This Bill. This massive red flag of a Bill is going to do nothing but add fire to what is already an out of control bonfire of a divide in this country. The way the general public receives information these days is dangerous. Not only because there is seemingly nowhere simple to go to get unbiased reports of current events, but because when people do try and seek out truth, it’s never enough. Whatever news outlet you are familiar with is likely in direct opposition to someone you are arguing, discussing, or debating with about a given topic. Are we all supposed to become investigative journalists just to simply find out facts about an event or current state of the world? I will not devote hours of my evenings tracking down and cross referencing news stories. I will consider where the content is coming from and sort of skew it accordingly and even that is unacceptable.
So I’m minding my own business scrolling FB last weekend, as one does when avoiding housework, homework, or exercise, and I came across the SNL video of Kate McKinnon talking about this “Dont Say Gay Bill”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv_6Kzk1fHs
Because our household no longer has cable – we only have streaming services – I have not been keeping up even remotely close to news stories. It’s been kind of nice, actually. However, this floored me. Was this really happening? Was a Bill actually being passed preventing schools from using LGBTQ lingo? That’s not possible, right?!
In discussing this topic with my son and his boyfriend, I then find out that the Bill was actually funded in part by Disney.
This last tidbit had me seriously questioning facts. This was where I went searching for actual information I could interpret for myself. (Disney did not directly fund the Bill itself, but it seems they have contributed in the direction of those who wrote and voted the Bill through)
Here’s is the actual Bill:
And here is what led me to it:
I understand the effects of hyperbole. I do. I use it often myself to invoke interest, humor, overall emotion. This Bill is a powder keg for this already unstable and electrified country.
Everyone Caucasians are clamoring for their rights for some reason. White folks have had a hint of the government suggesting and requesting action being taken. (Insert vaccination opinions and medical facts here) Immediately this got push back. Immediately “NO!”. Immediate middle finger to the government, but more specifically to the “leftist” government, so mandates had to be enacted.
Call me crazy, but when in the entirety of American History have white people ever been politely suggested to do something? Abolishing slavery, segregation, Desegregation, smog checks, get a license to fish and shoot scaly and furry things, taxes … Am I missing something here? The underlying racism and sexism and bigotry have always been in our country but for some reason the election of one very simple simpleton and overinflated raging narcissist has unraveled our nation. That was the beginning of the crack in the foundation, in my government uneducated, non political point of view this was the beginning of the end – regardless of which side you voted for.
We stopped being able to politely disagree. We were no longer able to openly debate and communicate thoughts. Our political alignment labeled each other as “good” or “bad”.
So now here we sit. We have a bunch of revved up white Floridians who are so bothered that they do not have control over one small percentage of a population, that at the detriment of the mental health of an entire group of humans they are willing to pass a law “protecting their rights as parents”.
Listen. I have so many scattered and emotional angry thoughts bouncing around in my head about all of this, I am going to try and tether them to this post and I am sorry if it’s all over the place. It’s the best I can do at the moment.
Gay people exist in this world. Lesbians are walking among us. Bisexual human beings are behind you in line at Starbucks. Asexual people are cutting your hair. Nonbinary folks are delivering your mail. Transgender people are depositing your paycheck. These human beings exist whether you want them to or not. These people have families, friends, employers, children, siblings, and parents. Whether or not you approve of their existence has zero effect on their life or yours. Your life is the same if they are here or not, as is theirs. The difference is – for now – there are more of the gender norm, vanilla run of the mill heterosexuals running the country. As is always the case, it is the responsibility of the majority to protect the minority. That’s humanitarianism. It’s pretty fucking simple. If someone relies on another entity to ensure their protection what does the majority have to lose in protecting them? Does it mean less protection for the majority? No.
Are there people in this world that do not agree with homosexuality, let alone all of the other letters in LBGTQ+ ? Yes of course! Again, I will say you do not have to agree with someone to respect their life. I don’t like ignorant bigoted condescending power hungry politicians, but that doesn’t stop them from existing. Does it mean I should make a law saying their life is not valid enough or relevant enough or agreeable enough to honor in a school discussion? Shall I strike the record of their existence for my own comfort and that of my family?
Why are we wasting time on creating laws about this stuff? Why are we involving schools?! I cannot even begin to suggest what a single elementary school sees in one school year in a k-6 setting. There is no “typical family”. There is no Norm. Every family is different, and there are so many stories out there. One middle class, well educated politician cannot speak to the reality of what life at an elementary school looks like. Since when did education become so important to politicians? Where is the funding? Where is the appropriate salary for school staff?! Why don’t we prioritize that before deciding what language and conversations teachers can and can’t have with their students.
Hey parents, let me let you in on a secret; For you loud-mouthed, demanding, all knowing, pushy, hovering, judgmental parents, you are the ones forcing the teachers out. You are the reason teachers are leaving in droves. These ridiculous policies you are insisting on make what is already a challenging and difficult job that much harder. How many of these education policy changers/makers have spent time in a classroom? How many have worked with learning disabled students, bullied students, neglected students, impoverished students, emotionally delayed students? Can you honestly say you know what is best? The trouble is you will say you know when you don’t. And therein lies the issue.
I can’t know what life as a gay second grader is like. I don’t know what it’s like to be a third grader who knows their body does not match what they know to be true on the inside. I have no idea what it feels like to be a sixth grader questioning their identity or sexuality. I’m a cisgender white female. What I do know and what I can say is that I recognize that someone else’s reality is not the same as mine and therefor I do not know. I can also say I’m not afraid to ask. I would love to know what a day in the life looks like, and I’d be completely humbled if a child would take the time to educate me on what they are feeling inside.
The people insisting on this legislation across the country are the very reason these kids rely on the supports and protection schools offer. We are willing to protect your kids. We are willing to endure the dangers of school shootings, we are willing to guide kids to emotional supports if we do not have the training to help them. There is a reason schools are a mandatory reporting entity to CPS. Not all parents are good and kind and nurturing, believe it or not. There is zero qualifications necessary to be a parent. No education, no licensure, no certifications even. Can you imagine what would happen if the TEACHERS started inducting Bills and Laws based on what they actually have to deal with in school?
But that’s not what we are talking about. Right now we are discussing the safety of LGBTQ+ humans. All of them. Kids, adults, parents, families, siblings, teachers, principals. The more barriers you create for this population, the more damage you are doing to the community and your own quality of life. Society has finally turned a corner in the normalizing of words like “non binary” and “preferred pronouns”, why go backwards? Is it yet respected and a non-issue? No, but we are a hell of a lot farther with this than we were ten years ago, why would we go back? Let the next generation be more informed and better socially educated than we are! What is the harm in a teacher introducing themselves to their new class at the beginning of the year that the photos of their family include a same sex partner? What is the harm in relating a teachable moment to something that happened with your own child who happens to be gay?
Teachers are not recruiting small children into their homosexual army. I promise. There is no indoctrination of bisexual second graders at recess. Stop putting limits on learning for these kids, and start looking at what will open up the world for them instead of closing it off!
I cannot imagine a world without my fifteen year old son. I can, however, imagine a world without bigotry and violence and hate over something you have no control over. What will it take to put the focus back on opening up the world for our kids instead of shutting it down?