Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.
They can’t serve our country openly.
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What’s worse, these laws that legislate discrimination teach bullies that what they’re doing is acceptable.
Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens, why shouldn’t they?
My time in the classroom has had me listening in to what students talk about and most notably how they address one another. In each one of my classes yesterday, for example, there was at least one instance of someone being called gay. I thought of Andrew Marin and instantly asked a few probing questions about their gay assertions. My second question is usually “do you know that my uncle is gay?” Most student usually do not look up at me when I ask them this and burrow down, trying hard to possibly hide their embarrassment. I don’t take what they say personally and I usually sit down near them and talk through with them about what they are saying and feeling inside when they throw about a usual “he’s gay” assertion.
Most male students are nervous of the possibility of a gay male student hitting on them, touching them, or openly pursuing them. I ask them if this has ever happened to them or anyone they know. I haven’t heard of one student who has had an example of this happening. Truly, the irrational fear of being hit on has found a place in many people, young and old, of white or of foreign descent, and is in dire need of direct addressing.
Some other students then assume fellow students of theirs are gay by the way they dress, who they hang out with, and by other various behaviors they see and judge. One boy said yesterday that he thought a female student he knew was gay because she hung out with all girls. I asked him what if this girl had been abused and raped by her father, uncle, or other male in her life and never wanted to be touched by a man or be around one if she didn’t have to. Instantly, the boy said that that treatment of the girl is totally wrong. In the end, we sometimes never really know.
I don’t know if that sparked a light bulb moment for him, and ultimately that is beyond my powers, but I hope to instill in the students a few things. One, when I am their teacher, each student will be treated by one another with respect and not isolated, put down, or demonized. Second, I want to get across that the label of “he/she is gay” is so ingrained that we don’t even think about its ramifications or where it comes from.
I still am not convinced after studying the scriptures from both sides of the ideological aisle what my final view on same-sex attraction, marriage, or DADT is. What I can stand for is not treating students, citizens, or normal human beings as second rate citizens, looking to talk about these issues first theologically and then politically, and seeing these large, complex issues just as they are: large and complex and needed to be seen under the scope of a human, Godly lens along with the Constitution (which doesn’t say anything about who one can or can’t marry).