Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

A Sporting Chance
by Deb Price
2003-01-22

This article shared 1135 times since Wed Jan 22, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


A mom sticking up for her 14-year-old daughter, who attorneys say was senselessly kicked out of gym class simply for being gay, represents a powerful and encouraging new trend:

More and more parents are learning very early on that their children are gay and are unabashedly demanding that those kids be treated with respect.

'I would do anything for my own kid,' says Amelia Massey of Banning, Calif., a rural community about an hour from Los Angeles. 'Ashly is a person like everybody else.'

Amelia has long been comfortable around gay people. Both she and her husband were supportive when Ashly told them at 13 that she's gay. So, the next year, when Amelia felt Ashly was being discriminated against by school officials, the 39-year-old mother didn't cower in embarrassment. Instead, like a protective momma bear, she instinctively fought back.

Taking a cue from other supportive parents, Amelia didn't just get mad, she sued. Her lawsuit alleges that, for a week and a half, eighth-grader Ashly was ordered to sit in the principal's office rather than attend gym class. The suit is the latest warning to school officials that they must ensure gay students aren't harassed or otherwise mistreated.

School officials ought to have already learned that costly lesson. In 1996, Jamie Nabozny won nearly $1 million in damages from Wisconsin high school officials found liable by a federal jury for ignoring increasingly violent attacks by anti-gay bullies. A year later, the U.S. Department of Education warned schools that they can lose federal funds if they don't stop sexual harassment of gay students. And in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools can be held liable if principals react with 'deliberate indifference' to student-on-student sexual harassment.

Once, being a gay young person almost invariably meant trying to hide the truth from family members. But times are indeed changing. A wonderful new generation of parents like Amelia Massey is much more likely than its elders to be so unprejudiced that children know they can safely share the truth with them right away.

Amelia wisely says: 'Ashly has to live this way (being gay) the rest of her life. If you are 13 or 14, you have to start preparing for life. You need to feel good about (yourself), face the public. You can't walk around fearful. Fear won't make you a successful person. You have to stand up and be strong.' She advises others parents to tell their gay kids: 'I don't care what others say. You are a wonderful person, and we support you.'

Ashly says that last March, she was in the gym locker room when a friend told another girl that Ashley is gay and the entire class heard the exchange. The next day, she says, her gym teacher started making her sit in the principal's office rather than attend class. Hurt and embarrassed, Ashly initially didn't tell her mother.

Ultimately, Amelia Massey intervened, but the damage had been done: Ashly says friends had turned against her. 'In front of teachers, they would be like, 'There is the fat dyke,' and the teachers acted like they didn't hear anything,' says Ashly, now 15. 'I got depressed, and I didn't want to go to school. I felt like scum, and it was very degrading.'

(The school district's superintendent declined to return my phone calls.)

Amelia Massey searched the Internet to find the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which informed her that she did indeed have state and federal grounds on which to fight back. California is among the first states to explicitly outlaw anti-gay discrimination by public school officials.

COPYRIGHT 2003 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


This article shared 1135 times since Wed Jan 22, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library 2022-08-07
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...


Gay News

Sexual-misconduct report findings force Chicago charter-school leader to leave 2022-08-04
- A Chicago Public Schools inspector general's report substantiating allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student forced Tim King, the head of a prominent charter school network, to resign recently, WBEZ reported. King, who founded Urban ...


Gay News

Attorneys general file brief in Indiana trans case 2022-08-04
- A coalition of 22 attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York counterpart Letitia James, filed an amicus brief in the case of A.C. v. Metropolitan School District of Martinsville opposing the school ...


Gay News

NU sued by student on school's Qatar campus 2022-08-03
- On July 28, Northwestern University was slapped with a civil-rights lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Court, according to Law.com. The lawsuit was brought by Disparti Law Group on behalf of a student of the university's Qatar ...


Gay News

Utah school district removes LGBTQ+ books from libraries 2022-08-02
- A Utah school district removed 52 books from its library shelves due to parent complaints mainly concerning LGBTQ+-focused material, LGBTQ Nation noted. A spokesperson for Alpine School District tells The Salt Lake Tribune that the district ...


Gay News

Vallas speaks at event of group known for anti-LGBTQ+ views [UPDATE] 2022-08-01
- Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and current mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke at a fundraiser for Awake Illinois—a group that has been criticized for its transphobic and homophobic rhetoric, The Chicago Reader reported. The group hosted ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian activist dies, school report, Robin Roberts, Joe Rogan 2022-07-31
- Rita Addessa—a civil-rights activist and the first executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force (PLGTF, later the Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force)—passed away July 9 at Penn Hospice in Philadelphia at age ...


Gay News

Florida school districts sued over 'Don't Say Gay' law 2022-07-28
- Florida teens and their families, along with advocacy groups, have sued to block a law that restricts classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity, NBC News reported. The Parental Rights in Education law—dubbed the "Don't ...


Gay News

LETTERS The Church should practice love and constructive dialogue, not hate 2022-07-25
- Another U.S. diocese has issued new restrictive policies regarding LGBTQ issues in Catholic schools, and its new directives compare being openly transgender with sexual abuse. The Roman Catholic Church is having an internal dialogue on how ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Miami textbooks, Lia Thomas, Florida churches, Key West figure dies 2022-07-24
- Miami-Dade County students could go months without sex-education books after school board members, by a five-to-four vote, rejected two proposed textbooks over concerns they violate the state's Parental Rights in Education bill, known by opponents as ...


Gay News

Green Bay diocese requires pronouns, restrooms align with biological sex 2022-07-21
- In Wisconsin, the Diocese of Green Bay is implementing a new gender identity policy in which people must abide to their biological sex throughout its schools, including pronouns, in bathrooms, locker rooms and athletics, NBC 26 ...


Gay News

ACTIVITIES Architectural Artifacts brings the goods to new Chicago location 2022-07-15
- Following its 35-year legacy as one of the nation's top destinations for globally sourced design and architectural statement pieces, Architectural Artifacts, Inc. (AAI) has reimagined a 35,000-square-foot Mid Century-style school ...


Gay News

NATIONAL California ban, HBCUs, silent disco, defaced banner 2022-07-10
- California is banning state-funded travel to four states that passed laws this year prohibiting transgender women and girls from competing in school sports according to their gender identities, The Sacramento Bee reported. State agencies will no ...


Gay News

Wis. Supreme Court allows pro-TGNC+ student policy to remain in effect 2022-07-08
-- From a press release - MADISON — The Supreme Court of Wisconsin allowed a school policy, which protects the right of students to use different names or pronouns at school without being forcibly outed by school faculty, to stay in effect ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, NFL player, gay country singer, 'Bliss,' MGK 2022-07-03
- LGBTQ+ teen sensation JoJo Siwa will guest-star in the third season of Disney+'s hit series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Out Magazine noted. She will play Madison, a Camp Shallow Lake alum. Also, Corbin ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.