Toronto Diary
1 min

Alberta school trustee to bullied students: Act less gay

There are many things you can say to someone who’s being bullied to help them out. You can support them by giving them a sympathetic ear, you can give them advice on how to deal with the bully, or you can remind them that they have a lot of people in their corner if they need someone to rely on.

Or you can tell them that they would get bullied less if they stopped being so gay. This is the wrong thing to say.

So of course, some moron by the name of Dale Schaffrick, an Alberta school trustee, said this to the CBC when they asked him about a proposed measure to the Alberta School Boards Association. Or more accurately: this dummy has a say in education. The hell?

Dale Schaffrick suggested if “children with a gay tendency” could hide their gayness it would be “for their own benefit.”

Unsurprisingly, the reaction on Twitter has been less than kind to Shaffrick and the hashtag #actlessgay has taken off. “Dear Dale Schaffrick, can you please ‘act less bigoted’? Or better yet, just resign,” tweeted one. “Dale Schaffrick shame on you,” said another. Jeff Johnson, Education Minister in Alberta, tweeted, “As a parent I would never ask my child to hide who they are.”   

In a letter to the ASBA, Edmonton-based gay activist Murray Billet took Shaffrick and his colleagues to task, asking them to move in to 2012. [Source]

So basically, if you want to avoid being bullied, just pretend you are someone else entirely. Makes sense. But in all seriousness, is this how human equal rights work? The only way to be treated like everyone else is to be exactly like everyone else? 

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