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03 July 2008


eleanor roffman

this is a great article, addresses the issue of gender polarization as well as gay bashing. kids are learning that there is not one way to be who one is.

interestingly, schools are unsafe for most kids; sexual harassment against female students, gay bashing, and violence makes many schools unhealthy environments. the mirror they provide for our society is not a pretty picture!

teachers and administrators need to recognize this issue and teach all the responsible adults how how to be positive role models and have zero tolerance for abuse.

there are projects that do address these concerns and information that can support the implementation of healthier school environments for everyone.

thanks for bringing this to light

Gema Gray

Sigh. :-(

Katz, I have been mentoring a college sophmore who has recently come out as bisexual. Her mother, ardently anti-GLBT has asked her to leave their home, so as not to "pollute" the unborn child she is carrying with her new man. Thankfully, her more enlightened grandparents are taking her in.

She was *so* excited to finally have a sibling (20 years is a long time to wait!), and it was *so* hard for her to finally admit to herself and the world that she was bisexual that she is now utterly crushed. The stress is making her ill. Beyond showing her love and acceptance and suggesting she visit the college counseling service for support, can you suggest other venues where she could get specific support?

I'm posting this in the hope that your response may serve to help others in similar circumstances.

Sue Katz

You make a very important point Eleanor: that schools can be wretched places for so many of our kids. (And I would say the same about other "respected" institutions, like some families and closed fundamentalist communities.) Bullying has ratcheted up to new levels via new Media, whether around sexuality, race, gender, looks - all sorts of difference.
And Gema, I'll do some research and get back to you with further resources, but BAGLY, mentioned in the article, is a local agency working with young people around sexuality. I hope your mentee can recognize that it is her mother whose ideas are polluted, not her own honest feelings.

Dr. Susan Corso

I'm so glad you wrote about these gender warriors, Sue. Bravi to them!

Stephen Weinstein

Sue - Your alternet/blog article about GLBT teens was informative and insightful. As I read it on July 4th, when we celebrate the birth of our freedom and independence, it was a reminder that the struggle for these ideals continues. It was a reminder that as humans our insecurities impel us to mold the world to fit a narrow construct rather than value and appreciate the richness of diversity. It was a reminder that a democracy continually requires thoughtful individuals to define and reinforce the meaning of freedom.


great essay! my 62-year-old lesbian sister in ft. collins, colorado is the advisor to the GSA in the high school where she works, which is an experience she treasures. as much support as the school provides lgbt kids, they still aren't protected from hate speech, threats and violence--even though sometimes the perps are punished. and the range of parental response runs the gamut from loving and advocating for a gay child to being kicked out of the family, as we heard about from gema.
katz, you're always spot-on with the right topic for the moment. i forward your blogs more than any other!
yr fan,


Great article Sue!!! I'm always amazed by how threatened some people feel about differences. More surprising is why so many feel the need to actually give a damn about someone else's sexuality.

How many of those doing the most harassing and bashing of alternate sexualities profess to be devout Christians?

For a nation that preaches tolerance of differences, this country sure is one puritanical, closed-minded, INtolerant land!

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