Letter misleading about gay, lesbian network

Published 9:44 am Saturday, December 25, 2010

To the Editor:

Ann Cicero’s letter to the editor published on Nov. 22 (“Gay, lesbian clubs bring homosexuality to school”) is ripe with some serious misconceptions about GLSEN — Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network — and the seriousness of anti-LGBT — Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — bullying in our educational system.

Having worked with the East Central Illinois Safe Schools Alliance in Champaign, Ill., I’d like to debunk her misrepresentations:

First, GLSEN does not pose as a “club” to promote homosexual sex, but is a community-based educational network that supports the creation of safe spaces in schools, called GSAs — Gay-Straight Alliance.

And to be clear, GLSEN does not facilitate these student-led GSA meetings, but instead provides students and faculty the resources and teacher training to create and sustain their GSAs.

Second, Cicero cites research from Dr. John R. Diggs Jr., who is known in the medical community for his distortion-ridden research. To reiterate, GLSEN, and the GSAs it supports, are not focused on sex, but on education to end homophobic bullying.

Third, Cicero’s misunderstanding of bullying needs immediate clarification. Bullying is a form of abuse frequently based on differences in sexual orientation and gender identity, the effects of which have been fatal for LGBT youth.

It is illogical for Cicero to say that bullying of any person for any reason is unacceptable, but then to call upon her readers to say to LGBT youth that homosexuality is dangerous and wrong behavior. Her call to action is bullying, and her belief further justifies anti-LGBT bullying, which has become a national epidemic.

I encourage any reader interested in more information on safe schools and anti-LGBT harassment and bullying to visit GLSEN.org.

Matthew Krug Miller