“Don’t Say Gay!”

Little Chef Vedam

Something is occurring in 19 states across the US that some consider being for the betterment and safeguarding of our children. For those of us that are balking, we are being ridiculed and being called “too woke,” as if that is a negative thing. First of all, let’s address the word “woke” as used in this context. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines the term as being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” 

I will not bore you with all 200+ active bills currently in the 19 states that target LGBTQIA+: however, I am going to address a few! 

The Parental Rights in Education bill dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by LGBTQIA+ activists has passed both the Florida Senate and House. When this actual document was being drafted, we heard that other states (and Georgia being one of them) were drafting bills similar to this. Before we could even finish it, sure enough, Georgia did as well. 

Georgia has now introduced the “Common Humanity In Private Education Act,” which is very similar to the bill in Florida. This bill (SB 613) filed by Georgia State Sen. Carden Summers tackles both the teaching of “critical race theory” and the treatment of LGBTQIA+ issues in the classroom.

These bills and others like them ban public schools from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, and this has language that could extend to higher grade levels. This sounds benign; however, it goes much deeper than that. These bans also ban the discussion of gay parents and prohibit the teacher from discussing topics like this that are brought up in the classroom by students. Also, these bans would permit teachers to alienate specific students from participating in exercises and activities regarding drawing pictures of the child’s family or bringing in photos for a family tree exercise if they deviate from a heteronormative family. These bills also may allow the teacher or even demand the teacher to “out” a child if the child brings up questions about their own sexuality. 

Mentioning the teachers, with this bill and bills like this; it is the teachers that are going to catch hell! Yes, these teachers (that do NOT make what they already should compared to their worth, and what they do), are going to get caught in the middle. Generally speaking, teachers are doing it because they want the best for our young children, and many see beyond the immediate,. They truly just want to teach children about life, and its many facets, and then hold space for the child to than make their own decisions.

These bills also ban the teaching, mentioning, or discussing critical race theory, even though critical race theory is not typcially brought up until a young person is in college or graduate school!

Does this still sound benign to you? Let’s go a little deeper. These bills are supposed to protect children from these subjects; however, these subjects are not now, nor have they ever been part of any school’s curriculum. The people attempting to create these bills are spewing disinformation and wasting taxpayers’ money in the guise of protecting children from subjects that are NOT being taught. 

The bills say that those discussions should happen at home, rather than being discussed at school, and they should not be part of the school curriculum. The problem with that is in many situations, these discussions are NOT happening at home, and in many cases, these discussions are NOT safe for the child to have at home for fear of abuse, neglect, or worse yet, the child being kicked out of his/her/their home. According to True Colors Fund, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness in the LGBT community, 1.6 million youth are homeless each year. Up to 40 percent of them identify as LGBT. This goes on to say that over 50% of all teens get a negative reaction from their parents when they come out, 68% of teens experience family rejection for coming out, and 1 in 4 teens are forced to leave home…

Many of these children are finding a safe haven for themselves at school because they do not feel safe at home. This bill will take this safe haven away from those children. Some children turn to the church for safety, but that sure hasn’t revealed itself throughout history as being a safe haven either!

The politicians drafting these bills also say that children have their whole lives to sort out those sorts of things, and this should not be discussed now… If not now when, if not at home, and not at school, and not at church, where?

Let me tell you a little about my childhood which is not much different from many other stories I have heard from other gay and lesbian friends. I came out different from my siblings. I honestly do not know or remember if it was me who wanted to dress as a little girl, but my mother allowed it from time to time; it was considered “dress up or playtime.” I have pictures to prove it (you see the featured image on this post? Well, that is me “playing dress up!”. Because of that, and other reasons (such as my innate sensitive nature, my ability to sew and cook, and my love for fashion, hair, etc., from as young as I can remember), I was chastised and ridiculed by my father. He called me faggot and queer bait from as young as I can remember. He tried to beat masculinity into me. It wasn’t just my father, but also other family members, cousins, and elementary school classmates. Yes, kindergarten through third grade, just like the ones who will be affected by those bills right now. I had other adults who protected me, teachers that I could confide in, and a Mama who was an advocate for me; however, she could only do so much because she was afraid of my father! 

Those memories are highly triggering for me when these asshole politicians say that exposing these children to gay subjects will turn them gay. If this “exposure” quality were actual, then shouldn’t I have turned into a straight, redneck, hunting, farming, judgmental, misogynistic straight son of a bitch?

And, how dare you say that we are trying to turn your children gay? That is the farthest thing from the truth! We are attempting to help the kids like me, who have known that they are gay since their earliest memories, survive and be alive! Gay children have been born since the beginning of time and will continue to be born throughout time. Gay kids will keep being born whether you say the word gay or not.

These bills and others like them are not only a disgrace and something we here at Vee Culinary are vehemently against; they will do so much harm for our younger LGBTQIA+ generations, and LGBTQIA+ parents, siblings, family members, and friends.

As Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQIA+ youth, so aptly said in a statement, “Every LGBTQIA+ young person deserves to attend a school that provides an inclusive, affirmative environment – not one that aims to erase their or their gay parent’s existence,”

Studies show that youth are coming out younger and sooner, that those children will be shamed and ostracized. It is reported that 52% of LGBTQIA+ students are being bullied, and 42% report seriously considering suicide. These students do not have a safe place to land.

66.9% of polled students were okay with an inclusive curriculum, and parents and politicians are not listening even though these federally funded schools that are forced or choose to implement these protocols are subject to losing the funds. These schools have received their funds ever since the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) discrimination in any education program or activity.

If these schools lose their funds, who is going to be hurt? The answer is the children being taught and the teachers making their living through teaching. Do you know who is going to bitch and complain about the effects of this when it occurs? It will be the parents and the politicians, and they will blame the “woke” people who advised and consulted against it. 

These children already face a life that is not accepted by so many due to ignorance, religious beliefs, and homophobia.  We know for a fact that suicide rates for LGBTQIA+ kids are on the rise. We know, if we are in any way humans who have a heart, that it is not a sin to be different; it is not something that one should be punished over. Acceptance of our differences is what will make this world a better place. Putting a legal bill into action, this bigoted legislation will further ostracize our gay+ communities and make the chasm even larger.  The LGBTQ community has fought and won these battles to adopt children, be a family, and be together! And now they are trying to find every way they can erase us and our families.

You may ask yourself why a chef and owner of a personal chef and catering business is writing about this, and the answer is very simple. I was bullied, abused, ostracized and ridiculed, and told that I was going to hell simply for being me. Luckily I had some trusted and loving people that taught me otherwise, and they taught me to have a strong backbone and tough skin, and I created myself to be a strong man who embraced my differences. I also have a trans nephew facing much of what I dealt with, and some of my biological family did not learn anything from watching me in my pain. Even if this did not hit so close to home, I have a heart and a mind that sees this wretched behavior and want to help as many of my younger LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters. 

Sexual orientation is not a choice. Race is not a choice. Place of birth is not a choice. Ethnic group is not a choice. Hate, misogyny, bigotry, and other qualities like these are a choice.

How to fight this? If you would like to oppose this, click here

1 Comment

  1. Swami Prem Isa & Ma Anand Malika

    Malika and I are aware of the atrocities being committed by our state governments. Our hearts and thoughts go out to those people that are suffering for the ignorance and bigotry of the people running those governments and those that support them. Regardless of color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political beliefs, we are all the same. We are one people of many different issues and beliefs. No one’s belief should dictate to others what they should believe or do. Acceptance of all is our path, and we invite everyone who wishes to join that path with us. How you get there is up to you, but acceptance is our way. Forever NOW, Isa and Malika

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