- September 2022
- August 2022
In Grand Island, Neb., the school year ended with a bang. Make that a stomp.
The final issue of the year of the Northwest High School student newspaper, the Viking Saga, included a story on how Pride month came to be, and an editorial opposing Florida's Don't Say Gay law. Three days later, school administrators shut down the 54-year-old publication. Though officials aren't being transparent about the reason, one school district employee wrote in an email that it was "because the school board and superintendent are unhappy with the last issue's editorial content."
These Nebraska officials feel as warmly toward a free press as Vladimir Putin.
The local newspaper, The Grand Island Independent, is doggedly pursuing the story. It ran a photo of two of the Viking Saga's former staffers, one of whom is transgender, holding a Progress Pride flag outside their high school.
That picture and the saga of the Saga underscored for me that, no matter how heavy-handed Nebraska school administrators—and Florida legislators—get these days, they've already lost. If queer youth, supported by allies, are out in rural America, they won't go back.
The genie is out of the bottle. And he's fabulous.
The officials, on the other hand, are putzes.
- July 2022
- June 2022
- May 2022
Republicans pass more legislation to keep trans kids out of restrooms than shooters out of schools.
Middle Age Riot
At the Christian Academy of Louisville in Kentucky, middle schoolers received a challenging homework assignment, reports LGBTQ Nation.
Students were told to write a letter to a hypothetical friend of the same gender. "In at least 8 sentences, try to show the friend from the Bible, reason, and your personal friendship that God's design for them is good; that homosexuality will not bring them satisfaction, that you love them even though you don't approve of their lifestyle."
Presumably the student who writes six sentences on Leviticus, one sentence on human anatomy and one sentence on a friendship dating back to diapers will earn an A.
The student who writes, "My brother is gay. Get me the hell out of this school," will earn an F and a trip to the principal's office.
- February 2022
This “don’t say gay” bill in Florida is appalling. Punishing teachers for acknowledging gay people exist is archaic.
If you want to ban an actual offensive word from Florida schools, may I suggest “DeSantis.”
- January 2022
- September 2021
- March 2021
A Republican state representative in Tennessee has introduced a bill that would forbid the use of any instructional materials in schools "that promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender issues or lifestyle."
This goal of making queer people invisible could backfire. After all, high schools wouldn't be allowed to perform "The Importance of Being Earnest," "The Skin of Our Teeth" or "Into the Woods." It would be a strange American lit class that omitted Walt Whitman. Or Edna St. Vincent Millay or James Baldwin or Truman Capote or Alice Walker or Willa Cather or Richard Blanco or John Cheever.
An anthropology class without Margaret Mead? Ancient history without Plato, Socrates or Alexander the Great? African-American history without George Washington Carver, Langston Hughes or the March on Washington? Art history without Michelangelo? American government without the Department of Transportation?
If this bill becomes law, Tennessee youngsters will be left with nothing to study but the Bay of Pigs and algebra.
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