In the latest Vancouver Courier, columnist Mark Hasiuk targets yesterday's anti-homophobia conference, Dare To Stand Out, organized by the Vancouver School Board.
Some people might feel uncomfortable shooting down an opportunity to bring gay and straight youth together to build a better world in which they can all flourish.
"So what will the kids learn and take home?" he writes. "What lessons are the taxpayers paying for? According to the conference mission statement, organizers want to 'plan a world without homophobia or gender stereotypes.'
"A world without gender stereotypes. Say it ain't so. I'll miss them. Millions rely on them. Western culture was built on them. But all good things must come to an end."
With that snarky lament for simpler (read: straighter) times, he then moves on to take aim at some of the conference speakers:
There's Janine Fuller, manager of Little Sister's sex shop/bookstore, whose scholarly knowledge of dildo history is sure to stimulate young minds. And Morgan Brayton, a columnist for gay newspaper Xtra! West, who in a 2006 column detailed her experience in a public orgy. Foul-mouthed lesbian comic Kimothy Shaughnessy will make an appearance, as will Vancouver Pride Society president Ken Coolen.
Not only is the speaker list inappropriate for young teens, but much like Coolen's stream of stereotypes on display each summer in the gay pride parade, it provides a narrow view of Vancouver's gay population. (Read more at the Vancouver Courier)
"However, on the bright side," he concludes, "Dare To Stand Out offers a revealing glimpse inside the Vancouver School Board and another argument for private schools."
Actually, Mark, I think you just made the argument for keeping kids in public schools with anti-homophobia training like the day you just panned.
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