Friday, October 27, 2023

“San Antonio Express-News” says school district was right to cancel me

In August, in Georgia, the Forsyth County School District asked me to omit the word “gay” from assemblies for elementary students in grades 3 and up or leave. I left.

In September, on the eve of my tenth and final scheduled day of talks in Northside Independent School District (San Antonio), the same thing happened.

Nancy M. Preyor-Johnson, Deputy Editorial Board Editor & Columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, reached out multiple times for comment. I naively thought her take, like most of the other mainstream press coverage (from the New York Times to the Associated Press), would be in favor of treating all people with respect, as I did in her community, but I was wrong.

Excerpt of my reply to Nancy:

I find it unfortunate that, while you seem to agree with me, the headline (which is all many will read) gives no sign of that. It will fuel the hatefulness of the intolerant.

I also find it unfortunate that your article fails to explain WHY it would be inappropriate to say “gay” to 8-10-year-olds in the context I do. Just because a minority of parents do not like gay people does not mean that gay people do not exist or that it is fine to refer to straight people but not gay people in equally nonsexual terms.

I do appreciate you mentioning that members of the community DID see the value of my visit. 

She replied that she respects me and mostly agrees with me, but that younger students and their parents (emphasis mine) need to be treated differently in conservative states. 

My reply:

They don’t. Precisely my point. Who gay people love is not political to them, just like who you love is not political to you.

Your article could’ve done some good in a community that is not fully living in the 21st century, but instead it will embolden harmful prejudices and make LGBTQ people feel unsafe and unwanted in San Antonio.

By the by, here are reactions to my talks from NISD educators (i.e. people who heard me present and who have the best interest of the kids at heart):


A.D. said...

Why would little children need to hear that word?!

Are you some kind of covert activist or something?

hobbyfan said...

Yo, AD. Marc is explaining the context to these kids in a way that isn't offensive, except in the narrow minds of conservatives. That Marc got the response he did in San Antonio, Texas doesn't surprise me. If Narrow-Mindia was a sub-country, San Antonio would be its capital.

Eventually, the children will hear words like "gay" in its present form as they grow older, no longer constrained by the blinders of conservative ignorance.