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Boys (and Teachers) Beware!

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A US high school has indefinitely suspended one of their teachers after he showed his class a film warning boys of ‘predatory homosexuals’.

Simons, a history teacher at the school, was suspended weeks before he was due to retire for showing a law enforcement class the film Boys Beware; it warns students to avoid strangers ‘because they might be homosexual’.

Made by Sid Davis Productions with assistance from Inglewood Police in California, the film was a social guidance film depicting gay men as sexual predators, prowling around high schools on the lookout for underage boys. One of the film’s scenarios shows a boy named Jimmy being lured in by a man named Ralph.

‘I’m not against homosexuality,’ Simons told KCTV. Simons said three days after showing the film, he was told by school officials that two students had complained; the school then suspended him from teaching.

Simons argued he had been using the film to highlight how attitudes towards homosexuality have changed. Why the students would report him in this case remains unclear.

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Kids have Anti-Gay Day

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Students at a Pennsylvania high school allegedly staged a protest of the Day of Silence, which included intimidation and physical harassment of LGBT students and a ‘lynch list’.

The Day of Silence, an annual event that raises awareness of LGBT bullying, produced a loud backlash from students at a Pennsylvania high school. A group of students at McGuffey High School allegedly organized an “Anti-Gay Day” in response to the peaceful protest coordinated by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

A local news station reports that the clique encouraged others who were antigay to wear flannel and write “Anti-Gay” on their hands Thursday, the day preceding the Day of Silence. But the backlash did not end with sartorial choices. Participants also targeted LGBT students, hanging posters on their lockers and physically harrassing them in the hallways of their school.

“There was pushing, posters hung on homosexual students’ lockers. Teachers were having to run out and take them down,” Zoe Johnson, a student at McGuffey High School, told the news station. “It hurts me to see how rude and cruel, and some of these people were my friends before this started,” she added.

The antigay group promoted the event on social media, posting a photo of the flannel-clad participants. “Anti-Gay Day” was to be the first of a planned week-long series of antigay events, which would use clothing to signal their animosity toward their LGBT peers. “Flannel anti-gay day only a few of many tomorrow is red day,” a student wrote in the caption.

Nationwide, animosity toward the Day of Silence has been encouraged by groups like Focus on the Family and the Illinois Family Institute, which organized antigay events like the Day of Dialogue as well as walkouts in protest of GLSEN’s “homosexuality-affirming dogma.” GLSEN reports that 56 percent of LGBT students felt unsafe at school due to their their sexual orientation. In addition, 38 percent felt unsafe because of their gender expression.

Administrators at the McGuffey School District are investigating the incident. Dr. Erica Kolat, the superintendent, released a statement saying that the school “will follow our Student Code of Conduct, and file legal citations, as warranted. We will resolve to ensure that all children can grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment free from discrimination.” However, some students do not feel safe returning to the school.

“It’s sad to me. It’s a high school. We should feel safe here. We don’t, and it’s starting to get worse,” Johnson said. Among the reasons for this fear was a “lynch list” circulating around the school, with a growing list of names.

via Advocate

Hate as a Business Model

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Freedom is a precious thing but some people have a rather peculiar idea of what exactly freedom is. For them freedom means they should be free to decide who they can discriminate against, who they can bully, whose freedom they can take away.

Recently several US states introduced so called “religious freedom” bills that were supposedly meant to make sure that the citizens of those states can practise their religions freely. This becomes a problem though when someone’s religion says that being Lesbian, Gay, Bi or Transgender is wrong, a sin even. In that case these bills enable religious people and businesses to discriminate against queer people so we end up with less, not more, freedom.

“Critics of religious freedom laws need perspective, at least gays aren’t executed” — US Senator Tom Cotton

Maybe even worse are cynical business owners who take this opportunity to make a quick buck with their hate for queer folks. Like the owners of Memories Pizza in Indiana who received a mind-boggling $800,000 in donations for their public statement that they would not cater pizzas for a gay wedding–as if any of us would have a taste bad enough to consider pizzas as an option for a wedding anyway. All thanks to a donation rally on the website GoFundMe. On the same website fundraisers for cancer patients and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing received a lot less money.

In other states refusing to serve customers based on their sexual orientation is still not legal but that doesn’t keep some business owners from turning their hate into cash. A florist in Washington who didn’t want to have anything to do with the queers was fined $1,000 but is now $100,000 richer after asking for donations.

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The Gender Spectrum finally becomes Mainstream

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Young people are more likely to believe gender exists on a spectrum, according to a new study. 1,000 Americans aged 18 to 34 were surveyed on gender, with half believing the binary categories of male and female are too limiting.

They were asked: ‘Some countries, including India, recognize a gender that is neither male nor female. Which more closely aligns with your view?’ Options were ‘There are only two genders, male and female’, which in total received 46% support, ‘Gender is a spectrum, and some people fall outside conventional categories’, which received 50%, and 4% answered ‘Don’t know’.

The poll found 57% of female millenials believe gender falls on a spectrum compared to 44% of male respondees. Northeast 18-34 year olds were even more progressive, with 58% agreeing with that statement compared to the South where that number fell to 42%.

The survey comes as more people are coming out as genderfluid and genderqueer, universities offering gender-neutral identity cards & housing options that include ‘other gender-identity room-mate pairings, regardless of biological sex’ and gender-neutral restrooms becoming more and more common.

via Gay Star News, photos by Thiago Antonucci

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