Monday, February 23, 2009

Carlson's "Gayness" Talking Points

Author: Dennis Carlson

Title: Gayness, Multicultural Education, and Community

Argument: Carlson argues that gayness is not discussed in schools and should be. He says that in our changing scoiety, a new age is upon us where we need to (Johnson) talk about each other and ourselves freely. He argues that it is time to stop the walking on eggshells political corectness and teach about ALL aspects of diversity.

• Quote #1- "English literature anthologies still go out of their way to avoid agknowlaging that certain famous writers were gay like Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin" *cough* Shakespeare *cough*. Its so true that when a historical figure is gay we run around afraid to say that they were, becasue "gay" has anegative stigma in our society. We can't agknowlage that Joan of Arc was a raging tomboy (and quite possibly into holy dykedom territory) even though she wire men's clothes, cut her hair, darkened her face, and led an army. We can't mention that Shakespeare wrote love letters to men. One of the hardest points of "growing up gay" is the lack of role models- not because they don't exist- but because they are shunned into silence or because talk of their sexuality is taboo.

• Quote #2- "The abuses get tolerated because gay students and teachers operate in an envirement where they are afraid to stand up for themselves...and homophobia is not interrogated." In one single day in my highschool, i heard the word "gay" used in place of "stupid" or "unjust" 346 times. In one day. In none of those instances did a teacher step in, in none of those instances did a student step in, in fact, when i stepped in i was told they were using "ghey" which means "stupid" not "gay" as in "homosexual" and it was stupid for me to take offence anyway because they didn't aim it AT me. Yep, and nigga is acceptable in a job interview, 'cause i didn't say nigger.

• Quote #3- GLBTQQI kids in support groups report they are afraid they are "out of their minds, full of sin/sickness, doomed to dress as transvestites, molest childeren, hate the opposite sex, or contract AIDS." When the dominant culture gives you no role models and no positive examples- and the only time you hear about the queer community is from doctors saying you "arent stable", religous learders calling you "full of sin", you own parents calling you "sick" and disowning you, dominant culture associating homosexuality wiht the "otherness" of "molesting childeren" and "beastiality", or the notrious link to gay men and AIDS that still means men who have sex with men can't donate blood to the red cross, its no wonder one third of all adolescent suicides are made of those identified as GLBTQQI.

My feeling: It is hard enough to grow up not sure if you accept yourself, much less trying to come out when your educators and own parents don't support you, you have no role models, and the dominant ideology is to assume everyone is straight. I love the idea that GLBTQQI matters can be discussed up there with cultural diversity and not the sidenote at the bottom. If being gay were a disease, i would call in queer to work. If it were a choice, i would not choose to be a second class citizen. School has so much power in the formation of our views of our world. It is the chance, from very early on, for a challenge to the upbringing dominated by our parent's ideals. With a simple one-liner reference to the fact that the GLBTQQI identified community lives functional, happy, safe, and productive lives and relationships woudl go a lot furthur then many people realise or are willing to admit. And maybe i would be able to hold my girlfriend's hand without the fear of being beaten up for indeciency, even though straight couples suck face on the regular and no one says a thing.


  1. I really enjoy reading your posts. i love how open you are and really respect you for it.

  2. thank you, im glad you enjoy them!

  3. Thank you for your comment, I'm glad it made you happier :)

  4. I really like the way you are and how you don't hire yourself to try to "fit in" but are proud of yourself. That's something no so many can do.
    There's a question i want to ask you. I know it's none of my business and you don't have to answer......Why were you so quiet in ALLLIED class last Wed.? I was kind of worry 'cause you wasn't talking. You're very communicative and that's why i like you. you don't feel afraid of saying what you think....

  5. yeah i was stuck on that one and Bogad said we could use other peoples blogs for help. lol i made sure i gave pat credit! haha

  6. beautiful and smart post, Eva. Go you. :)