Posted by: Catherine Lugg | November 3, 2010

It’s really bad

You know the results of yesterday’s mid-term elections were terrible when I found myself yelling at a gay reporter this afternoon.* The interview was about workplace protections for LGBT teachers and administrators, which are typically fragile where they exist, and are largely non-existent in many places. The reporter seemed to be increasingly distressed as I rattled off law, licensure requirements, tenure rights and the lack of tenure rights, morality clauses, etc., and he finally asked, “Pretend the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was passed…” I sharply pointed out that the chances of passing ENDA before 2017 were now as dead as Francisco Franco with the GOP controlling the House of Representatives, with Obama in the White House, and with Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader. There is NO leadership support for ENDA–none, zilch, zip, forgetaboutit. None of our elected federal leaders give a rat’s patootie about ENDA, much less care about the lives of queer educators or even queer kids. But that was the case on November 1st. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barak Obama did squat for the queer people who learn, play and work in public schools. Now with John Boehner running the House, things just got that much worse.

What put me over the edge was the reporter was trying to put a happy, “but there’s the hope of ENDA” schpeil regarding the current state of affairs for LGBT kids and adults. NO, that’s been dead for ages (this bill has been kicking around since the mid 1990s), and things are going to continue to be bad for queer people for the foreseeable future. “The audacity of hope?” Nope, it’s all become the Bush-Era III vis-à-vis queers and public schooling. Queer kids are going to continue to die and queer educators will continue to lead and teach in fear. What change will come, will come at the local level and in a few states. We will continue to make some progress, and suffer many, many more defeats.

* I loathe “happy talk” in other people and I can’t even begin to fake it myself. When the situation is bad, please do NOT try to paper over the obvious crap with bright pink bows and smiley faces (like the “It gets better” campaign). If one persists in happy pap, I’m likely to tell you that Mrs. Claus finally got angry enough about Santa Claus taking off on his once-a-year bender, that she pulled out her gun and shot him dead. Obviously, this is why I cannot run for public office, operate an education policy center, or serve as a college administrator. The viewing public does not like a cranky middle-aged woman with a profoundly bad attitude towards non-queer culture.

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Responses

  1. […] reporter, Joseph Erbentraut, is the reporter whom I snarled at about ENDA keeping public school teachers and administrators safe. At least he dispensed with the […]


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