"All people are not heterosexual. Heterosexuality is not superior and is not the norm by which all other sexual orientation and gender identities are measured." --Burnaby, B.C. Schools Draft Policy #5.45

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sexual Minority History Bill

While the Tennessee legislature has been moving in the direction of banning all mention of homosexuality in its primary and middle schools, the California legislature has been moving in the opposite direction. The most talked about part of California Senate Bill 48 would require teaching the historical contributions of sexual minorities:

"Instruction in social sciences shall include the early history of California and a study of the role and contributions of ... lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans ... to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with the particular emphasis on portraying [their] role ... in contemporary society."

Other parts of the bill would require that schools not sponsor activities nor adopt teaching material that portray sexual minorities in a negative light.

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There are several YouTube videos of the hearing in which the public was invited to give their opinion of the bill.  In one of the videos, an articulate, pleasantly-dressed, and sincere young woman gives a brief speech describing her experience of having cross-gender feelings from a very early age and homosexual feelings at the beginning of puberty, but upon her conversion to a religious faith at the age of 15, her transformation into a heterosexual with a female gender identity.  She argues that if Senate Bill 48 became law, transgender children would be less likely to find out that being transgender is a lifestyle they can escape from, as she did.  This video is being passed around anti-gay and anti-transgender web sites.

A Google search turns up a web site maintained by this woman, with a video she has put up of her life story, and another of her appearance on a religion-themed talk show.  On these videos, she reveals that her mother miscarried a boy child before she was born, that her parents had always desperately wanted a male child, and that they exerted intense unspoken pressure on her to be male throughout her early childhood.  She includes none of this information in the video of her testimony before the California legislature.

Because it appears that her cross-gender feelings originated with her parents' desire for a boy instead of originating within her, the complete version of her life story--far from demonstrating that transsexuality and homosexuality are choices--looks more like evidence that gender identity and sexual orientation are immutable: They tried to impose a male identity on her.  It failed.

California legislature's bill search page: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

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