For every one person saying something here, there must be many who read and don’t comment. That’s tempting for me because I really don’t want to be drawn into some of negativity that can develop in such discussions. I’ve appreciated something about what everyone has written, and disagreed with a lot too. I’ll try to convey my thoughts here; forgive me if I write alot, but I do not usually comment (as you can tell by my not knowing how to quote in the box properly) and do not want to be misunderstood.
QUOTE from ChrisJ: “i was raised in a disfuntional christian home, and as such i have developed a deep seated hatred for religion in any form. they are the most intolerant, hypocritical, anal retentive self loving humans you will ever meet.”
I recognize ChrisJ’s anger at so-called-religious intolerance (it’s about the opposite of Jesus’ life!!). Were you refering to particular people you grew up with or religious people in general? I know as many deeply moral people who are not religious as are. (And by moral I mean loving, tolerant, kind, trying to help others, etc. much like Stardog Champion’s definition: "the most basic moral values transcend all cultures. Respect one another. Don’t hurt people. ") In other words, some of those religious types, perhaps like Dr Martin Brokenleg, are not hypocrites and are going to react to being called that.
However, there are some funny misunderstandings and contradictions with the attack (criticism?) on the qya. For instance, ismellfish wrote: “Like Chris J, I was somewhat homophobic growing up. I am not now but I am not ready to tell my teenage son that it is ok for him to bring a girl home on Friday and a guy on Saturday. It’s unfair for society as a whole to expect people to change so dramatically in such a short time.” I might be concerned if my son brought home a boy one day and a girl the next - I’d ask him how serious he was, whether they knew about each other, and perhaps be concerned he was being promiscuous. But that’s not about the gender of who he’s bringing home, but about the timing. ismellfish, you don’t want to be homophobic, which I appreciate; do you mean you would have a problem with your son ‘bringing home’ a boy? And if you did feel something about it, as many of us who grew up homophobic (very few don’t!), would you have that be your own issue to work out, or would you convey your disapproval to your son? Your son’s as likely to find himself attracted to a boy as any of us, but less likely to let you know about it (or feel okay about himself) if you aren’t letting him know you don’t think that is wrong.
Regarding society expecting us to change, I think you might be concerned that society is changing - ‘it’ is just us collectively. Think of the changes wider society expected individuals and communities in the southern states to make since the fifties (civil rights movement). Many did change, some didn’t but their kids did (and felt more distant from them for the difference). Its not surprising to read something written by a white southerner in the sixties that is racist, and we can appreciate why they might be that way. But for their black neighbours to take it, we wouldn’t expect that. In other words change might be hard, and might have a ‘maximum speed’ for you or any of us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change. Black people in the south (and everwhere) deserved that change (not that it’s complete yet).
The hundreds of us in Rupert who are parents, students in grade-school, your neighbours, siblings, and cousins, also deserve change. We are hiding less and less, down on ourselves less and less (though gay teens are still committing suicide far more often than those fitting the straight mold), and some of us are even asking for support in doing the things straight folks take for granted. If you fear equality, the day (that still may never come) when gay relationships are valued as much as straight ones, then rest assured we’re not there yet. As far as I know, there are no images in our schools of same sex couples. Not even the QYA poster dared putting one on (even an email address was considered risky). But the movie posters, or images of families, will have men and women together (heterosexual relationships). Any movie at the local theatre, even kid’s movies, will have men and women at least kissing (and great!).
Which brings me to another misunderstanding. The QYA is not a ‘sexual group’ any more than lunch at a highschool cafeteria (well, less so even); it’s a social group. As chiefdave wrote: “I don’t think that the school system is shoving anything down you childeren’s throats, it is merely providing a place in the system for the gay and lesbian population(not that there is anything wrong with that! sorry couldn’t resist) of youth in the communitty. In my opinion, It is making the system all inclusive and promoting awareness, instead of ignorance. This is not stopping you from teaching and passing on the morals which were taught to you.”
And if you think this is special interest, okay; perhaps all such special interest groups should apply to the district for site hosting. Special interest is a charged term we use to say not of wider social importance. Bird-watching? Wrestling? Oh, wait, wrestlers are supported with public space and money (and a good thing). Except we don’t hear kid’s using the term ‘wrestler’ as a synonym for useless or disgusting. I don’t think we have a recent history of killing or beating up individuals in our society for being wrestlers. I’m also pretty sure certain that being a wrestler is a choice, but even most conservative churches, such as the Catholic Church (the Church of my own family) acknowledges same-sex attraction as common; it’s only when you develop intimacy with those who you feel attracted to that they say you commit a sin against God.
Before voting in favour of supporting the QYA, school board members talked about wanting to support our kids in schools, knowing that gay kids are still targeted and have little ‘safe’ space to be themselves with their peers (or anyone else). The support came with a district regulation to support gay, lesbian, and transgendered students and staff, and went along with Canada’s constitutional commitment to end discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgendered Canadians. The school district was named on the QYA site when it was set up because they are the technical host. But the Prince Rupert QYA was already supported by many individuals and organizations including Northern Health, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Prince Rupert Teachers’ Union, Options for Sexual Health (was Planned Parenthood), and the Over the Rainbow Guild.
Thankyou anyone who took the time to read all of this post. Although we may disagree, I really hope not to have offended anyone. I know that some people want to argue, but I think sometimes it’s just about understanding what each other are saying.