories, and the truth. Change is happening, but you need to help it along. Schools, Education authorities and Governments will listen, if we all speak up.
State senator Mark Leno of California is proposing that we teach our children about LGBTQIA history the same way we have Black History, and Women’s History.
He makes it clear and unequivocal that this is a matter of civil rights, and a clear continuum for LGBTQIA rights being the next stage in the civil rights process. It is clear that those who oppose equality are just the same as those who opposed Black History, and Women’s Studies because they were bigots, just the same as this lot.