- 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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