WHERE WAS THE PLUS SIZE HIGH SCHOOL WHEN I NEEDED IT?

Many of you have probably read about Harvey Milk High School, the publicly funded high school in New York City created specifically for gay, bi & transgender students. (read here: http://www.msnbc.com/news/945134.asp) I won’t debate the moral implications here. I just want to know how segregation of any sort is a move forward in any group’s desire to be equal, mainstreamed, or accepted. In my opinion, this is a huge step backward from their goal of equality.

The main reason for this high school is so the students won’t have to endure persecution, teasing, or harassment. Not to belittle anyone’s feelings, but, “So what?” Some measure of teasing and harassment is a part of high school. I was a shy, overweight kid… and I got made fun of all the time. I mean, if someone had approached me about Plus Size High, in principle, it may have sounded like a good idea at the time… but if you are overweight, shy, a nerd, wear glasses, wear braces, or have a face covered with zits — you’re going to get teased. If you’re beautiful, popular, into sports or one of the rich kids… you’re still going to be teased. Of course, I am not saying teasing is right. I’m just saying, for the most part, it happens — everywhere.

Teasing happens in private schools, for even in private schools, everyone is not equal. Someone always has more money or brains. Teasing happens in Christian schools, for even in Christian schools, not all kids are equal. Some kids in Christian schools are fat. Some come from broken homes. Some kids have more money than others. Some are there on scholarship. Teasing happens everywhere, regardless of whether it’s a private, Christian, public school, or the playground.

Therefore, I think that this little experiment of a alt. sexuality high school is a mistake. Even within the walls of that “safe” environment, harassment will happen, though the labels will be a bit more different. Too gay, not gay enough, too pretty, too butch, etc., will join the list of too fat, too thin, too smart, too dumb… Put a group of teenagers together, regardless of their sexual orientation, and they will find or make up things to make fun of each other about. Methinks something else is afoot here, but I haven’t decided what it is yet.

Of course, while the Christian community decries the idea of an alt. sexuality high school itself, they only have to look in the mirror to see that they, themselves, have participated in their own forms of self-segregation for years. Christians segregate themselves every day — Christian schools, Christian bookstores, Christian music, a Christian themepark, and now Christian housing developments are springing up everywhere. For a group of people who are supposed to be light in the darkness, every day it seems those lights are running to each other and therefore, by their actions, saying, “let the darkness be damned.” And while the world keeps getting darker around them, the Christian community continues to cry about it, wondering where all their influence, voice, rights, and equality went.

For all the groups out there fighting to influence the world with their agenda… you can’t do it by segregating yourselves on purpose! You can’t influence anyone if you are surrounded by people who think as you do. You can’t influence anyone if you’re only broadcast to people who think as you do. Just as Christians can’t witness to their neighbors if all of their neighbors already share their faith, kids in a gay high school cannot gain acceptance with the rest of the world if they shut themselves off from the rest of the world. Hmm… maybe if we all loved one another (and one another doesn’t mean Christian to Christian) as He commanded us to, maybe gay kids wouldn’t feel like they needed a separate place to go learn.

Just some thoughts on the subject…

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