Excellent site, but could you take out the gay stuff?

Originally Published: March 26, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: February 15, 2008
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Dear Alice,

You have an excellent site ... I think that there is a lot of information that would be useful for high school students ... BUT (there had to be a "but") ... as webmaster for our district, I would get hung if I posted a site that had the type of lesbian and homosexual postings that you have. It would be nice if you could have a high school main page ... if the above mentioned links weren't displayed. I think it would help a lot of schools.

thanks, Jim

Dear Jim,

It's ironic that you used a metaphor of death to describe the consequences of including gay/lesbian/bisexual/questioning information on your district's site. Gay and lesbian teenagers commit suicide at two to three times the rate of their heterosexual classmates, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A 1991 study at the University of Minnesota found that out of 150 lesbian and gay young people surveyed, 30 percent of them had tried to kill themselves at least once as teenagers. On the "lighter side," there's also the verbal and physical abuse of out gay high schoolers and those merely suspected of being queer.

For these reasons alone, Alice will continue to post gay-related Q&As from and for high school and college students, and from and for many others. Much of the world yells "YOU'RE SICK AND YOU SUCK" at les/bi/gay teens. By reading questions sent in by other Go Ask Alice! readers and seeing that their own feelings and questions are echoed, queer high schoolers can say, "if so many people share my joys, fears, and fantasies, then I must be much more 'normal' than I thought."

Perhaps you anticipate the anti-inclusion argument to go something like: "We don't have a problem with homosexuals. We just don't want to promote their lifestyle." A "gay lifestyle" means going to school, seeing movies, working, and perhaps, being in love — this sounds an awful lot like the heterosexual lifestyle. The "type" of lesbian and gay questions in the Go Ask Alice! archives often resemble what's on the minds of heterosexuals.

In line with the anti-inclusion argument, wouldn't this mean that the Q&As from women who want to assert themselves in bed, from men with sexually transmitted infections, from people who are depressed, and from masturbators also should be excluded? After all, there are many among us who think dames should save their feelings for PTA meetings, only sluts get herpes, depression is nothing more than laziness, and masturbation is for sex-starved losers.

Alice loves the idea of a special high school home page (many schools already link to Go Ask Alice! as a health information resource). Erasing the gay/lesbian/bisexual/questioning stuff would shut out a huge number of readers — yours and Alice's. It would also say loud and clear both to queer and "non-queer" people: "Your lives and concerns are not as important or legitimate as those of your 'straight' peers.... There's no help for you here, and, frankly, we don't really care about your attendance, schoolwork, safety, or the increased likelihood that you'll hurt or kill yourself." This message would undoubtedly do much more harm than good, and it's certainly counter to an educator's code of ethics. A great big delete to that idea.

Jim, these thoughts are directed more at the "hangmen and -women" in your school district than they are at you. Would it be possible for you to use some of these points if and when it came time to defend reality, the whole reality, and nothing but reality?

Alice

August 27, 2012

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Thank you so much Alice. Sometimes people can't put into the right words why they are pro- homosexuality and proud of it, but you have, in a way that makes me hopeful that many others will realize...
Thank you so much Alice. Sometimes people can't put into the right words why they are pro- homosexuality and proud of it, but you have, in a way that makes me hopeful that many others will realize that being gay, straight or anything else is wonderful and natural.

February 7, 2012

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Wish I had this site when I was in High School! Keep up the great work ALICE!
Wish I had this site when I was in High School! Keep up the great work ALICE!

February 13, 2008

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BLESS YOUR HEART, Alice! I am 45 now and out and proud. Yet there was a time back in small town Wisconsin, when I was not out and and very much so in the closet! Growing up I was suicidal and with...

BLESS YOUR HEART, Alice! I am 45 now and out and proud. Yet there was a time back in small town Wisconsin, when I was not out and and very much so in the closet! Growing up I was suicidal and with drawn from my pears just becauce I didnt fit in. I found my self contemplating suicide. Lucky for me I have a mother who saw my pain and intervened. Thanks for standing up to that Principal. For Crying out loud its 2008 already. Keep up the AWESOME work!

Wisconsin Willy

September 28, 2007

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Wow, I found your response very truthful. Back when I was in ninth grade, there was this kid that was great at everything — he was in several clubs, theater, was in his senior year with...
Wow, I found your response very truthful. Back when I was in ninth grade, there was this kid that was great at everything — he was in several clubs, theater, was in his senior year with scholarships, accepting family, etc... And one day, he drove over to the bay bridge and flung himself off of it. Nobody suspected anything. In his voicemails to his friends, he told them he loved them and that he couldn't take being rejected constantly for being gay. One of the saddest things was to see how it affected everybody around him.

December 22, 2005

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Alice,

I think it's absolutely ridiculous to take out information that is so important for today's youth — because of some jerk's religious beliefs.

Grow with the times,...

Alice,

I think it's absolutely ridiculous to take out information that is so important for today's youth — because of some jerk's religious beliefs.

Grow with the times, homosexuality is more public than it has ever been.

GLBTQ youth need your support the most.

May 9, 2004

20633
Dear Alice, RE: Excellent Site, But Could You Take Out The Gay Stuff?: I loved your answer. It was well thought out and a touching emotive statement of support said in a meaningful way. It was not...
Dear Alice, RE: Excellent Site, But Could You Take Out The Gay Stuff?: I loved your answer. It was well thought out and a touching emotive statement of support said in a meaningful way. It was not lost on this Gay Person Who did fit the profile of teen suicide. I am thirty-five and if there had been an Ask Alice willing to take a chance and tell the truth in 1985 when I was a Freshman, then I may never have gotten married and then had to divorce a nice girl because I was Gay. To all the people who don't want to see it, You would feel differently if you had to grow up in a gay world where it was weird if you liked girls and you got beat up for kissing your boyfriend. I cannot thank you enough for trying to help the next generation. I wish someone had been there for me. Thank you, Geoffrey

May 9, 2004

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Dear Alice, I would like to say that I just found your column and I love it! I had to respond to Jim about wanting to take out the gay/lesbian and bisexual "stuff." I am a 37 yr. old woman with 3...
Dear Alice, I would like to say that I just found your column and I love it! I had to respond to Jim about wanting to take out the gay/lesbian and bisexual "stuff." I am a 37 yr. old woman with 3 kids, I have been married twice and was always very depressed in my marriages. Of course I got 3 wonderful children out of them, but in the process, I hurt 2 good men and myself. I have been out now for the last 7 yrs. and I have never been happier! To my surprise and delight, all my friends, family, and coworkers have been very supportive. I only wish that I had done this many yrs. ago when I knew that something was always missing in my relationships with men. I knew at a very young age that I was a lesbian, but I was in denial because of the fear of being rejected by society, friends, family, and the church! With so much information and support groups out there for gays/lesbians and bisexuals, I can only hope that the younger generation of us will have it easier. We all need to teach our children that to love is wonderful no matter what the genders, race, or religions are. All my children know about me and they are completely accepting. I am their mom and me loving another woman doesn't change that. My words to all gay/lesbian or bisexual teens out there: Don't go through your life knowing "who" you are but not "being" who you are. Life is too short to pretend to live a life that is not right for you. I know, I did it for too many years. In ending, let me say that I am happier now than I have ever been and I am a much better mother, too... Peace to all.

May 14, 1999

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Hi Alice, I came out (to myself) early this winter, and for a while I thought I was the only one. I told my close friends, then my acquaintances, then got up the guts to just discuss these issues...
Hi Alice, I came out (to myself) early this winter, and for a while I thought I was the only one. I told my close friends, then my acquaintances, then got up the guts to just discuss these issues with friends in public. I was so surprised when a noticeable proportion of the people I told I was bi responded, "Oh yeah? Me too." But...but....but "everybody is straight!" Guess not. But my parents had never really mentioned gayness in any way, other than to vaguely "say the right things" with our liberal friends. I was scared to death to come out to them, although I thought it would be OK. I was angry that they had never presented these issues to me. I never knew that "lots of people are attracted to those of the same sex" and "that's totally OK." Even in their own daughter. After all, I myself had always said vaguely, "sure, I support gays," but when it was suddenly ME, I was washed over in a wave of self-directed homophobia. It's all over, visible and invisible, in our society. I was terrified, but I was also furious. I wished I'd "seen myself" before with my parents, in class, and elsewhere. But the images and discussions were all straight, straight, straight. Well, last Saturday my parents visited me at school and I came out to them. It was awesome. It went better than I could possibly have imagined. "If that's how you are, that's fine," said my dad. "What matters to us is that you're our daughter." And then my parents came to our team's last softball game of the season (the actual purpose of the visit) and cheered through two games and four hours. I was really still "their daughter" and that's what counted. Anyway, the reason I am telling you this is that I wanted to thank you so much for your wonderful response to "Jim"'s question of March 26, 1999 entitled Excellent site, but could you take out the gay stuff? I would have given anything to have heard as a kid, or a high-schooler, even before I started questioning, "Gay/lesbian/bi is OK." "Plenty of people are LGB." I am very grateful that my parents are so accepting, but I still wish that they had discussed these issues personally with me when I was younger. I see your site's insistence on visibility as a valuable first step -- after all, if kids and teens see these issues and people here, they might ask their parents. If schools link to Go Ask Alice!, they will be letting the ten percent of kids who don't see themselves anywhere in Health class discussion finally know they are not alone. I expected, when I clicked on Jim's question, that you would refuse to remove the LGB content. The answer I found, though, said so in a manner that was so intelligent, so eloquent, and so constructive that I wanted to write this comment. Most of all, your response picked out the right reason for keeping this section available: not for abstract issues of "combating homophobia" or "activism." Before anyone can become active in those lofty goals, he or she has to deal very personally with a very personal and scary thing in his or her own life. Thank you for letting readers in this process know that they are not alone. (2)