A recent survey in schools indicates that kids often use derogatory homosexual terms when bullying friends, and sometimes teachers use such terms, too. This is news? In B.C., teachers are being asked to surreptitiously sneak in homosexual analogies into otherwise non-sexualized, or heterosexualized topics — i.e. like math.
Commonly one might say, “a family for four with Mom and Dad and their two kids have 28 pretzels to share. How do they split them up evenly?” But now it should be “A family of four, with two Dads and two kids, one of whom has come out as a lesbian, have 28 pretzels. How do they split them up evenly?”
This is supposed to be in an effort to better integrate concepts of homosexuality into society and reduce gay bashing and discrimination.
As far as I am concerned, it will only ramp up the rage.
First of all, the gay community admits it is not ‘the norm’ — homosexuals make up a smaller portion of the population than heterosexuals.
In life, especially for kids, things are measured by how you fit in.
I can finally come out about this because I don’t care anymore — and no, I’m not talking about being gay (or rather lesbian) because I’m not. I’m talking about being different.
When I grew up, my parents named me after their best friend in the army who they loved very much. They thought she was the greatest person on the planet. Unfortunately, she had a Welsh name, one which was almost identical to the name of a famous Alberta meat packing plant. Despite having a first name I liked, my parents insisted on calling me by the name that invariably caused fits of laughter from anyone who heard it.
Gaynor. Go ahead. Laugh.
For at least 17 years of my life I was teased incessantly by everyone except my parents, who berated me on the other side for even wanting to change. Even teachers thought my name was some elaborate prank when they read it out loud on the first day – causing the entire room to burst into laughter.
By contrast with the gay community’s identity and discrimination problems, that community often seems to seek out provocation. By this I refer to the annual “Gay Day” in various major cities. I refuse to call it “Gay Pride” day. Who would be proud to be cavorting about in public in unusually indecent attire, making provocative sexual moves when small children or less exotic groups of the public are going about their daily business?
I’m reminded of this week’s episode of Glee, where Kurt, the openly gay boy, wears a kilt to the prom and is crowned “queen.” His father and boyfriend had both warned him not to push the envelope of acceptance. He did it anyway — and there were unpleasant consequences. No one beat him up. But he was publicly humiliated.
And in my mind, the outrageous nature of many gay/lesbian celebrities and public presentations simply blur onto kids at school who may be theatrical, artistic, effeminate/butchy — whether or not they are ‘playing for the other team.’
When you’re different in any way, the herd will challenge you. And since kids are renowned for wanting to play ‘doctor’ from a young age, natural curiosity about sexuality easily turns into a topic of teasing and bullying.
Some of the reports on gay-related teasing in schools indicate that homosexual teens are 16 per cent more likely to commit suicide. Perhaps it is because of unmet expectations of acceptance — something every ‘different’ person in life experiences every day. Most have to just get over it and get on with it. Yet our PC society suggests that everyone gay should be accepted.
My point is that I don’t think you can legislate people to like or accept something that is clearly a sexually charged issue, the aspects of which may also be very offensive to some. I don’t think incorporating homosexual analogies into common school materials is acceptable in a society that relies on heterosexuality for its very existence.
In school as in life, those who are different often suffer — the Lord of the Flies mentality reigns — perhaps in part because that is how humankind survived.
The homosexual community could do itself a favour by having a Gay Day walk with people in normal attire and appropriate public behaviour. By being ‘way’ out, like Lady Gaga, that weirdo brand has slid onto every kid who is a bit different, even if they are not gay. I’m not sure why it falls to the rest of us to try to patch this up through school indoctrination.
If any heterosexual (un)dressed and acted like the Gay Day community does on Gay Day, they’d be taken off to jail for indecent exposure and corrupting minors. “Section 174 prohibits nudity (or being ‘so clad as to offend against public decency or order’) in view of the public.”
Why do they get a pass on this? Because they are, uh, different, but really wanting to fit in? Fit in to their meat dress?
Michele Stirling Anosh is a Ponoka-based freelance columnist.