When I started No More Lost, it was in part inspired by Joel Burns incredible coming out story and somewhat impromptu “It Gets Better Video”. He stood up and said who he was, and I felt like I could either stay in the safeish closet of being a somewhat stealthy lesbian transwoman, or I could be true, honest and open about who I am.
Today, there’s a crisis going on in Anoka-Hennepin school district, where the policy that forbids teachers from offering any support to LGBTQIAPPQA students, is having a devastating effect on those most vulnerable of students. Seven recent LGBTQIAPPQA suicides are still not enough to repeal this regressive and damaging policy.
Joel Burns who has become a voice on equality talked with Lawrence O’Donnell about the changes that vitally and immediately need to happen, for the students and the teachers who are currently unable to help, because if they dare to do so, their jobs may be forfeited.
Joel is right on the ball, and the statistics are frightening…
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.
When a lesbian couple wanted to walk as a couple in their school’s traditional Snowday Parade, they were told that it was not acceptable, because it might make some of their compatriots uncomfortable.
However you look at the response by Mary Olsen official for the schoolboard, she seems to think it was acceptable to try to sanitize these events, and does not seem to have any problem with repressing lgbtqa expression.
As a result, Desiree and Sarah filed a federal discrimination lawsuit. They were shocked that their school would do this. However in a move for sanity and understanding the lawsuit was resolved by mediation, and the couple were able to walk proudly with the other couples.
The reason i call it happyish, is because its clear that figures involved did not realize what harm they were doing by trying to censor this couple. Hopefully these figures will be more understanding next time an issue of LGBTQA rights.
Thank you for this couple who said do not step on me and stood up for their rights.