“Mommy, what’s a homosexual?”

I remember one of the biggest hurdles to becoming more comfortable and accepting my own sexuality was the ability to discuss it openly and frankly; without condescension or condemnation. It was the ability to put a name and a face to what I was feeling. It was the ability to feel like I wasn’t the only one. Well, as many of you are probably aware Tennessee is in the process of making it *even* harder for LGBTQ youth to be okay in the skin their in; and unfortunately the aptly described “Don’t Say Gay Bill” has cleared another hurdle on it’s way toward becoming law:

A bill that would ban teaching Tennessee kids about homosexuality before they reach the ninth grade was approved by a state House subcommittee Wednesday, reigniting an emotional debate in the buckle of the Bible Belt.

This is yet another assault on LGBT children. It was constructed (by anti-gay bigot Stacey Campfield, who recently showed off his “intelligence” when he stated as a matter of fact that the AIDS epidemic began because a gay airline attendant had sex with a monkey….) under the toxic premise that being gay is something children “learn” rather than something they simply are.

But as we know from experience, silencing the discussion on homosexuality wont do anything other than make children’s lives miserable. Study after study has shown that LGBT youth need a support network to help them get through the rough transition of coming out; and in dealing with the sometimes incredibly harsh atmosphere of hate directed toward them as a result of who they are. So instead of protecting children, this bill actually seeks to make an entire group of children non-existent. It seeks to make them feel as though they aren’t normal. It seeks to make them think they are sick and perverted. Is this what the religious right is talking about when they bloviate about “family values”?

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