Today In Tennessee Gay Hate

The hits just keep on a-coming:

LENOIR CITY — An article in the Lenoir City High School yearbook describing the life of a gay student has ignited a storm of controversy that has spilled over onto local blogs and is threatening to disrupt upcoming graduation ceremonies.

The article — “It’s OK to be Gay” — was written by the yearbook’s student staff to profile the experiences of gay student Zac Mitchell.

An article titled “It’s OK to be Gay” in the student yearbook? What could possibly go wrong!

According to students, petitions were being circulated urging others to tear the page from their yearbook as a sign of protest during graduation or to deny Mitchell the right to attend the ceremony.

The 17-year-old student who wrote the article said she was afraid to have her name published.

“There have been threats made starting with, ‘If I found out who wrote the story,’ ” she said.

On his blog, Loudon County school board member Van Shaver called for a criminal investigation into the faculty advisers. Shaver said he believes in being tolerant of an others’ life choices but said he is concerned that the students are being unduly influenced.

This comes right on the heels of national attention for Krystal Meyers, the Lenoir City High student who was denied permission to publish her personal essay, “No Rights: The Life Of An Atheist” in the school newspaper she edits.

This, and the recently-defeated “don’t say gay” legislation, has me wondering if the “controversy” hasn’t been ginned up. Then again, who knows: maybe the halls of the Lenoir City High School really are ground zero for the culture wars.

I dunno. Are students really petitioning the high school to not allow Zac Mitchell to graduate? This sounds like some adult’s idea, like maybe Loudon County school board member Van Shaver’s? Again, I haven’t been in high school since dinosaurs walked the earth, but really? Kids are gonna rip out a page of their yearbook to protest a gay student telling his story? This doesn’t smell right to me. This looks like the 2012 version of rainbow parties.

It would be nice if we could hear from the actual students on this.


Filed under GLBT, Tennessee

13 responses to “Today In Tennessee Gay Hate

  1. This is just another example of the nit-wit, right wing, hate-filled ‘grown-ups’ trying to teach their children WHO to hate while the kids want their parents, preachers, and “conservative” school officials to LEARN compassion, tolerance, and equality for all, especially for their good friends who might be GAY, or even might be judged to be gay by WHAT they look like.

  2. greennotGreen

    “Again, I haven’t been in high school since dinosaurs walked the earth”
    S.B., I took you for an educated, rational person, not a young-earther. FYI, current understanding of the fossil record does not support the idea that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time, and I’m pretty sure that high school was an even later development. Just sayin’.

  3. Min

    There are some mighty courageous kids in Lenoir City. Whoda thunk it?

  4. Mike G

    The South, living down to its reputation again.

  5. Late tomorrow afternoon about a zillion people will sing this song before the running of The Kentucky Derby. I hereby dedicate it to the Class of 2012 Lenoir City High Yearbook Staff.

    My Old Kentucky Home
    By Stephen Foster

    The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
    Tis summer, the people are gay;
    The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom
    While the birds make music all the day.

    The young folks roll on the little cabin floor
    All merry, all happy and bright;
    By’n by hard times comes a knocking at the door
    Then my old Kentucky home, Good-night!

    Weep no more my lady. Oh! Weep no more today!
    We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home
    For the old Kentucky home, far away.

    • ThresherK

      Tangent: A fascinating song. Do people singing it at the Derby know what it’s about?



        The original lyrics of the song were, “‘Tis summer, the darkies are gay.” They changed it for obvious reasons.

    • greennotGreen

      Not in Tennessee. In Tennessee the updated lyrics are, “Tis summer for George Takei,” because, as we know, it’s okay to say “Takei.”

  6. The original lyrics of the song were, “‘Tis summer, the darkies are gay.” They changed it for obvious reasons.-SB.
    That’s right. Sir slipped off to the slave quarters and caught the gay and now everybody’s got it. Reckless white people mess up everything. 🙂