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Jul 09 2012

Citizens for Community Values: Mere awareness of LGBT existence will “confuse children”

In a story on the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow site, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values claims that training foster parents in how to care for potentially LGBT children is how “homosexual activists continue to build their numbers”:

Potential foster parents may be required to spend 40 hours in gender sensitivity training, thanks to AB 1865 — a bill that has already passed in the California Assembly. It would require an “administrator of a group home facility, licensed foster parent,” or an “extended family member caregiver” to undergo training to provide care for lesbian, “gay,” bisexual or transgender children.

Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values (CCV) does not think this will actually benefit the children.

“It’s going to continue to confuse children,” he asserts. “This is the way the homosexual activists continue to build their numbers — is to get people confused about their gender identity and start acting out.”

It’s always puzzling when people think that children can’t legitimately know whether they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and any knowledge of these concepts will only “confuse them”, yet accept without question the assumption that all children must be straight and cisgender. This is the result of a mentality that pathologizes sexual diversity and gender variance as somehow being caused by bad influences – it’s beyond their comprehension that this could actually be a natural, normal and acceptable part of who someone is.

Will increased awareness of LGBT identities lead more people to identify as LGBT? Yes, but not because such knowledge causes anyone to become anything they weren’t before. It just means that those who are in a gender/sexual minority will now have the conceptual basis to describe and understand who and what they are, instead of being confused and only knowing that they’re somehow different. That’s not a problem. It’s a solution!

And what’s with the scare quotes around “gay” only? Are the rest of us not important enough to have our identities passive-aggressively questioned? OneNewsNow previously ran into trouble with an automated system to replace the word “gay” with “homosexual”, which resulted in a story about Olympic sprinter “Tyson Homosexual”. I suppose Tyson “Gay” would at least be a step up.

31 comments

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  1. 1
    anat

    And what’s with the scare quotes around “gay” only? Are the rest of us not important enough to have our identities passive-aggressively questioned?

    I guess they are reserving unscare-quoted gay for the synonym of happy? Or they scare-quote gay to imply gay people aren’t really happy?

  2. 2
    ashleylynnwilson

    Every time I hear about the CCV becoming more evil, the more I fear for where I live. I’m oly one,ile from their offices.

    1. 2.1
      ashleylynnwilson

      “I’m only one mile” that is.

  3. 3
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I totally agree with them.
    LGBT people confuse people.
    My brother in law and his boyfriend have the same first name. My kids are very confused who is being talked about and so am I.
    Oh the horrors!

    The above is satire. Actually, my children are mightily unconfused in the face of open homosexuality. They are so unconfused that it sometimes makes me wonder what is going on in their heads, being academically interested in their thought processes.

    1. 3.1
      Ysanne

      I just realised: When kids at school talk about “Mum” and “Dad”, they each mean a different person! How come their heads haven’t exploded yet?

  4. 4
    Nentuaby

    Hmmm, my guess at that odd scare quote would be something about the duality between Gay sensu stricto and the looser casual usage of “gay”=queer. Probably implying that they haven’t bothered to learn queer lingo and think it’s silly that ‘”gay”‘ got called out among the specific terms that they equate with it.

  5. 5
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    You know, if there had been more openness (read, less fundie) thought in my family, I might have figured out/understood that I was biromantic asexual before I married a (otherwise wonderful) heterosexual.
     
    Only good can come of teaching children that not everyone is cis, or heterosexual or even sexual.

    I’m glad that California at lest is starting to figure that out.

  6. 6
    Jasper of Maine

    Oh noes! Children will be confused! Because they’re never confused about anything! And if they are, we have no way of addressing it, like talking to them!

    1. 6.1
      Makoto

      I wonder if that’s part of it – look at how many parents don’t feel comfortable talking with their children about sex, menstrual cycles, STDs, contraception, etc.. Children will be confused.. because their parents aren’t confident enough to talk with them, and yet often vote to prevent teachers and health educators from talking about such things? So I guess it’s good that children are confused? That’s kind of the TX GOP stated platform, so… I’m scared for the future.

      1. ttch

        Makoto wrote:

        …look at how many parents don’t feel comfortable talking with their children about sex, menstrual cycles, STDs, contraception, etc.. Children will be confused.. because their parents aren’t confident enough to talk with them, and yet often vote to prevent teachers and health educators from talking about such things? So I guess it’s good that children are confused?

        “If our daughters aren’t told about menstruation, they won’t be tempted into menstruating.”

        1. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          One Billion Family Mothers Against Menstruation Values will be on the case immediately.

          1. Stevarious, Public Health Problem

            It’s the ‘One Billion American Christian Family Mothers Again Knowledge Of Reproductive Biology Outside Of Traditional American Christian Family Oriented Marriage Family Organization For Traditional Family Families.’

  7. 7
    Gregory

    I just wish I had known about homosexuality when I was a youngster (I’m 62, you do the math). Would have saved me years, decades, of turmoil, anguish, and pain, to the point of almost taking my own life.

    And my lack of knowledge of myself led me down a path that would have led me to become a christian minister. My lack of knowledge led me to think that I was somehow special and chosen, because I didn’t have the same feelings toward girls that the other boys did.

    Tragedy averted – for me. But in many other cases, probably not. Hence the high proportion of gay priests and ministers (whether acknowledged or not).

  8. 8
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    This only confuses children who are taught there are only two kinds of something when there are 31 flavors.

  9. 9
    IslandBrewer

    Ha! I can’t even be moved to outrage, now.

    It appears that AB 1865 is definitely going to pass, and I can only chuckle and smugly smirk at the CCV. Poor homophobes“gay”-o-phobes.

  10. 10
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Because children are fucking morons, apparently?
    I suspect that, starting with a clean slate, children would be more confused to learn about the existence of homophobia than sexual/gender variance. Not that I have any children, so this is, of course, strictly theoretical.

    1. 10.1
      F [is for failure to emerge]

      I imagine that quite a lot of children would grow up a lot less confused if adults would quit trying to force non-binary things into binary packages. Then they wouldn’t be worrying over what is wrong with themselves when they can’t be comfortable in their predestined single slot of a binary narrative.

      Anything with which children don’t have any experience (internal or external) might mildly confuse them briefly, but that’s the same with everything (it’s called “learning”).

      1. Onamission5

        F said: Anything with which children don’t have any experience (internal or external) might mildly confuse them briefly, but that’s the same with everything (it’s called “learning”).

        This x eleventy. Treating kids like they are incapable of learning anything or forming reasonable opinions given enough information is part and parcel of the whole right winger child raising dogma, though. Or, I should say, treating them as if kids having all the facts and forming reasonable opinions is a bad thing. Kids, IMHO, are generally some of the most accepting and understanding of individuals when the are given the opportunity, because they haven’t been fully taught to ignore their instincts and be unfair yet. Kids want the opportunity to embrace egalitarianism and social justice. Taking that opportunity away is the only way the het centric RR has to spread their hateful dogma. Otherwise, most kids would see through the bullshit posthaste.

        1. WMDKitty -- Survivor

          That honesty and lack of judgement is one of the few things I love about kids. I kinda wanna smack the idiot adults who try to shame children out of that.

  11. 11
    M can help you with that.

    This sort of idea — “We must indoctrinate children into heterosexuality, because at the slightest indication of the existence of anything else they’ll all go gay!” — has always struck me as some serious deep-closet logic. There’s a whole branch of the heterosexual-supremacist movement that basically frames heterosexuality as a noble sacrifice. To that crowd, of course anyone who is exposed to the inherently more-attractive and more-satisfying world of homosexuality will ditch their solemn duties of heterosexual reproduction — because heterosexuality is somehow inherently less exciting.

    Now, I may only be familiar with heterosexuality second-hand, but I have plenty of straight friends. I’ve asked several of them, and they’ve all assured me that my suspicions were correct and that real, well-adjusted heterosexuals do not experience their heterosexuality as any kind of sacrifice, noble or otherwise.

  12. 12
    Michael

    [southpark]
    “All right. All right that does it! I am sick and tired of everyone telling me I’m confused! I wasn’t confused until other people started tellin’ me I was! You know what I think? I think maybe you are the ones who are confused!

    I’m not gonna be confused anymore just because you say I should be!

    My name is Butters, I’m eight years old, I’m blood type O, and I’m bicurious. And even that’s ok because if I’m bicurious and I’m somehow made from God, then I figure God must be a little bicurious himself!”
    [/southpark]

    1. 12.1
      Sassafras

      Too bad the South Park guys didn’t extend that sort of attitude towards trans people.

      1. Grimalkin

        South Park is kind of the epitome of ‘a broken clock is still right twice a day’.

        They got that quote above right, and a few other things… but goddamn, they fuck so many other things up. Transgenderism especially, and they even throw gays and lesbians under the bus all the god damn time. Particularly when they want to ‘show both sides of an issue’.

        1. Sassafras

          And then they get the “But it’s just a joke” and “they make fun of everyone equally” defense. I swear I’ve had people seriously quote South Park at me as evidence that I’m delusional about my identity.

        2. WMDKitty -- Survivor

          I cringe every time Jimmy or Timmy makes an appearance. I’m not at all happy with their portrayal of disabled people, many of us are perfectly functional within society, and we’re not all non-verbal, hyper-spastic cripples (nor do we all walk with crutches, or stutter). Jimmy and Timmy are disability stereotypes turned up to eleven.

          Same way South Park turns EVERYTHING up to eleven.

          It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re into, South Park WILL eventually poke at your sensibilities. I’ll admit, it’s one of the reasons I love South Park, even when it offends me.

          1. WMDKitty -- Survivor

            And, I should add, that if you dislike South Park, I will respect that, and not try to convince you otherwise.

  13. 13
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    You know what really confuses my kids? That their dad is the only person in the family with a penis!

  14. 14
    Jeanine

    I think it’s such a shame!!!! If foster parents need to be taught something, they shouldn’t be able to be foster parents in the first place. We are who we are and should be excepted however we are as children! Can we start teaching straight mothers of many children from different dads, how to deal with their confused children? 3 kids 3 different last names and none of them the same last name as their mother. Are those children confused? How far do they get to go before they can be stopped? Everything starts with adults! IT DOES NOT have to be taught—–it has to be EXCEPTED!!! My children understand it, cuz as a patent of an 8 and 12 year old, I’ve explained it. My daughter (8) favorite saying is, We are who we are, just be yourself! And I couldn’t be more proud.

    1. 14.1
      Grimalkin

      You are waaay oversimplifying the complexity of LGBT issues. It is not an issue of “We are who we are”, and relying on parents to teach their children such to solve the issues we face… very, very idealistic.

      it’s not just an issue of accepting children that needs to be taught. If LGBT issues only went that far… wow. That’d be great. But there’s more than that.

      There’s the issue of how to help children deal with bullying. How to know how to give them advice that’s based in reality and not hatred (a distinction which is not as clear as it might sound). With transgender children in particular, there are… hell, all of the hurdles trans people have to jump through, multiplied by the fact that the people in question are minors. How to determine, in a helpful way, the treatments/hormones a child needs, how to be sensitive to gender identity and names, working through issues with gender segregation (bathrooms, sports, etc)… the list goes on.

      Really, you are massively oversimplifying LGBT issues. Massively. It’s not just “We are who we are”, and I would argue that the idea that ‘acceptance’ is all we need is a dangerous one.

      That aside, I’m really glad to see this bill. I’m glad that people are going to be taught how to deal with queer children beyond “live and let live,” because while even that is a rather rare way of thinking, actual information in the hands of people in charge of raising potentially LGBT kids… that is fantastic.

      1. Jeanine

        Thank you. I appreciate everything you’ve said.

  15. 15
    kagerato

    I suspect the attitude is a case of projection. The CCV makes it policy to brainwash others into possessing their corrupt value system, so they necessarily believe that everyone else must be trying to do the same.

    There’s plenty of evidence that queer people are indoctrinated into a heteronormative viewpoint from an early age. You can find it in a countless number of biographies. However, there are not nearly the same number, kind, or degree of accounts of people being deceived into thinking they’re queer. The latter is nearly infeasible due to the relative social power differential involved.

    Many (most?) of these groups with secular-sounding names like “community values” are actually fronts for fundamentalist religious organizations. If they were more honest about it, they might call themselves “authoritarian bigots for theocracy”.

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