Friday, May 02, 2008

Just Be Angry

The school my son attends could not get it together to put out a notice to inform parents that he would be participating in a Day of Silence. He is sitting in his class today, with his sign on his chest, proud. Confident.

And a young lesbian woman was shot and killed in Florida.

Another black gay youth has been gunned down in Fort Lauderdale. Shanesa Conaway, 22, was shot to death on April 26 during a domestic dispute between her partner, Shameca Davis and Kevin Cartwright, the father of Davis' two children.

Conaway and Davis had a commitment ceremony on Valentines this year and had been raising Davis's two children together. Witnesses and family members say that one of the big issues Cartwright had with Davis was her relationship with Conaway. Police are not investigating this as a hate crime, however, but as a domestic dispute.”

I wonder, did the school administration ever stop to think they teach about the civil rights movement of the sixties? Without a second thought, images of Blacks being bitten by dogs and hosed down by police are open for discussion. Do they not realize they teach, openly and passionately, about Martin Luther King, Jr., who was shot to death? A victim of a hate crime, the kind of hate crime my son Zachary is protesting today?

They can’t really say it’s ‘scary’ to talk about LGBT victims of crime. They teach about violence and war as a part of the approved curriculum. You know, the American Revolution, the Civil War… is that violence acceptable because it’s perceived as heterosexual?

No, the reality is anything LGBT is suddenly only about sexual behavior. Not a civil rights movement but sex. Not a human agenda but a sexual one.

They are wrong. It is about how we are treat each other as individuals. It is about bullying, name calling, and exclusion, all very real issues to kids. Tell Lawrence King LGBT hate didn’t come to school and shoot him in the head during first period English class.

And yes, I'm angry. I'm tired of being treated like a second class citizen. I'm tired of being the good little lesbian who comes into the school and doesn't ask for inclusive books to be added to the classroom, doesn't push the agenda to include LGBT issues, who waits to have permission slips sent home so no one is offended by my legally sanctioned relationship. I don't rock any boats so my children won't be isolated as the ones with the trouble-making parents.

My son is in school today, doing his protest. He is only ten. He doesn’t understand all the nuances, he certainly doesn’t understand why mentioning a movement that affects his parents requires a permission slip.

Shanesa Conaway is dead. Her partner Shameca Davis is recovering in the hospital from her gunshot wounds. Please don’t be surprised that not a single mainstream paper has written about this.

Just be angry.

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Blogger (no subject) said...

i WILL be angry. i AM angry. i join you in your anger.

please tell zachary that he is an inspiration, that as a ten-year-old doing what he is doing is a very noble thing and that he should be very proud of himself.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Yes -- please do tell Zachary that we are all extremely proud of him. He has courage and conviction that the school administration, and society in general, lacks.

Why do we have to lose the innocence of children, who understand when things are simply "right" and "wrong"?

2:26 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Our children are our best teachers.
I KNOW how proud you are of your son.
I KNOW how angry I am because this stupid culture can't see past what's between legs and what goes where in relationships. It's sick and sorrowful and wrong but maybe, just maybe, our kids will change things.
My son has changed things by his actions and he continues to do so and I am so proud of him and the way he lives that I can't even begin to describe it.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What to do next? Ask Zachary. And keep in mind your obligation to keep him safe.

You know what Zachary is standing up for. You know what the school administrators who kept you from speaking are standing up for.

So do they.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was stupid, reminding you to think about Zachary's safety. I'm sorry.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I always think about the kids safety. It is a constant push/pull about this blog. I do believe, however, as do jeanine, walter and allan, that the benefits out weigh the danger.

but I do think about it.

I know.

thank you.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous donald said...

as a friend and observer, you all should know that NO one cares for their children like sara, jeanine, allan and walter. every challenge, every action, every problem, is considered carefully and with the kids best interest in mind.

zachary is a great and caring kid, as are ben and jake. they are the products of a loving and caring family situation. better than a lot of my straight friends family situations. different, yes, but wrong, no way. keep it up!!

by the way, has he stopped talking today yet? LOL like a friend of mine once told me, she could talk on the exhale AND the inhale!

9:15 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Donald, that's why I apologized. Nobody could read a single post from this blog without knowing how Sara cares and worries about her kids. My saying to think of Zachary's safety was *monumentally* stupid.

Sue, I agree that kids see things more clearly than we do sometimes, but I'm beginning to suspect Zachary has the same kind of wiring my younger son Robert does. While I may puzzle over a situation trying to figure out the right thing to do , Robert just takes a look and sees what's right and what's wrong.

And then he tells you! No matter who you are.

Sara, I don't envy you at all if Zachary turns out like that. Oh sure, we all *say* we want our kids to turn out to be better people than we are. But when they know that they're right and you're wrong....

Apologies for the confusing bylines on my earlier posts. I've been fooling with OpenID, and I've discovered it doesn't love me.

2:32 PM  
Blogger phil_in_ny said...

I hear ya! It's crazy to think that educators still equate GLBT issues with sexual behavior.

I think what freaks me out more is the fact that you live in Mass where you think all would be fine. Not so much.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Zach, you are an amazing young man.....we can only hope that people will learn from your strength and your courage.

And Bravo to you Sara, Jeanine, Allan and Walter

5:14 PM  
Blogger Nulaanne said...

Zachary is one brave kid. He obviously loves his moms very much to do something so brave.

You are right about the papers. Here there was nothing on the story, but then there was nothing on the Day of Silence either.

What I am most angry about is that my girlfriend and I have to hide our relationship. At least for now.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

nulaanne? you know what frustrating? we are legally married just like everyone else.

yet it takes a permission slip to talk about our family?

10:20 AM  
Blogger Fortune Cookies said...

The best thing that I've learned, for my own sanity,in my life long struggles has been this: "strive for progress rather than perfection". In this case, progress is certainly being made. When I was a 10 year old little budding lesbian, I could not have dared to do what Zachary is doing. Progress. There was 1 "out" lesbian in my high school, and my wife had none in her's. Today, there are many out gay and lesbian kids in schools. The more progress we make, the easier it becomes for children to accept and understand that people are people, no matter who they love. These stories do make me angry. Angry that they don't get publicity. Angry that we still can not get protected under hate crime laws in so many states. Angry that there is still so much progress to be made. But progress is definately better than stagnation. We'll get there, we just have to keep working diligintly at it, lest we may backslide. As today's children grow up, having been exposed and acclimated to the normalcy of the broad spectrum of all people,they will carry that view of acceptance into tomorrow's government and tomorrow's laws.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, im only 13 but i am doin a report on lgbt and i came across this. I also participated in the day of silence and my science teacher gave me detention for it. Some of my other friends went to detention with me the next day. Then she is like, do you know what you did wrong, and i said, im sorry but i dont beleave i didnt anything wrong. Then i told my mom and got switched out of that class

11:30 PM  

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