March 25, 2013 |
Successful techniques to transform gays into straights are like Saddam's weapons of mass destruction; they don't exist but can still cause a lot of damage. So perhaps it's appropriate that a battle about banning "reparative" therapy for gay kids has erupted during the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war. Democrats in the New Jersey Senate, including gubernatorial nominee-in-waiting Barbara Buono, want to prohibit state-licensed professionals from practicing "conversion" therapy on minors.
November 2, 2009 |
Let's suppose, for a moment, that conservative critics are correct: Gay educators want to "promote homosexuality" in American schools. So what? That's the real question raised by the recent attacks on Kevin Jennings, the assistant deputy secretary of education who heads the federal Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Fifty-three House Republicans signed a letter last month calling on President Obama to fire Jennings, who founded the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network in 1990.
August 16, 2006 |
YOU LAUGHED at the commercial: a father joyfully tossing school supplies into a shopping cart, while his kids trudged along, to the music of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. " But for many gay and lesbian students, this is not a wonderful time. For some, summer offered a reprieve from taunting or even physical harm. For others, this summer is when they've come to realize that they are gay, and this fall will be either a return to the closet or the threat of harm. Some adults who ought to know better have shown that they are among the most intolerant.
August 18, 2003 |
New York City school administrators begin filtering back to work next week. Students will return next month. And Harvey Milk High will become reality. That's Harvey Milk as in the openly gay San Francisco politician who was famously murdered in 1978. Milk High, you see, is the nation's first public school for gay students. The school, which is actually an expansion of a program started two decades ago by a gay rights group, will cost $3.2 million. It is supposed to provide gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered teenagers a place to study without facing the experiences they often do in other public schools.
April 30, 2003 |
Benjie Nycum and Mike Glatze weren't sure what they would find when they began traveling the country two years ago to record the stories of gay youths. They certainly never expected they'd end up documenting a dramatic social shift. But it's all there on their Web site, younggayamerica.com: hundreds of stories that counter the stereotype of gay kids as harassed and suicidal. There's 17-year-old Liz, launching her Colorado town's first gay pride event; 15-year-old Emily, in Pipe Creek, Texas, happily counting herself among more than a dozen gay kids at her school; Nathan in tiny Waverly, Neb., talking nonchalantly about being the only out gay person at his high school.
July 18, 2000 |
Next month's big conference? You can keep those Republicans. Unless New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman pats down Pennsylvania Gov. Ridge inappropriately, what melodrama will there be? No, the coolest conference coming to Philadelphia will be the National Youth Advocacy Coalition's annual Northeast Regional conference, Aug. 11 to 13, that will feature some of the most inspiring - and inspired - people you will ever meet. Forget the thousands of delegates and journalists in town for George W. Bush's party.
October 14, 1999
There was a candlelight vigil in Laramie, Wyo., this week. About 600 people marked the first anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old gay student who was beaten, tied to a cross-rail fence and left to the elements. Shepard's murder stunned the nation into an awareness of anti-gay violence, and will continue to generate headlines as the second of Shepard's attackers goes on trial this week. But anti-gay prejudice affects our lives in ways not always immediately apparent.
March 16, 1998 |
In the last few years, schools throughout the Philadelphia area have formed groups to allow heterosexual and non-heterosexual students to meet, discuss issues, air differences, and just hang out. The "alliances" have made great strides toward forging a dialogue where silence once reigned. But individual school walls have proved just as daunting as the one between the majority and the minority. The days of isolation, at least on the Main Line, may finally be over. After two years of planning and preparation, the Main Line Youth Alliance is poised to bridge the gap, thanks to Lower Merion High School teacher Janice Pinto, Linda Ardao of Springfield High School in Delaware County, and dozens of gay and heterosexual volunteers.
October 14, 1997 |
John Kaye didn't get it. The Monmouth County, N.J., prosecutor told the press the teen-ager suspected of sexually assaulting and murdering another child became involved with a 43-year-old man he met through a "homosexual chat line" on the Internet. Kaye could not distinguish between a "homosexual" chat room - which this wasn't - and a site for pedophiles. The media almost got it. Only a handful went so far as to get comment refuting Kaye's observation, but at least most others, still stinging from their gross mishandling of the Andrew Cunanan case, referred to the site merely as an Internet chat room.
September 3, 1996 |
For the teen-age boy who realized this summer that he is gay, going back to school this month is not as simple as "what I did on my summer vacation. " For the lesbian teen who gained a welcome respite from taunts and abuse from schoolmates over the summer, going back is not, as the TV commercial parodies, "the most wonderful time of the year. " When I first began writing this column, a local gay youth activist advised me not to cast gay teens in the role of victim. Among the teens I've met and done volunteer work with, that was easy advice to follow.