Mikaela Newman, Staff Writer
There’s Something Rotten in the State of Assumption, and it’s Blatant Homophobia
Growing up in a fundamentalist Southern Baptist (yeah, like Westboro Baptist Church) household, “gay” was a taboo word. We didn’t talk about it or even acknowledge its existence. When I asked what it meant, at a young age, nobody wanted to tell me. And when my questions were finally answered, it was because I had assumed that boys could marry boys and girls could marry girls and my older sister needed to correct me and then explain. My family left this church and its culture, which was detrimental in many different ways, shortly after I began high school. This didn’t stop me from praying that I wouldn’t go to hell every night when I thought I had feelings for a female friend at age 12, however. It certainly didn’t stop my best friend’s parents from forcing them to go to conversion therapy where they were told that, because they were bisexual, they should be kept away from children. It didn’t stop the verbal and physical abuse experienced by many young people in the church who loved in a different way than was expected.
When Assumption sent out a school-wide message openly declaring acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community to be a devaluation of human life on par with human trafficking, careless treatment of our environment, and racism, the religious community’s treatment of the community made terrible sense. The administration here cannot both condemn the LGBTQIA+ community and claim that they are loved and valued members of our school community. How can one purport to love someone whom they think is doing something equal to a war crime or genocide? How can you tell my best friend, one of the kindest and most incredible people I know, that if they marry someone they love it is a “devaluation of human life”? All attempts at addressing this issue by the administration have been lackluster thus far. The sentiments expressed have been deeply hurtful and there is complete lack of understanding on the part of the administration. I am disappointed in the conduct of the school and the lack of care that it has given a valuable group of students, faculty, and alumni. I’m not a romantic, but I’m grown-up enough to know that relationships and marriages between consenting adults are celebrations of love and are a beautiful part of what makes us human. Love is love and it adds incredible value to life; it is not, in any way, a devaluation of human life.