Dear California, What if you were Ohio?

Well, that would suck. You’d be stuck with Cleveland as a part of you, which would probably be upsetting. You’d be in an unfortunate location, and many Americans would not be able to find you on a map. And you’d have to have laws about how to drive when there is a horse and buggy on the road.

And on top of that, you’d get the distinction of being the WORST state to be gay and in high school–because, according to GLSEN, Ohio students encounter the greatest instances of anti-LGBT bullying, sexist comments, and above all, ridiculously high rates of negative usage of the word “gay” (this number is at something like 98% of students).

SEE, CALIFORNIA? This is why we need to actually talk about the LGBTQ community in schools. Remember what I said last night about 23% of students bullied for their sexuality trying to commit suicide? And now look at the stats about the frequency of these comments (you can just look at the source article, but its upwards of 90%)–it’s like I’m trying to tell you something here!

Oh wait…I am. And what I’m saying is, we need to make it less taboo to talk about being gay. We need to stop telling kids that it’s wrong to be gay, that gay people are not Americans the same way that I am an American, or George Bush was an American, or Michelle Bachmann (who I’m still not convinced has ever opened an American History textbook, ever, but she’s still American!). Forget the marriage thing. I’ll talk to you more about the marriage thing at some other time. I’m talking about making it okay to discuss these things in school. About acknowledging history as it actually happened.

Oh, and on the subject of Ohio? According to GLSEN’s report, 1 in 3 LGBT students in Ohio has been physically harassed (like pushed or shoved) because of how they express their gender and 1 in 4 has been physically assaulted (kicked, punched, threatened w/ a weapon, etc) because of their sexuality.

Now, I know what conservatives are going to say: GLSEN has an agenda. They could be inflating those statistics. But I doubt they are–especially when the Campus Climate Survey also reports high instances of bullying and homophobic comments on campuses across the country. Even if these numbers ARE slightly inflated, and let’s say it’s only 1 in, I don’t know, 5, that’s still way to high to keep ignoring the problem. And the only way to combat this kind of issue is by talking about it, by making it so that its not something considered shameful, by telling kids that there have been great LGBTQ Americans.

So California, STAY STRONG. Don’t give in to these conservatives who are ALREADY working to overturn this bill. Stand by what you know is right–history lessons that teach all of history, not just the parts we feel like discussing. Stand by the LGBTQ community, especially as its members fight to survive high school, which is hard enough even if you’re straight, forget if you’re being labeled “deviant”. DON’T MAKE THIS ANOTHER PROP 8.

And Ohio, for heaven’s sake, I know that you probably can’t clean up Cuyahoga River, but please, try to clean up your act in your schools, those statistics are just embarrassing.


If you’re unsure what I’m talking about with California’s new education laws in THIS post, please check out the previous post entitled “If Ignorance Is Bliss, Shouldn’t America Be Happier?”


~ by Randi Saunders on July 16, 2011.

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