As my post Monday partially addressed, being invisible as a queer in straight society is uncomfortable to say the least. More often that not, it's also stressful, difficult and insulting.
The latest example of this in our ignorant country is the total exclusion of a lesbian teen from her high school year book. According to the Jackson Free Press:
When Veronica Rodriguez opened Wesson Attendance Center's Yearbook on Friday, she didn't find a trace of her lesbian daughter Ceara Sturgis after a long battle with school officials to include a photo of her daughter wearing a tuxedo in the school's 2010 yearbook.Of course, the school refused to answer for their bigotry and the ACLU may or may not press charges.
"They didn't even put her name in it," Sturgis' mother Veronica Rodriguez said. "I was so furious when she told me about it. Ceara started crying... Is that not pathetic for them to do that? Yet again, they have crapped on her and made her feel alienated."
Sturgis and her mother commissioned the Mississippi ACLU to protest officials' October 2009 decision not to allow Sturgis' photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress.
The ACLU wrote an October letter demanding officials use Sturgis' submitted photo in the yearbook, but Copiah County School District officials refused. Rodriguez said she expected the yearbook to at least contain a reference to her daughter on the senior page. What she discovered on Friday, when the yearbook came in, was that the school had refused to acknowledge her entirely.
"It's like she's nobody there, even though she's gone to school there for 12 years," Rodriguez said. "They mentioned none of her accolades, even though she's one of the smartest students there with wonderful grades. They've got kids in the book that have been busted for drugs. There's even a picture of one of the seniors who dropped out of school.
"I don't get it. Ceara is a top student. Why would they do this to her?"
Like Constance McMillan whose lesbianism caused an entire school to create a fake prom to send her to, rather than let her sully their senior year, Ceara is learning a tough lesson about Americans: they are total jerks who care more about fake idealism than real people.
Of course, not everyone is like this, but the majority of my fellow Americans seem absolutely hell-bent on refusing to see that queer people are as natural as straight folk and they deserve the same respect and opportunities.
As long as people are allowed to censor queer voices and faces, we'll never have equality.
Last Week in the Queer-o-Sphere
Where's the B in GLBT?
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