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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Dear to My Heart


Recently, a teacher told student Asher Levin not to be surprised if no one showed up for his first Gay Straight Alliance meeting at Port Charlotte High School. She was wrong - 76 students showed up for the first meeting.
While there are more than 3,000 gay-straight alliances nationwide and 100 in Florida, according to the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, the groups are not common in Southwest Florida. Students and gay-youth advocates say the clubs are difficult to start because school administrators recoil from the controversy they cause among staff and parents.(Herald Tribune)
I graduated from high school over 20 years ago. My life would have been a great deal easier if I had been able to join such a club. I could have taken Susie to the prom instead of Bill. I could have enjoyed closer relationships with my friends if I could have been more honest about my sexuality. These clubs are coming under fire from so-called Christian Groups. Exodus International - the "We can make you straight if you'll only let us" group - has started a sub-group within their organization called Groundswell that serves to further marginalize gay teens. In conjunction with the recent Times article on gay and lesbian teens now is the time to embrace our children and let them be themselves. They will be better adults for it.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

Back in September, we had a conference on reparative therapy here in Birmingham (to counter the Dobson people, who had come into town to tell the gays they could be "cured"), and the most urgent issue to come out of our time together is the need for safe spaces for youth. I don't know how we provide those in Alabama, where we're likely to be vilified, but we're working on it.

8:24 PM

 

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