Seemingly against all odds, the bill that would require social studies curriculum in the state of California to include gay history and role models is moving closer to becoming a reality. This week it passed the state Senate, and now heads to the general assembly, where it is widely expected to pass.
We've talked about this bill before; how amazing it would have been to see people like us in the pages of our history books, or to even be allowed to know that those people existed. Openly gay senator Mark Leno, the sponsor of the bill, has explained it like so: "This selective censorship sends the wrong message to all young people, and especially to those who do not identify as straight. We can’t tell our youth that it’s OK to be yourself and expect them to treat their peers with dignity and respect while we deny them accurate information about the historical contributions of Americans who happened to be LGBT,” he said." Countless studies have proven that the more gays that straight people know and are familiar with, the more likely they are to empathize with their struggles and support them instead of viewing them as a threat. If kids were able to see how much of our country's history is based on the contributions and hard work of gay as well as straight people, it could go a long way towards a generation more open and accepting of queer people than any before it.
Perhaps most surprising and most gratifying, however, is that this is all happening in California. During the Prop 8 campaign, much of the Yes on 8's information and messaging was outright wrong - a popular lie that millions of Californians really believed was that without Prop 8, their children would be "taught homosexuality" in their schools. In actuality the language of the marriage equality legislation related only to, you know, marriage, but huge numbers of voters went to the polls sincerely unaware of that.
And we all know how that worked out. Prop 8 is still in a sort of seemingly endless legal limbo, in which it seems unlikely to last much longer but couples still can't marry. But in the meantime, this bill - the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act - might actually happen. Voters' greatest fears - that marriage equality would somehow erode their own families and way of life - hasn't come to pass, and never will. But their fear that their children might leave the public education system knowing that homosexuality exists, and that gay people are just as real as they are? That's looking very possible right now. And that's great. Because knowledge isn't something we should ever be afraid of, and knowledge of their own place in history is something everyone deserves.
It seems like everyone has something to say about the J. Crew Toenail Painting Incident. Unsurprisingly, Adam Lambert's response is spot on. "Gender confusion?" he tweeted to his nearly 1 million followers. "I don't think it's that deep – children should have full freedom of expression. It's everyone else who's confused... If society didn't work so hard to reinforce gender role stereotypes we would have a much more well-adjusted & open-minded future generation."
It turns out Coachella was this weekend and I didn't get to go, but Lindsay Lohan did! I feel like huge floppy hats were really in or something.
If you haven't read gay former NBA player John Amaechi's open letter to Kobe Bryant in response to the gay slur he used on the court last week, it's inspiring and worth your time. "A young man from a Los Angeles public school e-mailed me. You are his idol. He is playing up, on the varsity team, he has your posters all over his room, and he hopes one day to play in college and then in the N.B.A. with you. He used to fall asleep with images of passing you the ball to sink a game-winning shot. He watched every game you played this season on television, but this week he feels less safe and less positive about himself because he stared adoringly into your face as you said the word that haunts him in school every single day."
LADY GAGA AT NEWNOWNEXT:
BISEXUAL JESUS NOVEL:
James Frey is most famous for making Oprah mad and writing a partially fabricated memoir. But now he's writing a new book where Jesus returns to Earth as an openly bisexual man who dates a prostitute and otherwise proves himself to be the opposite of what the religious right would imagine him to be. It sounds interesting, at the very least!
MICHIGAN DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS:
Michigan benefits for domestic partners have so far survived a vote trying to repeal the policy. "A proposal to rescind the policy failed to receive the required two-thirds vote in the house of representatives Thursday. Sixty-six members voted in favor of repeal, eight short of the number needed. A repeal measure had passed the senate by the required margin."
GAY BRITISH KISS-IN:
Two men at the John Snow pub in London had the worst first date ever. At first, the date was going so well that they kissed, at which point the pub kicked them out. The pub's actions led to a kiss-in that caused the bar to close and lose a night's revenue. The couple has a second date planned.
Don't ask me how, but I found this video of Anita Bryant being hit in the face with a pie. You're welcome.
Also, duh, kittens. #weareallmadeofkittenshadows