Gay Teachers Deserve Respect And Support

Gay teachers make students proud
Gay teachers make students proud

Tea Party darling Jim DeMint had the gall on Friday night to say at a public rally that he believes gay men and “promiscuous” women should not be teaching in public school classrooms.

Dear Mr. DeMint and your charming Tea Party pals,

First, you are callous. Our whole nation is reeling from the recent deaths of several young people who were bullied to the point of suicide by homophobic peers. Now is not the time to throw gasoline on the flames of hatred. Please, let those of us who don’t share your bigotry grieve.

During this pause for reflection while the GLBTQ community and its allies literally bury their dead and try to comfort young gay teens who feel despair, you might reconsider your position.

Given the shortage of great teachers in the world, I am grateful for anyone who is willing to step into a classroom and do the work. I don’t ever want my children to come into contact with the close-minded, hateful attitudes you spout, Mr. DeMint, but if you were to resign your senate post and take up teaching alegbra, I’d happily accept your service to my kids.

Sex, Mr. DeMint, has nothing to do with teaching. Good teachers show up for their students, and teach their subjects with love, dedication and creativity. What they do in their own bedrooms long after the schoolday ends is really no one’s business but their own.

I have never in my life been asked about my sexual habits or partners when interviewing for a job, nor do I ever expect to be. The idea that an employer might pry into my bedroom is, frankly, creepy. I don’t think you want us rifling through your closets.

Finally, consider the message you’re sending to young people. You may dislike homosexuality. Fine. Don’t date a man. Don’t invite gay people to your home for dinner; your loss. But when you speak publically, as an elected official, you’re a role model. And the role you’re modeling now is one of intolerance and ignorance.

These attitudes breed violence. It’s your job to help stop this violence, not feed the flames.

Photo: Sam T

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