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Anti-Queer Terrorism in Our Schools

For the in a stunning development file: a report from Human Rights Watch has found that harassment, violence, and bullying of gay adolescents in U.S. schools prevents millions of LGBT teenagers from receiving an adequate education. Many of the teens interviewed spend a significant amount of time just trying to figure out how to get to and from school without being harassed or assaulted; many others cut gym class to avoid being beaten up. When trying to get help from teachers or administrators they often were met with indifference or hostility; some even reported that faculty or administrators participated in the abuse.

This is not at all surprising, but it is atrocious. Not only are the direct effects of the abuse horrible, but it also leads to self-loathing and depression, which (among other things) impairs LGBT teens’ ability to learn, and leads to horrendous suicide rates amongst gay youth. Of the LGBT adolescents interviewed, about 36.1% had attempted suicide, versus 9.4% of str8 teens. Yet we know that we can easily reverse this: schools with gay-sensitive HIV training saw the rate of suicide attempts by LGBT students drop to 27.7% – still atrociously high, but a lot better. Schools where students organize Gay/Straight Alliances, where sex ed acknowledges queer sexualities and combats myths about them, and generally where queer youth and supporters of queer youth are visible and welcomed, can drastically change the horrendous environment that gay students go through today. Tragically, this kind of basic support is rarely seen, because school administrators and faculty are likely to be apathetic or hostile, and if they are supportive then they are likely to be bombarded by the Religious Right, which instantly sails in with its bullshit about the Gay Agenda and its neferious recruiting.

For further reading: GT 4/09/2001 anti-queer violence in Pennsylvania, GT 5/5/2001 the Religious Right’s attacks on gay students’ safety

Take Action! You can take action in support of LGBT youth right now at Human Rights Watch’s What You Can Do page and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network Action Center. For more on-the-ground organizing, Youth Resource and GLSEN provide information, resources, and support for organizing gay-supportive youth groups.

11 replies to Anti-Queer Terrorism in Our Schools Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. princess

    It is sickening how some people are so concerned about other peoples sexual preferance. I’m a straight female but my god sister is lesbian. I’m open to whatever and I told her when she first “came out the closet” that I love her no matter what because she’s still my little sister. One thing me and my sister can do openly is joke around about the issue of her being gay, and no matter what she is still confident about herself. I think that if more people were confident about their own sexuality they wouldn’t worry about others. And to whoever has mistreated someone for not being straight god have mercy on their soul. I feel as though being homosexual isn’t abnormal but just a different way of spicing up your life. Keep doing what you do, God Bless Love Always PRINCESS!

· December 2002 ·

  1. yo

    i think that gays should probably just go away, i’m tired of seeing them, i’m tired of hearing them. Just shut up. not hearing or seeing them would make me very happy. they push this tolerance crap down our throats, what is that? just a bunch of retarded propaganda no one but gays wants to listen to. Why do they wanna do that? because they have nothing better to do. They can’t join the military, they can’t join the boy scouts. Even the bible has adam and eve, not adam and steve. so why do they do this? because they aren’t normal and it’s not natural to be gay. They say it comes from birth but i think its just they like to fly the curved path. I for one, am tired of listenin to their stupid crap. You want peace? move to haiti!

— 2003 —

  1. TruePerson

    Hi:

    I am very angry at the ammount of pro homosexual propaganda everywhere.Its unnatural and even the most open minded straight person, and even some gay people i have spoken to.Admit this.With women homosexuality is differrent because they have this ability to be close guys dont have.All gay sex is, happens to be just lust.There is no way 2 guys can love each other like that.Its just a crush.Its a phase guys go through (all guys) when they have a realy hard time getting laid by women.But most guys just go on until they find the right one.But usualy one queer will find a confused guy and play on his desire for sex.Cause thats all it is, empty sex.What guy wants another guys penis in his ass?Thats sadism.I dont want to see homosexuals hurt, or pissed on constantly.But it realy is a unhealthy way of living.If it wasnt then how come soooo many of them have aids??Yeah anyone can get aids but it spreads like a grass fire among queers.Being gay can also happen when a guy is realy imasculated, like being touched as a child or terribly humiliated.Thats just sad.It also proves its a mental disorder.Before `62 there was a psychological treatment.Before rich homosexuals began manipulating the media and trying to convince everyone its ok.Thats all it was, Elton John and afew other rich gays (mostly in the entertainment industry( manipulated media to make there abominable way of living possible… and even accepted.As I said before with womens its allready in them abit, with guys something has to bring it on.Everything I said here Ive even spoken with friends of mine who are gay.Even though they dont change the way they live (and yes I did make 1 gay friend of mine straight but that took alot of work) they do admit most of what I say is true, but in this day and age its not right.The act of homosexuality disgusts me and realy there is nothing normal about it.If you think or try and convince yourself otherwise your just buying into bullshit. So until Rupaul Plays Bishop in the upcoming X-Men movie….

    make mine heterosexuality

  2. Rad Geek

    “yo” and “TruePerson” make several puzzling points. Or I should say, they make several puzzling attempts at points, because part of what puzzles me is what the point they are trying to make is.

    There is much else that is objectionable in their posts. For example, “TruePerson”‘s bald assertion that men cannot be intimate with one another sounds more like a personal confession than a reasonable generalization. “yo” seems to think that calls for tolerance from LGBT people just come about because they have nothing better to do but complain; but as the article above made clear, calls for tolerance are nothing less than a matter of life or death. “TruePerson” thinks that the success of the gay rights movement (such as it has been) has been primarily due to the media manipulations of a few rich gay men (that Elton John is the only example he can come up with is, perhaps, telling), rather than the 35 years of organized political struggle from Stonewall onward (an event, no doubt, that was fostered and manipulated by the awesome financial power and elite media connexions of New York City street kids and trannies). And so on.

    But all of this is quite beyond the point. The original article to which they respond is an article on the brutal violence and humiliation that many LGBT youth have to endure every day in high school. Now, “yo” and “TruePerson” may think that homosexuality is a bad thing to engage in. Fine. But the article wasn’t about whether homosexuality is a bad thing to engage in; it was about anti-gay violence and harassment. Do “yo” and “TruePerson” think that is justified? If not, then what point is there in going out of your way to respond to an article on it by saying how much they disapprove of homosexuality? If so, then what possible basis could they have for this belief?

  3. Mark

    Queers, queers, queers..if scientists could only find a cure for that disease the world would be a better place.

  4. Dan

    Bigots, bigots, bigots…if scientists could only find a cure for that diesease the world would be a better place.

— 2005 —

  1. ronald

    it just makes me sick, being a gay indivual to hear people say that gays should not have the same rights as strait people. i also hate when people are all like “those damn homosexuals can choose to be gay or straight”, NO WE CAN’T!!!!! Its not a choice, and if we could choose, dont you think that half the peole that are gay would be gay if they had the choice to be strait. Another thing that i dont understand is why people have such a problem with homosexuality!! its not a disease that you’ll catch or whatever. just because we are diffrent than “staight” people does not make us any less a person. its kinda like if we gay people would try to abolish the rights for straight people to marry. well thats what we feel like. its discrimination in and out. I bet some people dont even know what homosexual means. it means a person who likes one of the same sex. yeah, its not a sin, nor disease, its just simply who we are.

— 2006 —

  1. Graham

    you my freind should just get a life. You are an evil son of a bitch so full of hatred, makes me wonder if you have a sexual orientation at all. Maybe you should be the one to move to haiti, the perfect place for sadistic oppressors like yourself.

  2. Alex Gregory

    Anyone have a link to that study suggesting that homophobes tend to be closet homosexuals?

    Get a grip, deal with it. Sex is fun: Who cares how its done and with who?

    Oh, and the classic “its not natural”. I see: you’ve never engaged in oral sex then?

    Homophobes make me sick.

  3. Roderick T. Long

    Another point: why should it matter so much, other than as a question of purely intellectual curiosity, whether sexual orientation is “a choice” or not? (My own suspicion is that the precise mix of biological, environmental, and volitional determinants of sexual orientation varies from person to person. But whatever.) If homosexuality were bad, then it would make sense to be concerned with whether gays could “help” their bad orientation or not, i.e., whether they were blameworthy or not. But no one has ever offered any cogent argument as to why homosexuality should be considered bad. (Using body parts contrary to their natural function? You do that whenever you use your nose as a perch for your glasses.) And if there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, the urgency of deciding how far it’s voluntary is rather diminished. To what extent is my preference for rock and classical music over country music the product of my choices? I have no idea. Does it matter?

  4. Rad Geek

    Roderick:

    Another point: why should it matter so much, other than as a question of purely intellectual curiosity, whether sexual orientation is “a choice” or not?

    Aside from some terminological cavils — I suspect that not being up to us, in some important sense, is a constituent part of the notion of “sexual orientation;” I’m also inclined to believe that “sexual orientation” is a myth or perhaps even an anti-concept — I think that this is exactly right. I make a similar point in GT 2004-12-12: It’s not a birth defect, dummy.

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