Skip to comments.Students explore lesbian, gay issues
Posted on 03/18/2003 2:02:08 PM PST by steplock
Students explore lesbian, gay issues
Date Tuesday, March 18 @ 13:55:52
Newark Memorial High panel tells students about acceptance
The Argus On-Line
NEWARK -- The 150 students seated in the theater closed their eyes.
"Imagine living in a world where everyone is gay except you," high school drama instructor Barbara Williams told them. "In the hallways, all you see are boys and boys holding hands and girls and girls holding hands, and you would like to hold hands with a member of the opposite sex, but you dare not because of the comments that would be made about you."
The exercise was part of a panel discussion held last week at Newark Memorial High School about local homophobia.
A panel of about 15 people -- mostly students and parents -- shared various stories. Some panel members were gay. Some were parents of gay children. Others participated last fall in Newark Memorial's production of the "Laramie Project," a play about a Wyoming college student killed because he was gay.
Though the discussion was spurred by both the play and the killing of local transgender teen Eddie "Gwen" Araujo, its focus was on attitudes about homosexuality.
One gay student stressed that his relationship with the mainstream student body has been relatively harmonious -- though he has endured some name-calling.
"We're not here to say, 'We're hella-troubled, please feel sorry for me,'" he said. "I go out and party and stuff. You're automatically in the heterosexual world until you come out -- and you don't change (as soon as you do)."
But all panel members said grappling with issues surrounding homosexuality has been difficult.
Panel member Pat Skillen said her reaction to hearing her son was gay was to run into the bathroom and cry.
"I didn't get dressed for three days," she said.
Skillen said she found solace and understanding in the local chapter of Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, a group for people whose lives have been affected by homosexuality.
Skillen urged students not to tolerate name-calling.
"The only thing evil needs in order to succeed is for good people to say nothing," she said. Silence, she added, has abetted in the oppression of other groups, such as African Americans and Jews.
Comparison to others criticized
But not everyone in the audience found the message palatable.
"Gay people have not gone through what Jewish people or black people have gone through," student Mike Capri-Dowdy said. "I don't think it's a proper analogy."
His comment drew applause -- and the ire of many who disagreed.
"Discrimination is discrimination," student panel member Felicity Morris shot back amid the chatter that ensued.
Another student in the audience drew cheers when he said he is proud to be a straight white male.
"Part of me feels left out," he said. "I don't have a Straight Pride parade."
But the students also applauded and cheered supportively after hearing a gay student's mundane yet compelling account of how coming out has hurt his relationship with his parents, who grounded him when they learned of his sexual orientation.
'One step at a time'
"Just last weekend I smashed my car and felt like I couldn't talk to them," he said. "Not being able to talk or get along with your parents is one of the most difficult things."
Williams, who meandered through the audience with a microphone, said attitudes improve "one little step at a time.
"When you hear the word 'fag,' " she said, "it takes you saying, 'Don't say that.'"
Staff writer Rob Kuznia covers Newark for The Argus.
(510) 353-7004 or
The Argus, March 9, 2003
P.O. Box 5100, Fremont, CA, 94537
|This article comes from Arkansas Publik Skulze
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I work in San Francisco - I don't have to imagine it. ;)
All right. The first few years are tough . . . but then they all get the ass-flu and die, and I get to keep their stuff.
What an interesting thought experiment.
Now how in the hell is this supposed to happen? In addition to being obscene, this scenario is biologically impossible. A homosexual society would last exactly one generation. There would be no hallways, drama teachers, or anything else.
It's a crying shame what our schools have turned into. This teacher should be jailed for public obscenity and corruption of minors.
It cracks me up when people ask, aren't you concerned that by homeschooling your children you are depriving them of needed socialization skills?
I usually start out by pointing them to an article like this.
What is this BS? Do you really need a parade? Give me a break.
Right. And for how many generations has this situation existed? Of course, you have to understand these people. Sometimes they they have their heads in strange places, and sometimes they are confused about other parts of their anatomy.
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