POLITICS ALLAN ACEVEDO
conservative organization called the Capital Resource Institute began an online campaign to push for a referendum on SB 48. Senate Bill 48, or The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Act was signed into law on the eve of our own Pride celebration on July 14 by Gov. Jerry Brown and requires school districts to include age-appropriate, educational instruc- tion on the contributions of LGBT people in history.
The passage of this bill, much
like the passage of SB 572, The Harvey Milk Day bill, are impor- tant steps necessary to making schools safer and more affirm- ing for LGBTQ and questioning students. Study after study shows LGBT students at a greater risk of suicide, depression and bul- lying compared to their hetero- sexual peers. In a school envi- ronment where comments like “that’s so gay” are daily epithets to be heard in and out of the class room, California educators need to set a standard for respect and tolerance in the classroom. This law does that by ensur-
ing that the contributions of LGBT people are acknowledged and respected along those of every other gender, social, ethnic and racial group. Breaking down the institutionalized silence that surrounds discussion of the LGBT identity are steps which are needed to ensure safe access to education for all students. Breaking down stereotypes and respecting the contributions of everyone will go a long way towards providing a culturally- aware perspective for heterosex- ual students. Most importantly it will provide hope to all those LGBT students who might now know someone else like them. I came out in middle school
in 2002 in the city of Chula Vista. Instantly the name-calling and rumors started. I had never met another gay person much less kissed someone, but I knew I was gay and I wasn’t going to hide it. It came as a price, but quickly people saw me embrace my iden- tity and not have it define who I was. I was still involved in student government, extracurricular ac- tivities and after a while, the jokes and name-calling slowed and in its place came questions. Random students asking me about gay people, gay culture, and gay sex. All subjects I knew nothing about. My parents were definitely not in a position to educate me about anything; my instructors were too scared to breach the issue with me even when they heard and saw the bullying happen in the class room; and to that point in life I had yet to see a positive portrayal of LGBT people, history, or events on television or any of
my text books. I remember feeling isolated and alone. I thought I would need to curve my aspira- tions of college and a career since I’d never heard of or seen any suc- cessful LGBT people or heard of anything they had accomplished. I remember taking A.P. U.S. his-
tory my junior and my progressive, feminist, Jewish teacher was really excited for me to read the chapter on the modern civil rights move- ment. She told me it talked about the LGBT community. Though at this point I had made it out of the suburbs and into Hillcrest, I knew gay people and had read my own community’s history on my own, I was excited to see it included in our text book. Much to my dismay, the only mention of LGBT people was of gay men and heroin users who contracted what became known as HIV in the 1980s. While I hope some advance- ments have been made since I fin- ished high school, I also know the reality that stereotypes are hard to break down and political pressure exists in public schools to keep si- lent on the matter of LGBT issues. However, if there were no climates where students affected by bully- ing miss school because of fear of harassment, where students felt safe and respected, or where all students could have role models to look up to and know their aspi- rations are attainable, then there would be no need to pass laws that slowly, but surely will lead to the establishment of a climate of safety and respect where all stu- dents can focus on their academic achievements.
This right-wing group is now hoping to collect enough signa-
Twenty-Something? Got Something to Discuss? Women’s Group: Tues, August 16 Men’s Group: Tues, August 23 7 pm, The Center
Connect to The Center and the community with the 20- Somethings Men’s Group or Women’s Group. Join other 18-28 year olds to talk about relationships, sexual health, activism, community building and more. The women’s group meets on the 3rd Tuesdays of the month and the men’s group meets on the 4th Tuesdays of the month.
Wednesday, August 17
50 & Better Together Lunch and Learn: Living Life to the Fullest
12 noon, The Center
Learn how to live according to your dreams and aspirations. Fun exercises and audience participation will help you move beyond the barriers and challenges you may face in achieving your goals. RSVP by Monday, August 15 to seniors@ thecentersd.org
or 619.692.2077 x 205.
Thursday, August 18
Special Guest Todd Gloria at the Men’s Coming Out Group 7:15 pm, The Center
San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria will visit the Men’s Coming Out Group to speak about his coming out experience and discuss the challenges of being an out public figure, as well as his responsibility to the gay community and the general community at-large. A limited question and answer period will follow. All are welcome. For more information, call 619.692.2077 x101.
Get your Mic On at Hillcrest Youth Center!
Friday, August 26, 8 pm, Hillcrest Youth Center
Hillcrest Youth Center will host an open mic night for LGBT youth and allies ages 14-18. Show us your talent! Performances will include spoken word, guitar shredding, singing and more. For more information, contact Jess Culpepper at HYC@thecentersd.org
Saturday, August 27 www.thecentersd.org
The San Diego LGBT Community Center 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077
The Art of 50 and Better Together 3 pm, Center Auditorium
View the masterpieces of the 50 & Better Together Art Group in The Center’s auditorium while enjoying wine and light snacks. There will be a chance to win one of their creations. In addition, we hope to have dancers, musicians, writers and singers to showcase all forms of artistic expression.
tures to bring to a vote of the people whether students should have fair and respectful repre- sentations of LGBT people in school curriculum. What is worse is how Paulo Sibaja, the Capital Resource Institute’s director of communications and legisla- tions, is framing the message and direction of this campaign. Their
August 12–25, 2011
GAY SAN DIEGO
7 The conservative right is at it again
, is full of lies and misinformation all too fa- miliar to the voters of California. This group claims that LGBT special interests are indoctrinating public schools to promote homo- sexuality and transgender people in children as young as five and
see Spectrum, pg 8
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