Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

It was the Worst of Times

What do you do when you have blatant homophobia and ignorance staring you in the face? Personally, I blog about it. Years ago, I thought all crazy college kids were just way-out-radical-liberal. Surprisingly, this is not true. Lately, more and more college kids have caught the Jesus Fever (not to be confused with the Avian flu - symptoms are similar, but Avian flu makes you want to eat crumbs and garbage.)

Every semester, I get a wee bit scared when I have to review the chapter on sexual orientation. It's like, well, I can't think of a good analogy. You know that no matter how unpredictable or scary a rollercoaster ride is, it will likely end (eventually) and you will still be alive. Maybe it's like parenthood? (I don't know, I'm just guessing) When it's over, you could be the proud parent of the genius who invented the AIDS vaccine, or you could be the woman at the trial of the century who leaves and enters the courtroom with an acrylic cardigan covering your head to protect your identity from the media and so the gals at the lunch meat counter don't recognize you.

Anyway. Typically, I will ask the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender student organization to send in a panel of students to speak to my class. If it's uncomfortable for my students, it's the longest hour and fifteen minutes of the semester for me. I just keep waiting, watching, wondering if I should have packed a weapon, called for backup, whatever. Will I be on the news tonight?

Last semester, I had the teeniest, tiniest, cutest little Jesus gal student you ever did see. Seriously. She reminded me of Stacy Q. She might have been five feet tall. I don't think she weighed more than 80 pounds. And probably 5 of those were hair. She was an art major, so I mistakenly gave her credit for being open-minded. I should have guessed that things were headed down a dangerous path when she informed me (the first night of class) that she would be at least 20 minutes late to every class because she had to commute from work. It wasn't the distance, or the traffic, or anything like that; she had to stop at her parents' house on the way to campus so she could eat a nice hot meal. I had already informed the class that because of the unusual time of our class (dinner time, basically), they were all welcome to bring food to enjoy in class. They were welcome to bring fruit, granola bars, whatever. I did advise against pepperoni pizzas and open-face roast beef sandwiches, however. Stacy Q.-Jesus-girl didn't want to do this. Whatever. So, she's a PITA from the get-go.

The night of the LGBT panel, she approaches me after class in tears and asks if she can talk with me "in private." I guessed she was going to come out to me, and boy, was I wrong! She wanted to tell me that it was very difficult for her not to leave the class (I guess she wanted an award? Other than the PITA, I mean) because she is a Christian. And she does not believe in THAT. And then she started openly weeping and said, "I know that you probably believe that gay people are born that way, but I know that Jesus would not do that to anyone. How could Jesus create people that are made wrong and know that by making them that way he will subject them to a life of suffering? I refuse to believe that Jesus would do that, so that's how I know these people choose this. Usually because something bad happened to them in childhood."

Um, I'm sorry. What? Seriously. What the fuck are you talking about? Where does this girl live? Geographically, metaphorically, the whole thing. Under a rock? In a brown paper bag? In a world with no televisions, movie theatres, newspapers, Internet, radio or magazines? Hey, maybe it's just me bein' crazy, but aren't, I don't know, BABIES born with Cystic Fibrosis and Spina Bifida and all kinds of other birth defects we rarely hear about like all the damn time? Wouldn't these children and their families typically suffer? I just don't get it. I guess she lives in a world where nobody is born with any problems or "defects" (I'm not comparing homosexuality to a birth defect, by the way - hence, the quotation marks) that would cause any suffering. How nice for her. And also, when can I move there?


Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

Ok now I feel my comment about the dog was rather lame, but after reading this post felt a coment was in order, when I was younger i was a little homophobic(mainly because I had no understanding of Gays). But unlike "Stacy-Q" I remained openminded about it. In Oregon my wife's best friend was a gay guy and we went out to a couple of "gay" bars with him from time to time. What a Blast!! most unique nights out i've ever had. He would "protect" me at the Bar from the other guys by telling him we were "together". LOL and there was nothing quite like peeing in a urinal next to a Transvestite in full drag, Hell I couldn't tell it wasn't a female except for the obvious. I can say with certainty that this is not a choice they make, Her friend was the most interesting guy i've ever known. He related to me in a lot of "guy" ways and had an emotional connection with women that Hetero men would kill for. But then What do you expect from people who believe in a religion based on a book of short stories(my apologies to the christians among us,i'm pushing my beliefs again.) If you enter their world for a while you might see that in some ways it's better than ours. Besides not even Chippendale's has totally nude male pole dancers, thats one i'll never forget. LOL

March 05, 2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Yeah, I never knew there were Jesus freak art students out there, either. And I don't even go to a Jesus oriented school!

Doesn't it just blow your mind that people REALLY think that way? I was talking about something similar to a friend of mine from a chat board. I guess I could credit my fairly liberal family for my relative open mindedness, or really my lack of offense at the way other people lead their lives. It's really unbelievable to me that people really think that Jesus wants babies to be born with spina bifida, women to miscarry, young kids to be killed, etc.

March 05, 2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 05, 2006 5:14 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Colorado - what comment about the dog? Did I miss something?

March 05, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Today in our local newspaper, a man wrote a letter to the editor about how "wrong" gay marriage and adoption were. His primary argument? Everyone knows that gays tend to have unstable relationships and the "males of the species" tend to be violent. I really wanted to know on what he was basing this argument. Gays are violent? You mean more than straight people? Colorado Castaway can probably attest to how violent those gays are. In fact, there's been a recent rash of brutal rapes and murders in our area, and the police are questioning gay men and transvestites, because, well, why wouldn't they be the first suspects? I hear the gays like to distract you with fabric swatches and then just when you start having a fascinating conversation about window treatments, they mug you and then shoot you in the face. Oh wait, no. That's Dick Cheney. Sans window treatment conversation.

March 05, 2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

Yes Sorry Teach', I had attempted to post a comment about a German shepard I rescued several years ago that had apparently been abused. he had a bad habit of eating remote controls, first he ate the one for the TV and I was upset, them he ate the expensive one for my AV reciever, but he was so skiddish that if you scolded him or tried to put him outside to punish him he would urinate where he stood. I had to return him to the shelter, at the time I had no idea what to do with him and had a newborn baby to deal with as well, it was sad to see a dog so traumatized. Currently I have two dogs, a 7yr old lab/blue heeler named Max(actually Maximus) and a 2yr old Pug named Shamus. I will try to get some pics of them on my Blog soon. Anyway thats generally the comment that I somehow didn't get sent right.

March 05, 2006 7:20 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

I've heard of the Violent Femmes(sp?) but I have never met any violent Gays in my travels ;)

March 05, 2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Rescue animals . . . they are such a challenge sometimes. Most days I'm glad I rescued Minnie, but when she runs over and tries to take a chunk out of my husband's foot (when two seconds earlier she was acting happy to see him) . . . I ask myself what the hell happened to this dog and why are we being punished?

March 05, 2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Violent Femmes . . . that is excellent! Maybe I'll send a letter to the editor and that can be my response . . . violent gays? You must mean the Violent Femmes!

March 05, 2006 8:06 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

"all comments become the sole property of the owner of the Blog" feel free to use that in your letter and if it gets publihed please Post a copy for us all :)

March 06, 2006 7:34 AM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

Some people have such crazy reasoning for things. They should practice writing. I find that sometimes when I type out a rant, I reread it and I'm like "You know? I'm not really making sense here. Let's revise my thinking on this subject." I hope that through classroom discussion, you end up reaching some of the students through pure reason. Like the argument you have about if jesus didn't want ANYONE to suffer, then what the hell is up with 70% of what happens on earth? If you don't bring up that point in class, I hope someone does put that thought in the kids' heads - soon. Before they hurt some perfectly nice people with their ignorance.

March 06, 2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Ooh - I like it - hurt perfectly nice people with their ignorance. Wish I'd said it myself. I agree with you 110% on the writing thing, which is why I require them to write 4 "reaction papers" to various movies, guest speakers, etc., but when you can barely write, it sort of ruins the thinking process.

March 06, 2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Erika said...


March 06, 2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

Oh Shit, here we go: you've probably already headr but here:

March 06, 2006 5:05 PM  

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