Archive | February 2015

I Am Horrified To Live Here

It’s no secret that I’ve always had some issues with the county that I live in and the school district where I attend high school. However, I have never felt as angry at and ashamed of this place as I do right now.

I just read a article on LancasterOnline, which is the county’s newspaper’s website. The link to the full article is here: Story about a dress-wearing boy is read to Lampeter students; parents weren’t notified

In summary, the article is an embarrassingly ignorant news story about how a guidance counselor read to a class of kindergarten students at my home school district a book called Jacob’s New Dress and didn’t notify parents.

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I had the chance to read the children’s book the other day and found that it was a cute and extremely relevant story that emphasizes friendship, acceptance, having the freedom to wear whatever you want regardless of gender stereotypes, and overcoming bullying.

Here is one of the quotes from Lampeter-Strasburg’s superintendent: “It was never about proselytizing or promoting a lifestyle we recognize the community is uncomfortable with. The fact is that the book was read to a specific class to address a specific need of a specific student identified by our staff and parents.”

One parent argued that reading this book to students without prior notification was a “breech of trust” and asked the school board to restore trust and “do the right thing in the future.”

A pastor spoke up in the article saying, “I am not sure if ([superintendent] Peart) fully recognizes that they have done something very wrong.” He then goes on to say that he researched the book online and “was shocked to learn that most gay activists highly laud this book.”

He continues, “I am not suggesting that any of the school officials are pushing the gay agenda, yet their actions give the appearance that they are.
“The district needs to apologize, take responsibility and then publicly promise never to introduce this kind of material with this kind of agenda to our children.”

I hate to be so blunt, but are you shitting me?

What all of these white, cisgender, heterosexual men seem to be forgetting is the major damage that they are doing to their own children by enforcing a rigid gender binary. If a little boy is more comfortable wearing a dress than pants, it’s a million times less likely that they will even attempt to express themselves after all of this backlash. Attitudes and opinions like the ones expressed in this article perpetuate a culture of shame and smothering conformity for children and all people. This article is sending a strong message to any child or even a teenager or an adult that chooses to wear something that isn’t considered “the norm” by this community. The message is unfortunately that that type of individuality or free thinking is not welcome. Those people will likely internalize that idea and find that they themselves are not welcome.

As a member of the LGBT community and as a girl who has always had a tendency to dress in boys’ or mens’ clothes, I know that I certainly feel much less welcome where I live and go to school than I think I ever have.

This type of glorified prejudice is a disgrace to all of the progress that this country is making towards genuine equality.