In an effort to call attention to the bullying and harassment that LGBT students are often subjected too, many high schools around the nation hosted programs on Friday, April 17 in what was being billed as, A Day of Silence. According to the GLESEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Alliance) web site, Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
But at McGuffy High School in Washington County, PA, the very idea of showing any kind of support let alone empathy for their LGBT peers was enough to make some students want to do just the opposite: find a way for to express their anti-gay sentiments openly.
Using social media the homophobic crowd at this Western Pennsylvania high school encouraged students to wear flannel on April 17th turn Day of Silence into an “anti-gay day.” Not only did many students wear flannel shirts to school that day (see photo above), many wrote anti-gay messages on their hands, posters and student lockers around the school.
According to social media, the organizers of the anti-gay day program are urging students to continue promoting the message of hate by wearing specific colors of clothing for each day of the week.
How do adolescents turn into screaming homophobes? Maybe hate and intolerance is indicative of how their parents and community understand “religious freedom.”
“Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
– Bryan Fischer Web post, “Homosexuality, Hitler, and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,'” 2010
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,” he later added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” -Phil Robertson interview with GQ
“Our children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal and natural and that perhaps they should try it, and that’ll be very soon in our public schools all across the state, beginning in kindergarten.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.
Still unsure of what the term “homophobia” means? Consider: North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Steve Wiles campaigned heavily on his anti-gay beliefs and his support of the state’s same sex marriage ban. However, in May 2014, news broke that just over a decade ago, he worked as an openly gay drag queen and drag-show emcee at Club Odyssey, a gay-friendly Winston-Salem lounge. In addition to emcee, Wiles also directed the show, and in prior years was a frequent attendee and performed under the stage name “Miss Mona Sinclair.” Wiles also worked as a promoter for the 2011 Miss Gay America pageant.