The pressures faced by young people in the academic setting can be overwhelming. Academics, peer pressure, and family life are just a few of the things that can add undue stress to the life of a developing young man or woman. For students who are struggling with their sexual identity, the challenges they must face are even more difficult, sometimes even dangerous.
These students often face isolation and abandonment from friends and family members who are ill equipped to answer their questions or understand their dilemma. Everything from name-calling to vandalism is aimed at young men whose demeanor is even slightly feminine, or young women who come across as “butch” or masculine. As a result, many of these precious lives are lived in desperation, or ended in suicide.
Students who choose to seek help from a school teacher or counselor are usually referred to their community's lesbian and gay resource center or to their schools gay/straight alliance (GSA). Many of these groups are associated with an organization called the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
These GSA’s provide support for students who are questioning their sexual identity, but often neglect to offer students information on the process of changing their sexual orientation.
Camille Paglia, a self-identified lesbian, writes in her book: Vamps and Tramps:
Today, when a freshman has an affair with another girl [or boy], all the campus social-welfare machinery pushes her [him] toward declaring herself [himself] gay and accepting and 'celebrating' it. This is a serious mistake... It is absurd to say that one, two, or more homosexual liaisons make you 'gay' - as if lavender ink ran in your veins. Young women [men] are often attracted to each other during a transitional period when they are breaking away from their parents, expanding their world-views, and developing their personalities.
To identify these fruitful Sapphic idylls with a permanent condition of homosexuality is madness, and the campus counselors who encourage such premature conclusions should be condemned and banished. They are preying, for their own ideological purposes, on young people at their most vulnerable.1
One mother wrote of a GSA at her son's school:
If one is a questioning student, this [program] leaves them little escape from believing they are gay…if the GSA is to exist, it must acknowledge that the [gay-is-who-you-are] ideology is not the only ideology.2
John Stuart Mill, one of the greatest thinkers of the 19th century, wrote:
The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this.
This is not to suggest that everyone who hears a different viewpoint on homosexuality will change their opinions about it, but the inclusion of opposing views on any given subject in education is the basis for the development of critical thinking skills in developing young minds. It is one of the essential building blocks of effective education.
Therefore, students who approach a teacher or school counselor with questions about their sexuality should not be encouraged to instantly label themselves as homosexual. Rather, they should be given information from both sides of the debate regarding sexual orientation and development.
In other words, students should be allowed to think for themselves.
Inqueery can provide objective resources, personal testimonies, curriculum, and academic presentations for K-12 public school students and on college campuses.
If your school has had a homosexual group such as GLSEN, GLAAD, or PFLAG give a presentation on homosexual issues, ask your school's principal to allow Inqueery equal time. (We also make presentations for churches and community groups.)
Sample legislation is available that would require Equal Time to be given to the subject of homosexuality in school assemblies and counseling programs on a school by school basis. We encourage all our supporters to pass this legislation in their schools. If you encounter trouble, rally some other concerned parents to apply some pressure to your school district. Don't be afraid to call your local Family Policy Council for help finding engaged citizens in your town. There is also a Parental Permission form which requires that parents give permission before gay-oriented presentations are given in school. For a more detailed list of suggestions for getting the ex-gay perspective in schools, Click Here.
A great way to bring balance to the subject of homosexuality in your school is to donate one or more books from Inqueery's Recommended Reading list to your school library.
Chad Thompson is available to make Presentations in public schools, churches and community groups, and to represent the ex-gay viewpoint in public forums and debates surrounding the issue of homosexuality.
Note: Links to outside organizations do NOT constitute endorsement on behalf of Inqueery.
1 Camille Paglia, Vamps and Tramps (New York: Vintage Books, 1994). 2 Gay High School Clubs Put Students in Spotlight (www.NARTH.com).
Last Updated 4-4-06
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