Wow High School Must Be Super Awesome If You’re Not Gay

It’s been a while since I had to study SAT vocab so maybe somebody can refresh my memory on what “pride” means. Is it “making others feel threatened, inferior or otherwise undesirable.” No? Really? A student at St. Charles North High School in Illinois wore a “straight pride” tshirt to school last week, the back of which featured a quote from Scripture advocating putting homosexuals to death. The next day two other students wore the same shirt. The first day the administration let the shirt go by without incident, only asking the student to cover up the quote from scripture at the end of the day. The second day the two students were asked to wear a sweatshirt over their tshirts. The school district says that they allowed the offensive tshirts to remain in the school because this was a “teachable moment” about maintaining your own opinion while respecting others.

There are, to be polite about it, a few problems here. First is the obvious – that suggesting that someone’s identity could be punished by death is not actually a very “respectful” reaction to their “opinion,” if you call your “identity” an “opinion.” Second of all, this isn’t an even tradeoff as the school seems to be suggesting – allowing a student to wear a “straight pride” tshirt is not the equivalent of another student wearing a gay pride tshirt. They’re not interchangeable concepts; they’re not coming from the same place. As Eric Zom puts it in his insightful Chicago Tribune response, “gay Pride” is an antidote to gay shame — the sense of alienation and otherness in adolescence that prompted writer Dan Savage to start the It Gets Better project to reduce the incidence of suicide among gay teens.” Straight pride is, in contrast, a default state for 90% of America, so much so that it is almost never explicitly addressed or declared, in the same way that the “Alarm Clock Users Pride” or “People Who Enjoy Ice Cream” movements are not particularly vocal. When “straight pride” is expressed pointedly, it is always as a response to what that person sees as too much “gay pride.” It’s a kneejerk reaction against the effort of a people to move out of self-loathing. Pretending that these two things are equally valid and equally harmless is, if not willfully malicious, still objectively harmful.

As Jezebel asks, where does anyone still get off talking about blatant homophobia as if it’s a valid “opinion” that needs to be treated with respect? I thought we had pretty much decided we were done having that conversation. They’re right – it’s dangerous and ridiculous to treat the religious ritual killing of gay people as “the other side” to an imaginary debate.

I mean, a debate on what?

A debate on whether men who lie with other men should be religiously murdered by a Illinois high schooler?

And I’d like to add one more thing  to their analysis: While arguing about whether a teenager should be allowed to wear a shirt may seem quibbling and trivial, keep in mind that in high school you aren’t allowed to do ANYTHING. In my high school, we weren’t allowed to wear tank tops that had straps thinner than three inches wide. In my high school, someone also wore a straight pride shirt, and nothing was done about it. In my high school, I wasn’t out. Can you guess why? In a (public!) school where the cheerleading team was once disciplined for wearing fishnets underneath denim shorts as part of a team costume, nothing was done about this “Straight Pride” shirt that had my heart in my throat.

It seems clear to me at least that this isn’t just allowing two sides of an issue to develop; there are plenty of schools that still don’t allow GSAs, or the Day of Silence, or maybe even gay pride shirts. This isn’t just allowing something; it’s making an exception, creating a special space for it to continue because it’s too difficult to try to stop it. Thanks, St. Charles North High School, for doing your part to make sure all your students feel safe. A+ for effort.

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and the editor who presides over books and news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy."

Rachel has written 749 articles for us.

93 Comments

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    I think there is a lot of shame over sex in general, so I think straight kids should hear that sex, all sex gay striaght or otherwise, is not shameful. however, that wasn’t the message on these shirts. i think the gay movement is about openness and hence, i think it could embrace more openness about sex, including straight sex, i don’t think in that sense that gay pride excludes straight people. obvs that message is not clear to everyone

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      It’s so true.

      I’ve heard people complaining about why isn’t there a ‘white club’ at my school when there’s a ‘latino club’. Most of life is one big ‘white club’. Especially for white people who are living a heteronormitive lifestyle.

      If kids feel the need to wear a straight pride shirt I think they need to look into the reasons why gay pride is such a big thing. It’s an antidote for shame. When has a straight person ever been told they were an abomination for who they love?

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        yeah it’s like when people complained about ‘take your daughter to work day’ and made it ‘take your child to work day’ instead. like — EVERY DAY IS TAKE YOUR SON TO WORK DAY. This controversy happened while George W. Bush was in office, I think, which is a pretty good example of Take Your Son to Work Day.

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    On the topic of rules in high school: For example, you were not allowed to wear a Bart Simpson tee shirt or chew gum when I went to HS. In a way I’m kind of glad I didn’t figure out I was gay until after hs, because that probably would have been against the rules, too.

    But, it’s horrifying that an administration would allow a tee shirt that advocates death as punishment to be worn, given the plethora of recent information regarding lgbtq murder/suicides.

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      I feel like I’m literally going insane every time I hear about the “debate” over things like same-sex marriage and DADT. As if there are two sides of the story that carry the same weight. How does a person argue with that? I mean, am I insane? Really. I think I’m actually asking.

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        You’re not insane. I know how you feel. There’s just such a large disconnect between “I think I’m a good sort of person” and “There are people out there who don’t think I should be allowed to marry or serve in the military, or, um, live, because I happen to fall in love with women.”

        That there’s a “debate” at all is just so absurd it can feel like going mad.

        But you’re not mad. If you were here I would make you a sandwich.

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    A debate is not necessary, I agree with that sentiment, but a “straight pride” shirt (WITHOUT the violent quote) would be perfectly acceptable, so long as a “gay pride” shirt with no inflammatory statements was also acceptable.

    I don’t believe gay pride in any form should be afforded any special protection for the same reasons that straight pride shouldn’t be afforded any special protections. People should be who and what they are and that should be it. Who and what a person is shouldn’t be a topic of debate, just a fact, and if they want to express that identity in a non-violent, non hateful way, then so be it.

    That’s not what happened here, which is unfortunate. The student should not have been allowed to wear a shirt that promoted violence, but to say that he shouldn’t be allowed to be as vocal about his sexual orientation as a homosexual is discrimination, which no one should support no matter who the victim is.

    Gay Pride shirts and events tend to be in-your-face for a reason. They are fighting intolerance. But they cannot fight intolerance with more intolerance. Saying that heterosexuals should not be afforded the same freedom of expression as homosexuals (which this article does) does nothing but divide people further.

    You are not special because you are gay. You are not special because you are straight. You are not special because you are male, or female, or black, or white, or asian, or hispanic, or anything else. You just ARE, and to say otherwise (as so many supposed activists for equality do) is to further divide people.

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        Maybe a ‘straight but not narrow’ type shirt but, think about this- If I wore a ‘white pride’ shirt (I would *never*) that would be racist and wrong, and if a dude wore a ‘male pride’ shirt it would be seen as sexist and wrong, so why isn’t a ‘straight pride’ shirt homophobic and wrong? I know it seems double-standard that it’s acceptable for the minority to wear their ‘pride’ literally on their sleeves and not the majority, but the privilege of the majority is implicit in *everything*, including the law; It’s already everywhere being shoved down throats…

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          I am not sure how I would feel. I don’t think thhat it is wrong to have pride in your race.. As I said pride is not the issue its the attack on the other group or showing something with a strong historical reference to something tragic. For istance, saying white pride is very different than if you showed the confederate flag, which just makes me so uncomfortable and nervous. IDK, I guess because I am on the straigh side I don’t see a problem with it. I can’t be completely objective.

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          I hope you don’t take this the wrong way – I’m linking it to you because I think you genuinely want to do the right thing. But yeah, this might be a good read for you. (And anyone else reading, really. We’ve all got privilege!)

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          It’s nice to see strait girls reading autostraddle.
          But, I have a problem with people who have pride in their race. (I’m not saying you do, or that I have a problem with you personally) Because I have the feeling that “pride” is something that suggest the others should have shame. And the reason “Gay Pride” is fine is because it’s a reaction to the everlasting “Strait Pride” and, more importantly, the gay shame that was forced on the community.
          But, race-related pride make me feel really, really uncomfortable. Yes, there was race-related shame in the history of every country, but as a race-less mulatto, I have nobody pride to wear. And unlike LGBTQ, that part of me is not a nice letter in an acronym.

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          Sorry, I think I wasn’t clear enough. What I wanted to express is the fact that pride is something that arose from the need to express gayness in a positive manner and not all minority had that opportunity, so this strait pride prank is not that big of a deal. Though saying anyone should be killed for who they love (except if the who is 5 year-olds and the they old perverts) is a big problem.

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          I’m not straight but I understand where you are coming from. I think that the Voltaire quote “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” is useful here. These kids have outed themselves as homophobic in the literal sense, fearful of homosexuality. No doubt this has started debate amongst these kids in an area where gay marriage is still illegal. It is a sad inditement of what these kids have been taught by their parents, schools and religious institutions.

          The difference between black/white and gay/straight pride that these guys seem to be missing is the movement of promoting pride is essential where previously shame has been the norm. Some young white males genuinely believe that they are becoming a minority as all the ‘special interest groups’ join in arms against them. It’s really sad. It’s very similar to the argument that gay people marrying in some way negatively affects their institution of marriage. This is the weirdest argument, I really don’t understand why they feel this way. I like the old saying ‘if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry someone who’s gay’. Or the Wanda Sykes joke that if you want to protect the institution of marriage, criminalise divorce, don’t ban gay marriage.

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          I don’t know how I feel about the starting a debate argument. These are high school students in what is likely a conservative area. It’s not a debate if it is just meant to silence others. Especially if the administration of the school (I would walk the hell out of my job if my school administrators failed to do something about a similar incident where I work–fortunately, no kid there would dare) is implicitly backing the homophobia, this just makes it impossible for there to be anything remotely approaching “debate.” And what could the debate be about? First amendment rights or whether or not gay students should be killed? Knowing teenagers as I do, I’d bet it would tend towards the latter, especially amongst the type to choose to wear “straight pride” shirts.

          Nothing should be allowed in public schools that will encourage fear/violence. If that infringes on anyone’s rights, oh well, they’re minors and I’d rather they all be alive/well/learning/safe than “free.” We have the freedom in this country to keep our kids out of public school (I didn’t go) so I’m over that argument, really.

          This is why kids can’t walk into my school wearing gang colors or hate speech on a t-shirt. We also have a dress code/uniform (to make it fair), but even on days when they can wear whatever they want “hateful” does not equate to “opinionated/thought provoking.”

          I’d throw a kid out of my class for wearing a shirt that said “stone right wing christian fundamentalists to death” any day, because that’s not ok.

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        If you saw me walking down the street with a “white pride” shirt I would hope you would kick my ass.

        The phrases “straight pride” and “white pride” aren’t harmless and innocent. They’re a slap in the face. I can’t respect people who flaunt their privilege and create a hostile environment for minorities.

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      Just to put this in perspective for those arguing that plain “straight pride” shirts (sans quote) are okay, how would you feel if I wore a shirt that said “white pride”?

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        That’s just a bit different because that phrase is very regularly used by hateful racists as a slogan (“White Pride World-Wide” is a common one), but I don’t see anything wrong with being proud of a “white” heritage.

        “Straight Pride” isn’t a phrase directly connected with years and years of organized hate, so it’s more acceptable as a slogan.

        White pride, as in the actual sense of pride in white heritage, should be just as okay as any other kind of racial pride as long as it isn’t hateful.

        The entire point of my post was that we should treat everyone with equal respect in regards to what they are (race/sex/orientation), and that to give certain types of people more respect than others takes away from equality. It seems like an obvious point to me, but lots of well-intentioned people disagree.

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          Historically, the phrase “white pride” was a backlash to “black pride”, just like “straight pride” is to “gay pride.” It may not have the same historical weight, but give it time to grow, and it will.

          As has been mentioned before, white/stright pride is… you know, just kind of *life* in the US.

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          I just don’t see it that way, Joe. If you want to be proud of your ethnicity I’m totally down, but as far as being white goes, there’s a big problem with having pride. White is just a club that’s spent years deciding who’s not in it. Indians used to be white before someone decided that they couldn’t be, the Irish didn’t used to be white, and Jews are still a group of people that no one can make their mind up about.

          And I know that if whiteness is constructed it means that blackness is too, but black pride works while white pride doesn’t. It’s not about the amount of respect a certain group should get, it’s about that group having been oppressed and people decide to stand behind the label and say “we’re alright with this, we like this, and we’re going to stand up for it even if no one else will.” We should be equal, but when inequality exists, not doing anyway doesn’t help balance the scales.

          In other news I’m not offended, Joe. As long as everyone’s here to have a conversation and not to say “These shirts are great! Where can I buy one and does it come with a free set of rocks?” then we should be just fine.

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      “I don’t believe gay pride in any form should be afforded any special protection for the same reasons that straight pride shouldn’t be afforded any special protections.”

      Cool. So as long as ‘straight pride’ is being given about 16 million special protections (marriage, DADT, taxes, employment rights, medical access, and adoption are the first to spring to mind) I take it you’ll have no problem with my gay pride t-shirt at all.

      I’d love to live in a world where straight and gay are equal, but til I do, can you not pretend it’s happening already? It’s ridiculous.

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          That’s the issue, though, that obviously those things aren’t being given to all humans at the moment, in America and in lots of other places. So while gay pride exists to try to combat the stigma of being part of a group that our society deems less-than, it’s really weird to act like “straight pride” is an equivalent or reasonable concept. One is empowering a minority; the other is reinforcement of the power structure that’s keeping them down. Can you see what I’m saying here?

          I’m sure Joe means well and all, but all he’s doing here is defending and reinforcing that oppressive system. I’m just trying to get him to think a little about why it’s so important to him to ensure people’s right to wear straight pride t-shirts is adequately defended. When gay kids have the right to go to school without being driven to suicide by homophobic bullying I’ll worry about straight kids’ right to wear problematic t-shirts, you know? It’s important to think about where you’re pointing your energy, and why.

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        I only wanted to start a discussion, not offend, so I apologize if I offended anyone. I never said that straight people should get any special protections, I said that no one should.

        I just disagree with trying to fight inequality with inequality, which is something I see all too often. I feel that it divides us when we should be trying to bring everyone together.

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          This website really gets to the heart of what I feel about this (and yes, I’m linking it again). I will now quote a relevant part:

          “Debunking the “Reverse -ism” Argument
          The foundation of this argument — that we’re all just people and so -isms are -isms, no matter which group they’re targeted at — is one I sympathize with. Would that we lived in such a world! But the world is more complex than that. The same power dynamics that create privilege have created a hierarchy of prejudice so that discrimination against a privileged group is not the same as discrimination against a non-privileged group. This is because discrimination against a non-privileged group is backed up with institutionalized power, whereas discrimination against a privileged group is often a singular act and therefore easier to avoid. I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that discrimination sucks, but glossing over the inequity of the two discriminations helps keep the inequity in play.”

          Does that shed some light on the situation?

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          I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that an argument that boils down to “the world isn’t perfect and its more imperfect for some than others” excuses discrimination of any kind. It sounds an awful lot like some people believe that not being a part of a traditionally privileged group gives you a certain privilege all your own. That is not ok.

          Even if I’m misreading that, it (the sort of logic I’m arguing against) does lump people together, define them in terms of enormous groups that might have nothing to do with an individual save how they were born, and then judges them based on those groups. It assigns values to groups and says which groups are allowed to do what. It assigns values to huge groups of people, which is, I thought, what most people want to avoid. I strongly dislike this kind of thinking. I don’t care if it is considered enlightened or modern or politically correct or proper or whatever else, it is still bigoted. I know that that is a strong claim but I must stand by it.

          You do not have to ignore that certain groups of people often have it better or worse than other groups to believe that discrimination is wrong. I agree that there groups of people that are historically and presently treated unfairly, but there are other, more level-headed, less hateful reactions to that understanding.

          I stand by my statements that discrimination of any kind tends to be bad and should be avoided and combated as much as possible by anyone who wishes to see equality in the world.

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          “I stand by my statements that discrimination of any kind tends to be bad and should be avoided and combated as much as possible by anyone who wishes to see equality in the world.”

          Great. So I assume your time over here lecturing us on how straight pride t-shirts are totally okay otherwise BIGOTRY is being at the very least balanced by time you’re spending on conservative sites telling them how discrimination is bad and they should stop making gay students scared to come to school, right? I mean right, Joe? Your commitment to preventing discrimination through earnest mansplaining couldn’t possibly be aimed only at one side, could it Joe? Don’t let me down here.

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          I mean seriously, if you feel the urge to question your motivation here even a tiny tiny bit…don’t fight that urge, Joe. Let the realisation you’re not as objective in this situation as you’d like to think, or even objective at all, just wash over you gently. It’ll be okay.

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          I’m not certain how your comments about me relate to what I’m trying to argue, but I’ll address them anyway.

          In real life I have primarily liberal friends but several conservative ones. I have and will continue to make this argument to both groups when it comes up. I have made similar comments on other sites, conservative and liberal. I am not attacking anyone here, or any group here. I am not claiming to be unbiased. I am biased towards my beliefs, as you are to yours, that’s why I’m trying to express them.

          I am, like I said in my first post, simply arguing that inequality is inequality and that we should fight for equal rights for everyone.

          I don’t think that negativity towards groups of people does anything but breed more negativity, and I’m against dividing people. People are people and rights are rights and we should always do our best to defend both fairly. Yes inequality exists and yes the world is a complicated place, but it will always be complicated if we continue to perpetuate the kind of thinking that creates complications and negativity.

          Change takes time, and it is gradual, but change won’t happen at all unless we make an effort to create it. We have to care about everyone.

          Like I said in my first post:

          You are not special because you are gay. You are not special because you are straight. You are not special because you are male, or female, or black, or white, or asian, or hispanic, or anything else. You just ARE, and to say otherwise is to further divide people.

          That is the opinion that I have been trying to express, nothing more. It is universal.

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          “I am, like I said in my first post, simply arguing that inequality is inequality and that we should fight for equal rights for everyone.”

          Yeah, Joe, and we’re here fighting for it and you’re here telling us that resisting oppression is bad. You seem to havee this image of yourself as fair-minded and objective (you do realise there you aren’t actually objective on this issue, given that you are just as biased by being staight as we are by being gay?), and yet you are here saying: it’s only okay to resist discrimination if it’s okay for people to keep discriminating against you. No. That’s really not how it works, and there’s nothing positive or equal about that.

          You need to get real about what you’re actually saying here. Spoiler: defending people’s right to discriminate is the opposite of fighting for equal rights. If you were actually committed to them I feel like you’d consider that.

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          “You are not special because you are gay. You are not special because you are straight. You are not special because you are male, or female, or black, or white, or asian, or hispanic, or anything else. You just ARE, and to say otherwise is to further divide people.”

          This is how my brother feels and it’s endlessly frustrating. If your qualities put you in groups that are traditionally in power, I can see why it would be hard to understand the power in identifying with a group. I don’t feel “more special” because I’m gay or female, like everyone else sometimes I just feel different and in these instances, it’s relatively easy to find other people who have gone through the same things. It’s not divisive to form groups, it’s divisive to insist that we all go it alone.

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          Honestly, Cassandra it’s hard for anyone one to be completely objective on situations like this. I am straight, but I am very pro-gay. And even though I understand the arguments against it, I understand the reasoning but I still don;t think it is wrong to wear a pride shirt.

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          I know that there is no way to be objective on this — that’s my point, really, that Joe seems to think he’s taking an objective view on the whole situation but there isn’t an objective view to be had.

          Also, I don’t know if you read above that it is more than ‘a pride shirt’; it also has a verse on the back saying that gay people should be put to death. Nobody has the right to walk around with an implied death threat on their back, and there isn’t anything pro-gay about defending their decision to do so. I’m so glad I’m not a student at that school.

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          really

          do we really have to explain why “straight pride” and “gay pride” aren’t equivalent concepts.

          sometimes i feel like i want to write something like this and add it to the comment policy

          (p.s. dina your patience is inspiring)

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          That is pretty much my own internal comments policy. I will not argue/”debate” with people over certain issues — I will mock, swear at, tell off and lol over, but I just won’t legitimate hatred and bigotry by engaging seriously with it. You have to earn that kind of time/respect, and wanton ignorance isn’t going to cut it.

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    its just offensive. basically, the straight population is in power, and when you say STRAIGHT PRIDE, it feels like you’re rubbing it in. “look at me, i’m straight, and have rights” it may not be your intentions, its just what it looks like from these gay goggles i have on

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    To my fellow straight people on this thread:

    I think some of you might be confusing the concept of “being proud of oneself” with the “need to display one’s privilege”. If you’re proud of being straight (or white, or male, etc.), then that’s great, but why would you need to wear a shirt declaring your pride? You’ve got to consider the motivation very carefully:

    Obviously a gay pride shirt is worn in defiance of the blatant, soul-crushing homophobia that gay people face everyday, but why would a straight person feel the need to wear a straight pride shirt? Do they feel that their orientation is somehow “under attack” by the gay community? That would be my guess. Otherwise, why would they feel the need to rub their privilege in someone else’s face? It’s great to be accepting of your own sexuality, whatever it might be, but flaunting your privilege is quite another thing, and it’s bound to hurt the people around you, whether you intend it that way or not.

    As people with privilege, we have to be conscious of the way that our words and actions affect marginalized groups. This is the LEAST we can do.

    (PS: everything that I said was already explained in the article…maybe you guys could reread it?)

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      “Do they feel that their orientation is somehow “under attack” by the gay community? That would be my guess.”

      After years of experience in the field, I can confirm that your guess is correct.

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    I feel like Christians repeat themselves too much! I think they just dont get that we really dont care what the bible says about if we are going to burn in hell, I mean if we really were all that worried we woulda stopped after the first time they told us! Also how many verses are there about homosexuality being an abomination? And how many are there about loving others? I think they should stop worrying about our eternal souls and start worrying about their own.

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      “I think they just dont get that we really dont care what the bible says about if we are going to burn in hell . . .”

      ding ding ding!

      “I think they should stop worrying about our eternal souls and start worrying about their own.”

      Exactly. As the saying goes, you do you, and I’ll do me. We don’t all need to “learn to love each other,” or other ridiculous crap. We need to learn how to mind our own business.

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    Well… I think that you should have strait pride as well as gay pride… BUT. If they cant wear strait shirts then take off that Rainbow belt and those rainbow socks you muff muncher. i am actually happy they want to wear the shirt so I wont waste my time tryna hit on them ;-)

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    I don’t understand the idea of having pride in something other than an actual accomplishment. I have never experienced gay pride. I am proud that I live my life as an out gay person, because that is an accomplishment that I reached by my own efforts. I am proud of other things I have *done*, but not personal characteristics. And when I say, “I don’t understand,” I don’t mean “I don’t get why dipshits do this,” I mean, “I don’t comprehend this.”

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      As has been mentioned before upthread (I think, it’s late and I’m lazy): “gay pride” is more of a response to the “gay shame” so many of us are told in ways both explicit and implicit, that we should have.

      To shamelessly copy paste from the online Merriam-Webster’s general “pride (n.)” entry 1b., “a reasonable or justifiable self-respect.”

      “Gay pride” as a concept is also something of a celebration of gay culture – and, let’s be real, an acknowledgement that gay folks exist at all. We are a minority, and we can sometimes be an invisible one.

      Also, semantically, it’s cool because instead of addressing the negative “I’m not ashamed to be queer” it’s using a positive “I have pride in my homogayness.”

      My queer history is a little rusty, though, so anyone feel free to step in and amend me / add on. I’m not sure the phrase was in use at all pre- the first Pride events in 1969.

      God it’s late. Goodnight, Autostraddle.

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    So I’m thinking of sending my niece to school tomorrow wearing an “Incest Pride” T-shirt citing Genesis 19:30-36, you know, where Lot has drunken sex in a cave with both of his daughters…Those girls would lose any drinking game of “Never Have I Ever.” If you’ve done it in a cave–and you’ve done it with your Dad–you’ve probably also done it tangled in Fruit By The Foot or by accident with a vegetable.

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          Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree, but I feel I do need to say something in defense of the Bible here.

          I understand your intense dislike of a book which has been abused to condemn you. I am also offended when I go to church and listen to an ignorant, hateful pastor use it to compare my girlfriend and I to dogs/tables/rutabagas/etc. It is inexcusable for the church at large to dehumanize us as gay people, and then tell us (based on an incorrect interpretation of verses which have been taken entirely out of their context), that we are evil/wrong/the end of the world.

          But I also think it is wrong to judge something by its abuses. When Christians abuse the Bible to justify their own hatred and homophobia, this is an abuse of the Bible. This does not, however, mean that the Bible is bad. It just means that people have used the Bible to do bad things. Lots of stuff gets abused, but we still use/believe in it. Money gets abused, governmental power gets abused, medicinal drugs get abused; but this does not mean that money, government, and medicine are all inherently bad things.

          The Bible contains some of the most well-known and, in the opinion of many, best written poetry in all of “Literature”, and certainly has inspired plenty. It is also a valuable historical document, seeing as it contains the accumulation of many people’s experiences over a very large time span. It has provided comfort to people in anguish, and hope to some who were despairing. I beg of you to understand that it is a book of at least some value.

          And I’m sorry. I am so. sorry. I apologize for what my brothers and sisters in the faith have used it for. I can only tell you that change is possible. I used to hate all gay people, including myself, and always took the time to let the world know it. Now, I only hope that in the rest of my life I have the time to help and comfort as many people as I previously hurt by living in such an unacceptable fashion.

          I so heart this website, and all of you guys here. You inspire me. You have such a fighting spirit, such a resilience. I only hope this community continues to flourish and defy expectations! I am rooting for you all.

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    School was really hard for me. In response to a very negative attempt to publicly out me in Middle school I crawled so deep in the closet I didn’t realize what I had done until I was married :/

    Really it would be one thing if they just had Straight Pride on their shirts (even with the implication, maybe they are really just that bad at attracting the opposite sex and need them help), but it is totally unacceptable for them to have a quote suggesting anyone should die or be put to death. If it was a quote implying that about a particular sex, race or religion it would be unacceptable and people would be in an uproar.

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    “allowing a student to wear a ‘straight pride’ tshirt is not the equivalent of another student wearing a gay pride tshirt. They’re not interchangeable concepts – they’re not coming from the same place.”

    well said.

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    All these comments are making me anxious. I think we can all agree that there is never just “two opposing opinions”? I mean… that’s what I’ve gotten out of all this. I can write a book now.

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    I’m hurting myself procrastinating by reading this…. but I just want everyone to agree on one thing. Can we spell “straight” with the g and the h?

    Or are we doing the phonics thing? Worst thing ever–because now there are adults I cannot take seriously.

    Please start arguing about spelling now so I can go back to ignoring my computer and doing “work.”

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    I just find the whole ‘straight pride’ thing ridiculous. The reason we have GAY pride is because we are automatically seen as inferior, damned people. The moment that sexual orientation becomes a non-issue, there will be no need for gay pride, straight pride or anything to further segregate ourselves as people.

    Everyday is straight pride. Heterosexual couples can hold hands and show affection to one another in public without people throwing side-eyes, or others thinking it’s some sort of mating call for threesomes. Oh, and you know, the whole marriage hoopla my poor American friends have to deal with. Pride is about not feeling ashamed about who you are. Since when was being heterosexual shamed in our society? Exactly.

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    Are we REALLY trying to argue that straight pride shirts aren’t hateful?

    WHY would ANYONE wear a straight pride shirt? No, really. List the reasons.

    The one reason I can come up with is because they hate gay people.

    I think my opinion is proven pretty correct considering this particular straight pride shirt included a DEATH THREAT on the back.

    Did people not read the post or something?

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    I really love the quote by that school administrator.

    “This shirt teaches there are two sides to every issue”

    Side 1: it’s ok to be gay. You don’t have to commit suicide.
    Side 2: if you don’t commit suicide God will stone you.

    “It also teaches you to be respectful of the other side”

    by killing them.

    Yes.

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    So, this only kind of has to do with this article, but today my friend and I got to speak at a staff meeting at our school about LGBT bullying. It went extremely well, and now 40+ classrooms have Safe Space posters up on their walls. Multiple teachers have come up to me and told me that our little speech really opened their eyes. Yay progress! There is still hope for other schools too!

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