Sunday, February 5, 2012

In My Own Backyard!

Don't be too quick to jump on the Maryland bandwagon.  Governor O'Malley may be pushing for the legalization of gay marriage here (and, it looks as if it has a real shot of passing!), but then there's madness like this.  At Albert Einstein High School, literally a 20-minute drive from my house, a group that calls themselves PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays) sent home a flyer with the students' report card that basically tells its LGBT students that "you weren't born that way" and, once again, "we can help you change".

Their flyer is carefully worded as to not give the impression that it's religion-motivated.  We know better.  In the flyer, they allege that "every year, thousands of people make the decision..." to no longer be LGBT.  In an attempt to mock the LGBT community, they cite:  "...formerly gay men and women are discriminated against simply because they dare to exist."  "Thousands"!  And, again, I'm completely ok with them having their opinions.  That's their right under our Constitution.  However, to force-feed it to the students of Einstein represents a collapse in moral responsibility.  At a time in their lives where they're already struggling to figure out who they are and how they fit into society, at a time where some are definitely questioning their sexuality or, worse, beginning to feel confident with it, P-FOX has thrown a monkey wrench of uncertainty into the picture.  Instead of doing things that will help these students grow and become confident, productive adults, they opted to send the message "if you're LGBT, you're defected.  But, don't worry, We can fix you!!  It's your choice."  Maybe, P-FOX needs to be reminded that just last month, the leader of Exodus (the largest ex-gay farce in this country), Alan Chambers, announced that no one changes their sexual orientation.  He admitted that it was a farce.  In his own words, "99.9" of the people in his group didn't become "ex-gay".  Another of the co-founders of Exodus, Michael Bussee, went as far as to write this very revealing, very honest letter of apology.  Please take the time to read it.

What did happen, however, was there were suicides because of his program and the confusion it caused.  There were people left with emotional damage after being forced to believe that they were defective in some way, that their natural orientation was wrong.

Groups like P-FOX are now sprouting up around the country even as the ex-founder of Exodus has made it clear that it was basically a 20-year scam that he was running.  Infamous politician, Michele Bachmann, is married to a man who is making a mint off of one of those "ex-gay" "therapy" farces.  And, now it's here in my own backyard.  I don't like it.

Albert Einstein school officials, and the Montgomery County School Board made sure to distance themselves from this debacle with this disclaimer:  "These materials were neither endorsed nor sponsored by the Board of Education of Montgomery County, the superintendent, or this school."  Smart move. 

To contact P-FOX and voice your opinion, you can reach them on their website.  Let them know that what they're doing is wrong.

13 comments:

  1. sending a inflammatory flyer home in children's report cards a breech of my Constitutional rights that shelters me from religious beliefs that SUCK!

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  2. Okay, seriously? Not endorsed? I mail out a quarterly newsletter for an organization that has nothing to do with this issue. (well, okay, they do, but that's not my point right now) They won't allow me to put in something advertising my mass mailing services. Is this a right decision? Is it a wrong decision? It's their decision. Unless the school board promises that some action will be taken against the unauthorized use of students' report cards, it looks like endorsement to me.

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    1. Well said, A. The school admin team and the school board should not get off scott free on this. You point is absolutely right.

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    2. So what, exactly, are the criteria for being included in the report card packet? Can a GLAD group post a flyer? Can an overtly religious organization? A group not at all affiliated with school?

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  3. I suggest that all hate filled, transphobic, homophobic nutcase "christians" read this website

    http://www.teach-ministries.org/

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    1. I have a hard time believing in a woman who claims to have changed for the better when she charges $60/hr to have "compassionate conversations" with people who are struggling.

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  4. Why is it that these "helpful" people are so obsessed with us? Why is it only gay people who can be "changed" or "cured"? Their blind ignorance, bigotry, lack of compassion, empathy and understanding, together with the smug, blind arrogance that they are right simply because they consider themselves heterosexual and Christian is breathtaking. Such people are sub human and have no damn right to judge others.

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  5. Makes me sick... So sick...

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  6. WOW- I find this so disheartening and so offensive that the school allowed this to be enclosed in the envelope of an official and confidential school document that it is completely pissing me off and nothing appropriate is going to come out of my mouth right now- so I am going to go sit and mull this one over and come back later to comment-

    p.s. to anyone living in this state- go to CARE2 and start a petition to make the school formally and publicly apologize to all the community or face a law suite!

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    1. I agree! Why not go to Change.org & start a petition asking the school board/district for a public apology & denouncement of this offensive flyer. The sheer audacity of these people to put this flyer into a confidential school document is utterly ridiculous! It's inflammatory & insulting to GLBT youth & parents. How dare they! Shame on them. Leave your political agendas & views at home where they belong. Teach your children whatever values you wish, but don't subject impressionable youth with warped, hurtful views that undermine those people who have the courage to be themselves in an environment where anyone not perceived as 'normal' is ridiculed & potentially bullied.

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  7. Is there any recourse to the law?

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  8. I wrote them an email. It was as polite and civil as I could possibly ever be, so I hope they respond well to it and honestly think about it.

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  9. Chastising PFOX won't change anything. You can't make a stupid person smart by shaking a finger.
    Legal action against the school that sent out these fliers needs to be taken ASAP.

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