16 year-old Ohio student, Maverick Couch, is suing his school for prohibiting him from wearing a “Jesus is not a homophobe” T-shirt to school. The principal allegedly refused to allow the T-shirt because it violated school policy against clothing that is “indecent and sexual in nature.”
The high school junior told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he couldn’t understand the school’s reaction: “I don’t think the T-shirt is sexual at all. I don’t know how they can say that. I don’t think it’s indecent.” He’s absolutely right, of course; his T-shirt is a poignant Christian affirmation of the humanity in all of us. The banned T-shirt is only indecent and “sexual” if you choose to reduce gay people to a collection of sexual organs and orifices and behaviors.
I’m so unbelievably sick of this! I’m sick of communities (that’s you, kids, and parents and teachers and administrators) not recognizing that gay people are whole people, deserving of the same damned respect and kindness and basic civility the rest of us claim.
People talk a good game these days, and it’s true that we’ve made some progress. But let’s not get carried away with fuzzy feelings. Doesn’t it still feel like homophobia is one of the remaining quasi-acceptable prejudices? People still get away with things that would get them coldcocked in other circumstances. (You know, using the n-word, for example.)
And the grown-ups are still hiding behind the usual lame arguments and misguided religious interpretations: we have to “balance” Mr. Couch’s free speech against the free speech of others or the possibility that certain unspecified “exceptions” would have to be made in the future if Mr. Couch got to wear his damned T-shirt. And what about creating a “safe learning environment for all?” Don’t forget that some families don’t approve of the gay “lifestyle.” We wouldn’t want to gross them out too much!
Can someone please explain how there are sentient beings in the United States of America who still believe that certain kinds of citizens need “approval” to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Guess what? No one cares if you don’t like gay people or think they’re going to hell!! You still have to be nice. [Jesus told me that, by the way.]
Is it really asking too much for Mr. Hardass Ohio Principal to think a little out of the box, maybe stretch his mind just a teensy bit, and try to understand what it’s like for Maverick Couch to live in this world? Meanwhile, while we’re waiting for that miracle… LGBTQ kids are killing themselves. JESUS IS NOT A HOMOPHOBE, and Amen to that.