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Rachel Allison

Just over eighteen months ago a friend of mine heard about a program being presented at a high school across town.  It was advertised as a  Pinal County LGBTQ Youth Summit.  (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Recognizing that such a program could prove provocative, we decided to sit in on the event.

There were several teachers, and adult presenters, but my friend and I were the only parents in attendance. There were probably forty students who attended the mini conference.   All were asked to sign in with name and contact information.

Among other pro-gay groups, “One in Ten” Leadership was at this summit to promote safety and acceptance of those who are in the above category.  They claim that eighty percent of their work is helping schools, counselors, and administrations create safe schools for transgendered youth. But they also admit that their camps promote ways to empower youth who think they are or may be LGBTQ.

An openly gay young man conducted the program.  But before the meeting even started he had worked the crowd and had won us all over with his charisma and charm.  He talked to all of us for just a few minutes about the support his team was there to offer, and then a video clip from ABC news was shown that depicted the fatal effects that bullying had on a heterosexual young man. I hate bullying, and this film portrayed its cruelty.  Of course our hearts went out to the young man in the video…but we were a bit confused by the presentation of heterosexual bullying when the presentation was supposed to be about gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual abuse.  We didn’t know if there were documented cases of gay bullying or not, but they didn’t discuss it if there were.

At this point in the presentation it was announced that all the adults were supposed to go to one classroom, and all the youth were to go to another classroom.  This did not sit well with either my friend or me, but we recognized ourselves as “outsiders” in this group so we followed orders.  We were “taught” that there is a difference between sex and gender.  We were told that expanding our understanding to include a gender spectrum may be challenging, uncomfortable and even painful…that it requires bucking a lifetime of training, socialization, assumptions and practice, and that it would challenge our moral, religious and cultural traditions…..  Well, their philosophy certainly does all that!  I tuned in and out of the dialogue, as I was more concerned about what was being taught to the vulnerable youth in the next classroom.

All of these memories came flooding back as I read the article posted on World Family News,  “Gorham Middle School Officials Apologize for Diversity Day Discussion.” According to the article Gorham Middle School recently hosted representatives of a group called PRYSM, Proud Rainbow Youth of Southern Maine, to talk about gender diversity and discrimination.  When it was learned that homosexual foreplay was discussed, the Principal knew a major apology was in order.

After reading the article, it would not surprise me if the very group that came to our city and state taught inappropriate dialogue to the youth who were alone in their classroom.   I wonder if adults were actually present at Gorham Middle School.  Perhaps the youth and adults were separated just like the presentation in Arizona that I attended.

Parents, please tune in to all that your children are being exposed to.  There are elements of society who would love nothing more than to indoctrinate the lonely, vulnerable and confused.  (Having had five teenagers I witnessed the lonely, vulnerable and confused moments of their pre-adult years OFTEN.)  If your child insists on attending diversity presentations offered at school, accompany him.  And whatever else happens, do NOT let him/her go into a room with Gay agenda promoters, unless accompanied by you or an adult that you trust COMPLETELY.

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