The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

A Few Words For PFOX

PFOX is infiltrating in my kid’s school district.

A flier from a group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, or PFOX, has started a controversy in Silver Spring.

The flier was handed out during homeroom to students at Montgomery Blair High School.

News4’s Miguel Almaguer reported that gay students at the high school said the group behind it is homophobic.

The school said it had no choice but to pass it out.

PFOX says it reaches out to gay teens offering unconditional love and support to homosexuals who want to become straight.

… Avi Edelman, president of the Gay Straight Student Alliance, said that message is a sham.

“If you look at their Web site, if you look at their use of religious materials to condemn homosexuality, I think the message that they say they give and the message that they show on that flyer is very different than what the organization actually stands for,” Edelman said.

This is happening in a very progressive area (why would we choose to live anywhere that wasn’t?) like Montgomery County, Maryland, where it’s safe to say that the majority of people don’t want anything to do with PFOX and don’t want PFOX in our children’s schools. (Check out Teach the Facts and their blog Vigilance for background on how citizens organized to put down the right-wingers’ attempt to take over curriculum in our schools.)

Now, my kid is not school age, nor is he zoned for the school where this happened. Fortunately. And we’re already involved, including attending the public forum on the matter last year.) But if PFOX is stepping into my ‘hood, and even thinking about getting anywhere near my kid, there are some things that must be said.

I have a word of warning for PFOX and related or otherwise involved parties: Fuck with my kid and you fuck with me. And you don’t want to fuck with me where my kid is involved.

You have not seen a pissed-off or crazed parent until the day my child comes home with a flier like this in his backpack, and one that directs him to a website like this. Take anything you have seen, ratchet it up 10 to 20 notches and you only just begin to approach what you will have in me should you be so unwise as to pull something like this where my child is concerned.

And then there are the gay & lesbian students in these schools. I know personally what’s it’s like to go to school harassed by people like you. I will be damned if I will stand by and allow anyone to attempt to put any kid — mine or anyone else’s — through even a moment of what I went through. Not while I have breath in my body.

I will respond in the same way I would if the Klan or neo-Nazis were distributing materials in my child’s school, because the difference is minimal to non-existant.

I will have a new mission in life. You will have all manner of hell breaking loose on your head.

(Via Ex-Gay Watch.)

17 Comments

  1. Get them, T! Get them!

    I also call bullshit on the “we have to pass it out” argument. As a teacher, I know that schools are innundated with flyers and adverts and things, and I also know that, at least in California and Oregon, they have to have the administration’s stamp of approval before they go out.

    And wouldn’t it be PaFoGaEG?

  2. Get after the school district now! Why wait, when you can make the school miserable now?

  3. Pingback: Wonkette

  4. Terrance–

    I spent four years at Christian High of El Cajon (Home, BTW, of the ICR–the Institute for Creation Research). I’m forty and I still haven’t quite figured out my sexuality (though I stopped worrying about it about ten years ago)–that being said, I was ‘weird.’ Still am. Anthony Michael Hall in Breakfast Club weird, and I experienced my share of humiliations & minor assaults.

    I’ve mostly gotten over it, but that was the most horrible four years of my life–give ’em hell.

  5. As a Blair graduate (clss of 1991 baby! – god I am getting old) I read this with dismay and horror. Blair was and is a multi-cultural and diverse high school and to pass shit like this out is whacked.

    I want to know WHY they “had” to pass it out?

  6. That sounds really suspicious. Unless it’s part of a government mandate (which would not be at all surprising) why would the school have no choice but to pass it out? Teachers get canned for showing PG13 movies without getting the parents’ permission, since when is it required to let some off campus group pass out whatever they want in a public school? I’m quite positive that it’ even illegal to flyer in school parking lots.

  7. So, let me guess, if a parent reacts as you do when their kid comes home with some pro-homosexual material, something that they find just as morally reprehensible as you find this, you would consider them hateful? Homophobic? Bigoted?

    It really hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn’t it? Now you know what David Parker in Massachusetts felt like. And no, it’s not different. If it’s okay for you to push your sexual behavior on others, then it’s okay for others to criticize you.

    The solution, of course, is to not have any of this crap in any school.

    And all of you cheering Terrance on, I have one word for you: hypocrites.

  8. Go get ’em is right. In the school where I attended 4-6 grades, the Gideons would show up every year to hand out bibles in the classrooms.

    Yes–during class.

    When my dad found out, he was LIVID. The school was astonished–before him, no parent had ever complained. But the next year, no Gideons. And he was just one guy.

  9. I may be wrong, and I invite (polite) correction from anyone, but I don’t think there is any PRO-homosexual material out there. Certainly nothing that is equivalent to the materials of PFOX. I have never in my life seen a pamphlet suggesting that anyone should become gay. Or a handy little broadside saying that Christians are bad because they dislike gays. (This has been said, but I don’t think anyone has developed an teen-ager-friendly version.)

    Moreover, finding something morally reprehensible is not the same thing as being personally attacked. It does not hurt me when someone disagrees with my choices or behaves in a manner I don’t condone. It does hurt me when someone says that my choices are evil and that I should be eradicated.

  10. I really shouldn’t respond to Steve, but how is being gay and asking people to check their hate at the door “pushing your sexual behaviour”?

    Pro-tolerance(/acceptance!) literature suggests people accept other people, and judge them less. I’m guessing Steve is Christian, so it may be worth mentioning that this is a very Gospels message.

    PFOX’s website makes clear, their message is that some people are so depraved that one might as well return to the Old Testament and stone them.

    The two messages couldn’t be more different; about all they have in common is that both can be printed on a flyer. Schools have an interest in promoting tolerance – in a comfortable, safe environment students can learn all the things they are there to master (math, science, literature etc), while in a judgemental environment they are distracted by either judging or hiding that for which they might be judged.

    Steve, your comparison might as well be between a pro-civil-rights flier and one for the Klan; not all messages are born equal.

    -RS

  11. “Forced to”??

    Puuuleeeeeze!

    There’s definitely some money to be made in a law suit by some parent on this one.
    Someone go for it!

  12. Steve, honey, if it ain’t a school- or government-sponsored group, by federal law they ain’t allowed to mandate literature distribution to students (and even then there are opt-outs, such as the one for military recruitment).

    Therefore, the school has misstepped badly and should be spanked (says the professional educator).

    I don’t care if the literature is about how horrible it is to kick puppies, if it ain’t approved by my administration and vetted by myself to be appropriate and useful, I’m not handing it out.

  13. One more thing. I’d be opposed to any literature being handed out by a group that promoted prejudice and discrimination a another group of people, and that’s exactly what PFOX does.

    They are a religious organization with direct ties to James Dobson’s group Focus on the Family. The promote “reparative therapy” as a means to change sexual orientation, though it doesn’t work, is denounced by every organization of medical and mental health professionals as both unethical and dangerous. Even a number of “ex-gay” groups are now abandoning the idea that they can change someone’s sexual orientation.

    The philosophy behind groups like PFOX is simple: if gay people don’t want to be harassed or discriminated against, they should change. It follows that if they refuse to change then they should expect to be harassed and discriminated against, and prohibiting harassment and discrimination against them only encourages them not to change. So they also seek to ensure that gays & lesbians are harassed and discriminated against.

    That adds up to hell for gay & lesbian youth, and suicide for some.

    PFOX shouldn’t be distributing literature in our schools any more than the Klan or holocaust deniers should.

  14. Steve, you’re a nitwit. David Parker flipped out because his kid was exposed to a book that contained images of all different families. Do you have any idea how many kids of gay parents there are in the Lexington schools? Quite a few. What would you like the school to send home, a book that says yes, your neighbor has two mommies, but they’re evil and sinful and headed for hell? You can see why that wouldn’t go over too well. David Parker can teach his kids to hate, but the school is not going to encourage it. They want to provide a safe environment for all children, go figure, not try and goad them into attacking each other. The book also had images of interracial families, should the school send out some Klan flyers to provide balance on that?

  15. Go T!

    “The philosophy behind groups like PFOX is simple: if gay people don’t want to be harassed or discriminated against, they should change.”

    That is precisely the concept of PFOX operations.

    Steve, no gay person is asking you to be gay, hon, so stop “pushing your sexual behavior” here.

  16. I would love to tell you that jumping down the school boards throat with a lawsuit is the thing to do, but unfortunately I can’t.

    Our freedom to express ourselves as gay is protected by the Constitution ONLY because these nut cases are equally protected to openly hate us. That does not mean they have room to bash, harass, or defame us, but it does mean that they are afforded an equal right to speak their minds.

    I think Dale’s got it right. The best way to oppose ignorance is through education. If you don’t like what these people are saying, you have to tell them why before you can shut them up.

  17. Oh snap, I can’t believe this is happening at my alma mater. Oh sweet, progressive Montgomery Blair. I’m sure most of the good people of Montgomery County won’t abide by this.

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