A Gay High School In Chicago?
Okay kids, get a vodka and ready yourselves for this one. Just when I thought there was nothing left on this planet worth getting all "riled" up about...BAM! I just read online that there was a meeting last week in Chicago about creating a "gay" high school. A gay high school in Chicago? - Don't Get Me Started!
What I don't think any of you are going to believe is that I'm completely 100% against this whole idea. You want to make a school for "the arts" or certain trade professions for kids who want to spend as much time as they can focusing on what they all ready know they want to do for a career - as long as the academic requirements are solid I say, "go for it." But creating a school for kids who are gay is to not only ostracize them even more from society but it teaches them that there are only going to be certain places in this world where you can be gay. As the online world has shown (and as my grandmother used to say) "The gays are everywhere." Though I suspect that they have always been everywhere, it is no longer about the gay Mecca of San Francisco (thank God) it's become about being who you are where you are and being okay with it as well as everyone else around you. Sure if you're living on a compound where they raise young girls like puppies at a puppy mill to be married off and bred by "elders" then you probably aren't going to be around too many gay people but anywhere else my friends and you can find them. If your problem as a gay man is finding other gay men in whatever remote (or not so remote) location you live in - get online or do what gays have done for years before there was an Internet (what? Now you're talking crazy, Scott! There was a time before the Internet?) back in the day, you could easily find "the gays" by going to stereotypical hangouts and from all I've heard, they still exist. If that fails, see if you can't make an appointment to have your hair done by your mother's hairdresser, "Mr. Philip" trust me when I say Mr. Philip is dialed in.
The thing that I object to about a high school for gays is that once again, the straightees find it way too easy to just remove the folk that aren't like them or what they want their kids to be. Yes, of course you should be thinking the same things you think of today when you think of the civil rights movement and whiteys everywhere not wanting those black children in their schools. What makes me even more insane than the straightees wanting to send the gays to Leper High is the fact that somewhere someone with a degree (most likely) thinks it's a good idea too. And I'm sad to say that it may even be a homosexual.
I've often written about being called a "fag" and being beaten up every day of my four years of high school. Was it fun or did it make me feel comfortable? Hell no. But I still got good grades, managed to be the star of the theatre department and much to my amazement, at my twenty year reunion more people came up to me and told me that they thought I was courageous by just being who I was in high school causing a true cathartic experience for me and putting the whole four years into perspective. (Of course the sad part about that is that I thought I was a better actor than that and was doing a great job at "passing" for straight back in the day) My point is that all the clichés of the world are true, life can be hard, children can be cruel and you shouldn't put your tongue on a hot stove. (Okay, just threw that last one in there for my own amusement)
My high school experience was far from easy but it taught me how to co-exist with people who couldn't stand me (for whatever their reasons were) and guess what? Life is exactly like that too. Of course I want all kids to be safe when they go to school (I think we have more to worry about from the kids with guns that have emotional problems than the bullies but that's just me) and it would be a perfect world if there were no bullying but it's simply not the world we live in (Please see how the Bush administration has tried unsuccessfully to bully the world). Certain things just can't be made easier. Yes, we have a microwave that can heat crap food up for us to eat in seconds so that we can get even fatter but learning that there are people out there who are not going to like you because you're gay, black, fat or any other number of things is a valuable lesson and in my opinion shouldn't be taken away from kids.
The question isn't about how much easier it would be to put all the gays on the Island of Misfit toys (a recurring theme from straightees about gays of all shapes, sizes and ages by the way) it's what the school systems are going to do to better educate students, teachers and parents about tolerance? Look, I can hate everything about you (including that blouse you're wearing right now that you insist upon wearing even though I've told you it makes you look pregnant) but I've learned that I can still sit beside you without throwing up or committing some violent act against you. It's called self control and although it may not be popular among the current parent groups, there are times when you have to tell your children, "no" and demand more from them. That's right, all of those "family values" groups that don't want gays to raise children are forgetting a golden rule when it comes to their own children, "treat others as you would like to be treated."
The good news is that even when dinosaurs roamed the earth when I was in high school, there were kids there who were not afraid to be seen with me and even came to my defense at times. No, these were not the stereotypical fat girls that you're thinking of my friends but actual jocks whose parents had taught them something or perhaps they found out on their own, that hatred gets you nowhere and while it may make you feel better about yourself at the time for some fleeting moments to be "accepted" by the gang by bullying someone it's really about your inability to accept yourself that causes you to lash out and your own self hatred cuts so much deeper when you're alone with yourself. So while I think they'd have a divine cheering squad (all male of course) and the teen lesbians could build a car faster than any boys at the regular high school, here's one gay that thinks the whole thing is just another bad idea. A gay high school in Chicago? - Don't Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com