Saturday, September 30, 2006

Queer Response to Gay History in Philadelphia

A lot of people in Philadelphia are up in arms over the school district recognizing gay and lesbian history month. Most of the parents seem to be objecting because "it involves sex." That is a very narrow minded definition of homosexuality, I've always been gay even before I knew what sex was. In a way the reaction of the parents and the 70% of people who voted in the local CBS poll on whether the school district should have the calendars are the reason there is a need for the school to recognize Gay and Lesbian month. Parents flipping out and taking their kids out of class because "Gay and Lesbian History Month" is printed on a calendar they may not even notice. In a city with a climbing murder rate and a school system that is under funded and undermined continually by the state to have parents put their prejudices against a some of the students, potentially their own children, is offensive.

It isn't the first time that the school district has received flak for the calendars. People complain about Black History month and the noting of Ramadan. The district also notes Asian and Pacific Islander Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Jewish and Christian holidays. The school district has to train students to compete and work alongside others in a global marketplace with people of different nationalities, races, genders, and sexual orientations. The school district has to be The only problem I have with the calendar is that there are no lesson plans to go along with it. They have the opportunity to tie in many other communities as well. There areBayard Rustin, Sappho, Socrates, James Baldwin, Bessie Smith, Alan Turing, , Michael Foucault, Virginia Woolf. The list really is endless lesbians and gay men have contributed to the world as much as anyone else to fear talking about their existence is to give into the belief that acknowledging their existence is somehow going to "turn" the kids gay is as idiotic as thinking Rosh Hashanah or Ramadan being marked is going to "turn" the kids Jewish or Muslim. It would be nice if things worked that way then September 21st of every year all violence would stop.

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