Rockwall High School’s Defamation of Homosexuals- unpublished by The Stinger
Since this is the school newspaper, and most of the readers are more interested in reading about what is happening at the school, I’ve decided to present a topic of interest that actually relates to the people who will read it. Homosexuality, or sexual orientation to persons of the same sex (as defined by www.dictionary.com), has been an “in and out” problem in our school. “In”, or seeming to be concealed, because of the numerous amounts of people threatened by this personal right of choice, as granted by our own personal freedoms; our rights as Americans. And “out”, or seeming to be vaguely present, because of those same people with a one-sided look towards homosexuality who would prefer to use slander such as “dike” or “fag” and push other students down stairs in our hallways.
By displaying such ignorance to such a currently controversial issue we are advocating turning to hate rather than turning towards education. Instead of labeling a person as gay, and therefore another freak in society, isn’t it our own responsibility to educate ourselves about someone or something we really don’t understand? Isn’t this the same reason we go to school? Our teachers take 35 hours of our days every week to teach us about issues we would otherwise have very little information on. Without World History I would never have known the significance of political institutions and social structures in different parts of the earlier world and how they affect my life through cultural influence. Without Biology I would be at a loss when trying to figure out how this world around us functions. Without Philosophy I would never have been subjected to so many different ideas spawned from brilliant individuals, such as Aristotle, Socrates, and even the Epicureans.
But if we allow ourselves to continue our everyday lives without taking into consideration why someone is a certain way, and what exactly this new lifestyle is, then we are simply being ignorant. We are trying to speak without being learned. You can’t preach about the literary styles of Dickens if you have never read one of his books. Cliff notes do not count. Just knowing the simple definition of homosexuality does not count.
There has been a lot of attention given to homosexuals lately in the U.S. In November of 2003, CNN ran an article featuring a new step in gay rights. The Supreme Court “struck down” the current Texas sodomy laws, now allowing private consensual sex between two homosexual adults. The law has been making an affect on other states as well, and sodomy laws are expected to allow more rights to gay Americans as time progresses.
But even with these new rights for homosexuals, there is still an increasing prejudice against them forming in our society, especially among teenagers. The only way to be able to look beyond the surface and find answers as to why we are so cruel to the homosexual population or tend to look at them as gays rather than human being’s is to dig deeper into this controversial issue. Activist groups such as GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) are trying to spread the word and educate others on homosexuality. Their mission is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Simply, they want to inform society about homosexuality to expel prejudices and discriminations.
Becoming associated with what homosexuality is does not mean you have to support it or even approve of it. But if you do want to state your opinion then, like we have all learned in Speech class, you must have the facts to back it up. Being ignorant will get us nowhere.
Before writing this article a senior, Black Swan, asked me to “Address the issue of certain [persons] at our school that make idle death threats and horrible comments about people that are/may be gay and refuse to think of them as actual human beings with feelings. I hate ignorance.” That is all I am trying to do. I just want to make aware the prejudices in our school. They have continued without fair recognition for far too long.
Homosexuality isn’t going to disappear, as hard as some people may try to push it away from them. It is a part of American society, and our isolated high school society. Nothing will stop it and nothing will change it, but by educating yourself you can have a valuable and validated say on homosexuality instead of a naïve and asinine outlook on someone who is different from you. So, before resorting to hateful slang or physical abuse, perhaps it would be more beneficial to our school and ourselves to look at homosexuality through a clear and educated point of view.