Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged bullying

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A Matter of Pride

When I logged on to Facebook last Wednesday, this post was at the top of my newsfeed:

[Image text: So my daughter, Caitlyn Silver-Sullivan just handed me a paper she wrote for school. The premise is to use one main descriptive word that defines her and use it in a short story. She chose the word “pride”. She explained the many uses for the word and that it means different things to different people. She then stated what it means to her. To her, it means “pride” in her homosexuality, no matter how society may view her for it. It was one of the most powerful essays I have ever read, from any author. This is not news to me. I’ve known for a while. In fact, I think I have always known. And I couldn’t be more proud of my little girl…]

Yes, his nickname is Skully.

Anyhow, I knew I had to read Caitlyn’s essay. Skully is a good pal of mine, and he agreed to ask Caitlyn if she’d be willing to share her essay, and answer a couple of questions. I’ve received questions from younger readers struggling with their identity as a LGBTQ teen. Several of these questions came from people who are Caitlyn’s age or younger. I thought her thoughts and experiences would be valuable to those going through similar struggles.

Well, Caitlyn emailed me back right away, and she’s excited to share it with you all.   I’m grateful that she’s willing to let me post her thoughts and stoked to share her point of view.

Meet Caitlin:

Caitlyn Silver-Sullivan is a 16-year-old high school junior from the suburbs of Northern Chicago. She’s also recently come out publicly. Here’s her answers to my questions:

Meg: Why did you choose this topic and how did you feel writing your essay?

Caitlyn: I had a really hard time picking a word to define me at first. I came across many words that were options, but none that I [was] particularly passionate about. However, in order to give us a clearer idea of what we were supposed to write, my teacher, Mr. Wise, allowed the class to pick a sample essay to read. I choose a sample essay that was based on the word Pride, thinking it would be about gay pride. However, this essay was quite different. It defined pride as being proud of your heritage. I then got the idea that I could write a essay about how Pride to me means gay pride since I am very passionate about the subject.

When I was writing my essay, I tried to put as much passion and truth into it as I could. I know what it’s like to be judged and looked down upon just because of the simple fact that I am gay. All up until high school, I was bullied about my manly looks; I was a tomboy at the time and always wore boys’ clothes. In seventh and eighth grade, the bullying got more severe to the point where everybody thought I was gay, and many people didn’t talk to me because of the rumors. During this time, I denied the fact that I was gay, due to the fear of being unaccepted and even more bullied. My freshman year of high school was a little easier, straying from the judgmental eyes from the students at my middle school, and being introduced to a variety of many other students from different schools.

It was my sophomore year that I experienced my first gay relationship. Throughout this time, people throughout the school were finding out about my relationships and I didn’t really feel comfortable with everybody knowing, especially since the majority of people are against gays. During this relationships I experienced the eyes watching me as I was with my significant other in disgust. I also experienced getting screamed at by various amounts of people saying “GAY!” or “LESBIANS!” I then, and still to this day, experience these harsh words. One of my old friends even had the guts to tell me that if I were raised right I wouldn’t be the way I am. In the past, I have also gotten things thrown at me such as waterbottle caps and crumpled up pieces of paper by people that I don’t even know for being gay. I have personally experienced a lot of verbal abuse for others from simply being a lesbian. These are the things that I thought about while writing my essay — the various memories of how I was treated different, but never backed down or changed. I am proud to be gay. And that is what my paper portrays.

Meg: What would you say to other teens your age struggling with being LGBTQ?

Caitlyn: If I were to speak to teens everywhere struggling with being LGBTQ, I would tell them all to hang in there. I know it’s hard and I know it is a struggle every single day. I, as well as many other members of the LGBTQ community, understand what you’re going through, and we are all here for you. Stay proud of who you are, for you cannot change it. Do not be ashamed just because the majority of society looks down upon us. Do not hide the fact that you are gay just because you are afraid of what your parents and peers may think. You have to stand strong and face your battles in front of you with an iron fist. Just know that one day, all the hate, all the bullying, all the abuse, all the judgment will stop. Things will get better. Maybe not today or tomorrow or next week, but things will get easier. Have pride in who you are. And don’t you dare let anybody else tell you any different.

Sorry it’s so long — I’ve never really shared this information and I have a lot to say about it. Anyways, thank you for considering my essay to be published on your website. And also thank you so much for supporting the LGBTQ society. We appreciate it more than you think.

I appreciate Caitlyn sharing her essay. Skully’s right — it IS powerful:

Pride: The Story of Battle
by Caitlyn Silver-Sullivan

Susan runs home from school with her ACT results in her hand whipping back and forth from the wind. Her hair flails side to side as she takes each leap that seems like a thousand years. The sun is shining without a cloud in the sky, assuring her that today is a good day. She’s dying to get home, dying to show her parents how great of a job she did. Excitement pulses through her veins and her heart pounds through her chest as she slowly reaches for the doorknob. Her hands are sweaty; her whole body is dripping and her clothes are seeped with sweat from the run, but she doesn’t care. She masks her hysteria as she walks through the door and makes her way to the living room. She can hear the T.V. that they are so calmly watching; she can smell the chicken in the oven, heating to a delicious golden brown. She walks around the corner and enters the living room with a tranquil look on her face, but inside she can feel the butterflies. She slowly hands her dad and mom the paper and waits anxiously for their reaction. They jump up, happiness filling their eyes as sunshine lights up the room. “We’re so proud of you!” they exclaim; it was just the reaction she was looking for.

When most people are faced with the word “proud” or “pride” they simply think of accomplishing something that is of significance. Your parents are supposed to be proud of you when they watch you receive your high school diploma, you are supposed to be proud of yourself after writing a ten page paper all by yourself, you are supposed to be proud of your friend when they say they have broken up with their abusive boyfriend, you are supposed to have pride in your country, you are supposed to be proud of your ethnicity. Most people see pride in certain occasions and things. But in my opinion, this definition of pride is on a whole different boat than mine.

Susan walks down the streets of Chicago filled with unfamiliar faces holding the hand of her significant other. The noise of the city rings through her ears and the whooshing of cars that speed past almost makes her shake. She looks over her shoulder, love filling her eyes, and sees the most beautiful person in the world. Her name is Jennifer. And yes, they are a lesbian couple. Susan knows that everybody she passes is staring at their interlocked hands with curious expressions on their face. She knows that the civilians behind them are whispering to each other about them just because they are different. And last but not least, Susan knows that as she leans over to kiss Jennifer on the lake side, that disproving eyes will stare her down with their judgmental gleam. Susan knows that more people disapprove of her actions than people who do approve. Yet she continues walking with her head up, hand in hand with Jennifer, and she dares not to let go. She is proud to be gay.

Pride is when you constantly face a battle from society telling you to be someone else, but you don’t back down. You stand proud. You stand strong. If I had to define myself with a word, I would choose proud; I have experienced the millions of eyes looking down on me every single day, but every day I pass these eyes with my head high and a smile on my face, pride gleaming from my skin. They cannot change me. Nobody can change me. To me, that is what pride is. Pride is when I have experienced the brutality and pain from being different but walk with my head held high, pride is when I know I will be judged but do not open my ears, pride is when I absolutely will not let anybody or anything tell me who to be.

Pride is not materialistic. Pride is not a brief occasion of happiness when you accomplish something. Pride is not knowing the answer to a problem nobody else knows. Pride does not go away. Pride does not fade with time. Pride is everlasting. Pride is when you have lived your life with hatred pointed at you nonstop, but you will defend yourself to the death.

____________________________

Marvelous essay from a very brave, very strong 16-year-old who has every right to be proud. I salute her, and salute Skully for being proud of his daughter and doing the right thing as a parent. I’m honored to share this essay with the readers of Cognitive Dissonance.

Bravo, Caitlyn! You’ve got an amazing future ahead of you!

— Meg

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Caitlyn Silver-Sullivan Pride GLBTQ gay rights lesbian high school bullying coming out LGBTQ LGBT bigotry homophobia acceptance teen

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Teacher disciplined after writing 'stupid' on student's forehead

A teacher in Overton County is in big trouble and about to lose his job over a single word and a permanent marker.

The middle school math teacher wrote the word “stupid” across a student’s forehead. Administrators found out about the incident and took fast action, suspending the teacher indefinitely. The school director plans to fire the teacher, Alex Boles.

"We’re here to help the children and not to hurt them," said Matt Eldridge, director of Overton County Schools. "One word can break a child. I mean, I’ve got three children. I wouldn’t want it done to mine," Eldridge said. "The teacher said, ‘I was trying to joke with him,’ and of course, I said, ‘That’s not the way you joke with anyone,’" Eldridge said.

Until last week, Boles taught math at Allons Elementary. He was new to the job after he just started this fall. The district will allow the teacher due process, but the director said he will insist Boles lose his job.

As if the story isn’t tough enough, the teacher wrote the word “stupid” backwards on the student’s forehead, so he’d be able to read it when he saw himself in the mirror. The extra thought that went into it is especially troubling for those in charge of the district.

Teaching. You’re doing it so, so very wrong. Bullying students is not an effective teaching strategy.

And really, you’re not hanging out with your bros in college - even if a kid falls asleep with his shoes on, it’s not a party foul and you don’t get to decorate his face, much less for asking questions.

Asshole.

Filed under Alex Boles Education bullying Tennessee Overton County Schools Teacher Bad teacher

53 notes

Which has destroyed and ended the life of more people? Terrorism attack here in America or HIV/AIDS? In the last twenty years, fifteen to twenty years, we’ve had maybe three terrorist attacks on our soil with a little over 5,000 people regrettably losing their lives. In the same time frame, there have been hundreds of thousands who have died because of having AIDS. So which one’s the biggest threat? And you know, every day our young people…they’re bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural.’ It’s something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that’s what I mean. It’s more dangerous, and yes I think that it’s also more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation.

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern, proving once again she has new lows to which she can sink.

Goddammit, Sally Kern. She said this while promoting her “wahhhh, I’m a victim!” book, The Stoning of Sally Kern. I think if Sally got stoned once in awhile, it might chill her out a titch. It worked for a white-power girl pop band.

Basically, Sally Kern is a horrible human being who can’t understand why people hate her. Let me boil this down for you: When you say horrible things, people think you believe them. You haven’t really given us any indication we should think otherwise. 

(Source: thinkprogress.org)

Filed under Sally Kern Oklahoma bigot bigotry GLBTQ LGBT bullying terrorism a worst person ever? politics

22 notes

Rarely do I ask for folks to reblog something, but I ask that favor here.
This guy pictured above wants you to know two things: First, that he’s hot shit. Second, if you’re a girl, you better be hot and able to be photoshopped or else he’s not interested in your business. He thinks some of us are just too ugly to Photoshop. 
I considered hiring him to take some family portraits this fall in Laramie. His name is John McKnight. This is his website. Apparently, he had some issues with originality awhile back, and was gently called out on it. He also has a profile on Model Mayhem where he writes:

"I enjoy taking pictures of girls and helping them look their best while also showcasing my talents as an amateur photographer. I would like to shoot with some males to broaden my portfolio. I’m a serious planner and micro-manager on shoots, but I just want you to look your best so don’t think I’m an ass. :)"

Well, he was a little passionate about the most recent student senate elections and attacked Zach Spadt, author of an opinion column about the election in the school’s paper. A few of his choice comments:

"You’re the one that walks around the AA like your mister sports photographer, taking terrible shots with your entry level Nikon. Your an even bigger tool than we all thought you were. Your editorials have always been kept in my bathroom just in case I ever run out of toilet paper (that last bit about the toilet paper is actually true). Oh and by the way, you know we all laugh and make fun of you."
"How did that Photo Editor work out? What did he last…2 weeks after I told you he was terrible? Guess my predictions were right. As editor in chief did you loose almost half of your talented staff because of your incompetent management skills? Hot shot? My work speaks for itself. You got the scraps my friend, and you know thats the truth."

I told him he’d lost the possibility of getting the job because he’s full of himself. To be fair, I corrected his atrocious grammar. I couldn’t help it after watching him berate others for their lack of editorial skills. Here’s what I got in return:

"Meg, your the last person in the state of Wyoming I would ever consider taking pictures of. Photoshop can’t help you out one bit."

So John McKnight likes to help girls look their best, but with Photoshop. And if he doesn’t think you’re hot, he’s not interested. So he’s not a real photographer, honestly, just more of a lecherous opportunist. The best part is the family portrait would be of my brother, his wife, and their new baby. 
Here’s me:
Without John McKnight, how was I supposed to know I was too hideous for Photoshop to fix?! Thank you for showing me the way and helping me feel good about myself. </sarcasm> 
I’m asking Tumblr folks to reblog this post. This is a guy who thinks women must be fixed by Photoshop to look their best and presents himself as a serious photographer. I hope that someone sees this and rethinks working with John McKnight of Laramie, a “Serious amature photographer.”
(P.S. Zach Spadt is much more talented than McKnight. View a sample of his photos here. If you think the expensive equipment and Photoshop make you an expert photographer, you’re doing it wrong)

Rarely do I ask for folks to reblog something, but I ask that favor here.

This guy pictured above wants you to know two things: First, that he’s hot shit. Second, if you’re a girl, you better be hot and able to be photoshopped or else he’s not interested in your business. He thinks some of us are just too ugly to Photoshop. 

I considered hiring him to take some family portraits this fall in Laramie. His name is John McKnight. This is his website. Apparently, he had some issues with originality awhile back, and was gently called out on it. He also has a profile on Model Mayhem where he writes:

"I enjoy taking pictures of girls and helping them look their best while also showcasing my talents as an amateur photographer. I would like to shoot with some males to broaden my portfolio. I’m a serious planner and micro-manager on shoots, but I just want you to look your best so don’t think I’m an ass. :)"

Well, he was a little passionate about the most recent student senate elections and attacked Zach Spadt, author of an opinion column about the election in the school’s paper. A few of his choice comments:

"You’re the one that walks around the AA like your mister sports photographer, taking terrible shots with your entry level Nikon. Your an even bigger tool than we all thought you were. Your editorials have always been kept in my bathroom just in case I ever run out of toilet paper (that last bit about the toilet paper is actually true). Oh and by the way, you know we all laugh and make fun of you."

"How did that Photo Editor work out? What did he last…2 weeks after I told you he was terrible? Guess my predictions were right. As editor in chief did you loose almost half of your talented staff because of your incompetent management skills? Hot shot? My work speaks for itself. You got the scraps my friend, and you know thats the truth."

I told him he’d lost the possibility of getting the job because he’s full of himself. To be fair, I corrected his atrocious grammar. I couldn’t help it after watching him berate others for their lack of editorial skills. Here’s what I got in return:

"Meg, your the last person in the state of Wyoming I would ever consider taking pictures of. Photoshop can’t help you out one bit."

So John McKnight likes to help girls look their best, but with Photoshop. And if he doesn’t think you’re hot, he’s not interested. So he’s not a real photographer, honestly, just more of a lecherous opportunist. The best part is the family portrait would be of my brother, his wife, and their new baby. 

Here’s me:

Without John McKnight, how was I supposed to know I was too hideous for Photoshop to fix?! Thank you for showing me the way and helping me feel good about myself. </sarcasm> 

I’m asking Tumblr folks to reblog this post. This is a guy who thinks women must be fixed by Photoshop to look their best and presents himself as a serious photographer. I hope that someone sees this and rethinks working with John McKnight of Laramie, a “Serious amature photographer.”

(P.S. Zach Spadt is much more talented than McKnight. View a sample of his photos here. If you think the expensive equipment and Photoshop make you an expert photographer, you’re doing it wrong)

Filed under bully bullying fuckery hatred misogynist misogyny model rude wyoming Laramie

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School outed teen to parents, said it was ‘legally obligated’: lawsuit

Two softball coaches at a Texas high school are being sued after allegedly confining a teenaged girl in a locked room, forcing her to confirm her sexual orientation, then outing her to her parents before ejecting her from the softball team.

The lawsuit states that the school district defended the actions by saying the teachers were “legally obligated” to inform the parents of the child’s sexuality.

According to the suit (PDF) filed in an east Texas federal court, in March of 2009 a junior at Kilgore High School — identified only as “SW” — was ordered to a meeting of the softball team. The coaches, named in the lawsuit as Rhonda Fletcher and Cassandra Newell, then dismissed everyone but SW, ordered her into an empty locker room, locked the door and confronted the teen about her sexuality.

Yeah… sometimes the teachers are worse than the students. They have a legal obligation to not bully students too. What the fuck is wrong with Texas?

Filed under GLBTQ Bullying Teens Texas Fuckery Fucked up School high school lawsuit

60 notes

Facebook Bullies Charged After Victim Tracks Them Down

When 18-year-old Ally Pfeiffer found a Facebook profile impersonating her and replacing her photograph with a picture of a cow to mock her weight, she cried.

Then, though, the Connecticut teen fought back, found the IP address for the bogus page and helped police trace the cruel behavior back to Sarah Johnson and Jeff Martone, her former classmates at a Bristol, Conn., high school. And now, Johnson and Martone, both freshmen at the University of Connecticut, have been charged with criminal impersonation and second-degree harassment.

This girl is a total BAMF

Filed under Justice Facebook Bullying BAMF

2 notes

The trap of gay socialization

Editor:

Re: (“Can our kids live with that?” Forum/Nov. 14).

Dee Lundberg has rightly commented that bullying is a “tragedy” that needs to stop. She suggests that her emphasis on combating bullying was to “introduce tolerance and acceptance of those who are different.”

Since in one way or another we are all different, it would take a journey to the extreme fringes of society to find anyone who would disagree. It was hard to escape the conclusion, however, that her real interest in opposing bullying was to see homosexual behavior legitimized. She would have us believe that homosexual sex is a difference like the difference between nationalities. Some people are Irish, some African, some are gay. We should appreciate the fact that she provided the statistics indicating that the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.”

The high suicide rate itself should be a signal that the gay lifestyle is problematic. She even notes that the “bullying” problem is responsible for one out of four suicides in our state. What about the other three? While it is unfortunately true that people can be found who “bully” and are “using God as a scapegoat” to promote their personal prejudices, bullying is not the exclusive behavior of those who disagree with gays. The gay community is also notorious for “outing” others in ways that are not too different from what happened to the Rutgers University freshman.

The film “Outrage” is a recent example. It is not just heterosexuals who are bullies. It would be more appropriate, however, to consider the gay socialization as a more reasonable explanation for the high suicide rates. When a sexually confused teen is told they need to get over their fear of being gay and accept their gay identity and even rejoice in it, they jettison whatever hopes they may have had in the heterosexual community. When they discover that the gay life is not as fulfilling, satisfying or guilt-free as they expected it to be, there is no escape. The person who has been labeled as gay will be told, “You are gay and it is wrong to even suggest that you could change.” Counselors lose their jobs for suggesting that it is even possible for gays to change their orientation.

DR. CHARLES PLANT, Casper

Pastor, Salt & Light Church

This letter is the most hateful thing I’ve seen in the paper in quite awhile. Not too long ago, a frequent letter writer smugly answered the question “What is a Christian?” 

Well, then. I suppose we have an answer. 

Carolyn Arends "They’ll Know We Are Christians"

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord 
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored 
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side 
We will work with each other, we will work side by side 
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride 
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love 
They will know we are Christians by our love
By our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love 
They will know we are Christians by our love

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand 
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand 
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land 
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love
By our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

Love is patient, love is kind 
Never boasts, not full of pride 
Always hopes, always trusts 
The evidence of Christ in us

Actually, Rev. Dee Lundberg exemplifies the message of unconditional love quite well.

Charles Plant feels fine placing his title of Doctor before his name as if that gives his analysis legitimacy [newsflash: not a doctor] but cannot afford Rev. Lundberg her title. His letter is full of the very bullying he’s so concerned about.

I wonder if he thought about the high incidence of suicide in GLBTQ youth being at ALL connected to hatred like he is exhibiting. This is not Christ’s love. This is not love, period.

This is the hatred of those different from you.

Filed under Christianity Hatred hatred is never ok bullying GLBTQ bullies excuse religion fuckery There's a special place in hell

285 notes

stfuconservatives:

goodreasonnews:

Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter Willow  used multiple homophobic slurs — including the word f**got — to attack  a Facebook user who criticized her mom’s new reality show …. TMZ has  learned. During the premiere of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” Sunday night — a  boy named Tre who went to school with the Palin kids wrote a status  update that read, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska, is failing so hard right now.”The  comment sparked an intense response from Willow — who replied on the  boy’s wall, “Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I’ve  seen pictures of, your disgusting … My sister had a kid and is still  hot.” Willow followed up that comment with another that read, “Tre stfu.  Your such a f**got.”
 (via Joe. My. God.)

Lordy, I just know this is going to get shrugged off with a “oh well she’s just defending her family donchaknow. Kids talk without thinkin’.”
Though I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you all of this story:
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/02/sarah_palins_response_to_retar.html
-Joe

Sarah Palin may not be able to use proper grammar, but there&#8217;s still hope for her kids, right? Willow&#8217;s a charmer, isn&#8217;t she? More here
After this, I&#8217;d think poor Piper has to do something really spectacular to get noticed, something like being a decent human being.

stfuconservatives:

goodreasonnews:

Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter Willow used multiple homophobic slurs — including the word f**got — to attack a Facebook user who criticized her mom’s new reality show …. TMZ has learned. During the premiere of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” Sunday night — a boy named Tre who went to school with the Palin kids wrote a status update that read, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska, is failing so hard right now.”

The comment sparked an intense response from Willow — who replied on the boy’s wall, “Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I’ve seen pictures of, your disgusting … My sister had a kid and is still hot.” Willow followed up that comment with another that read, “Tre stfu. Your such a f**got.”

 (via Joe. My. God.)

Lordy, I just know this is going to get shrugged off with a “oh well she’s just defending her family donchaknow. Kids talk without thinkin’.”

Though I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you all of this story:

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/02/sarah_palins_response_to_retar.html

-Joe

Sarah Palin may not be able to use proper grammar, but there’s still hope for her kids, right? Willow’s a charmer, isn’t she? More here

After this, I’d think poor Piper has to do something really spectacular to get noticed, something like being a decent human being.

(via handingoutstars-deactivated2011)

Filed under Be a fucking parent Bullying Facebook Hatred Hypocrisy Sarah Palin Willow facebook is weird hatred is never ok conservative conservatives

40 notes


Two female high school students in Oklahoma are firing back at their school for refusing to let them graduate after discovering the two are a couple.
According to KWTV News, 18-year-old Melissa McKenzie said she was kicked out of Del City High School in Del City, Okla., at the beginning of the semester when the principal found out she was living with her girlfriend instead of her family. The principal then told her if she returned to her family&#8217;s home, she would be welcomed back to school.
Kelsey Hicks (pictured), McKenzie&#8217;s girlfriend, dropped out of school but wanted to finish her education so she could become a firefighter. Upon asking school leaders if she could return, she said they instead encouraged her to drop out.
"The principal will say &#8216;Well, you&#8217;re gay. You&#8217;re not going to do anything with your life. You might as well just drop out now,&#8217;"  Hicks said. "It&#8217;s stuff to put you down that makes you want to drop out."

Well, then. The discrimination is horrible and apparently the school officials don&#8217;t seem to get she&#8217;s 18 - a legal adult. Way to go Oklahoma.

Two female high school students in Oklahoma are firing back at their school for refusing to let them graduate after discovering the two are a couple.

According to KWTV News, 18-year-old Melissa McKenzie said she was kicked out of Del City High School in Del City, Okla., at the beginning of the semester when the principal found out she was living with her girlfriend instead of her family. The principal then told her if she returned to her family’s home, she would be welcomed back to school.

Kelsey Hicks (pictured), McKenzie’s girlfriend, dropped out of school but wanted to finish her education so she could become a firefighter. Upon asking school leaders if she could return, she said they instead encouraged her to drop out.

"The principal will say ‘Well, you’re gay. You’re not going to do anything with your life. You might as well just drop out now,’"  Hicks said. "It’s stuff to put you down that makes you want to drop out."

Well, then. The discrimination is horrible and apparently the school officials don’t seem to get she’s 18 - a legal adult. Way to go Oklahoma.

Filed under Oklahoma GLBTQ GLBTQ Rights bullying hatred inequality education high school

25 notes

Can our kids live with that?

 If we truly believe that the Bible condemns homosexuality then of course we would not want our children to be gay or lesbian. I get that! But why in God’s name, if we are so sure that this is God’s opinion on the matter, do we continue to condone so many other facets of scripture that carry the same supposed punishment? Cursing your parents, marrying someone who is not a virgin, a betrothed woman who does not cry out while being raped, children who refuse to obey their parents (what if their parents want them to do something illegal or submit to incest and rape?), these are all punishable by death according to the Bible (read out of context). Look at this list and tell me, you think all of these are still valid? How many reading this think homosexuality is a sin “because the Bible says so” and yet got married and was not a virgin at the time?

The Bible condones slavery, but we know better now, don’t we? The Bible understood mental illness as demon possession, but we know better, don’t we? Anyone who wants to use a Bible as a weapon to suppress and deny the gay and lesbian population, must by extension still support slavery and inequality for women.

Written by Rev. Dee Lundberg of Casper. She’s great, and I commend her for this.

Filed under GLBTQ GLBTQ Rights Bullying Casper Wyoming Gay gay rights children Teenagers teens

4 notes

Michigan assistant AG fired after targeting openly gay student leader

Andrew Shirvell “repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources,” Cox said.

The lawyer for Chris Armstrong, the university’s student body president, lauded the decision by Cox to axe Shirvell.

"It’s inexplicable — he knows nothing about Chris," attorney Deborah Gordon said on CNN’s "AC 360" about Shirvell, who claimed that Armstrong was a "racist, elitist liar" and "privileged pervert."

"We’re very gratified that justice was done … and, for the time, Shirvell is going to be held responsible," Gordon said.

Shirvell’s lawyer, Philip J. Thomas, acknowledged his client’s termination to CNN but did not comment further. He told the Detroit Free Press that his client was “devastated” by Cox’s announcement, claiming that Shirvell’s bosses gave him positive reviews and knew of his activities outside work.

"This smells political to me," Thomas told the newspaper. "There’s been a tremendous piling-on against Andrew. The liberal media started this tempest in a teapot."

Gordon responded by telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night that she felt it was “pathetic and lame for (Shirvell) to be whining about being bullied.”

In late September, Cox defended Shirvell’s authoring of a blog titled “Chris Armstrong Watch” that railed against the college senior and sociology major.

"Here in America, we have this thing called the First Amendment, which allows people to express what they think and engage in political and social speech," Cox told CNN. "He’s clearly a bully … but is that protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution? Yes."

But in Monday’s announcement, Cox said he concluded that Shirvell’s dismissal was warranted due to actions “unbecoming a state employee” that went beyond the blog.

Cox said he wasn’t firing Shirvell for “exercising … First Amendment rights, (however) unpopular (the) positions might be,” but for persistent and personal harassment.

According to Cox, Shirvell showed up at Armstrong’s home three times — including once at 1:30 a.m. Cox said that this early morning visit, especially, showed that Shirvell was intent on harassing Armstrong, not just exercising his right to free speech

I vigorously defend the First Amendment, but damn, it’s about time for this asshat to get canned.

Filed under Andrew Shirvell Bullying Homophobia GLBTQ GLBTQ Rights GTFO Michigan First Amendment hatred hatred is never ok

9 notes

In School Efforts to End Bullying, Some See Agenda

Alarmed by evidence that gay and lesbian students are common victims of schoolyard bullies, many school districts are bolstering their antiharassment rules with early lessons in tolerance, explaining that some children have “two moms” or will grow up to love members of the same sex.

But such efforts to teach acceptance of homosexuality, which have gained urgency after several well-publicized suicides by gay teenagers, are provoking new culture wars in some communities.

Many educators and rights advocates say that official prohibitions of slurs and taunts are most effective when combined with frank discussions, from kindergarten on, about diverse families and sexuality.

Angry parents and religious critics, while agreeing that schoolyard harassment should be stopped, charge that liberals and gay rights groups are using the antibullying banner to pursue a hidden “homosexual agenda,” implicitly endorsing, for example, same-sex marriage.

The only “agenda” that’s there is teaching children that bullying is unacceptable. Period. Oh, and some families are different so we shouldn’t pick on each other for those differences. 

The only agenda that those objecting have is that they think being gay is icky or sinful so therefore, everyone’s kids should think so. Essentially, they’re teaching the concept of cooties or something.

I think one agenda is more harmful than the other.

Filed under GLBTQ Bullying homophobia HOMOPHOBES Agenda Agenda is not a dirty word