Not too long ago I commented on homophobia on high school campuses and my own thoughts about how to approach the issue on my own campus. Well, I am pleased to report that this morning I attended the second meeting of the St. Anne’s – Belfield chapter of the Gay-Straight Alliance. We had ten students and four faculty members in attendance. The group has already crafted a mission statement and even better, we are working on two programs. The group is organizing sessions for Middle School students about the language of homophobia and the consequences of its use on campus. In the Upper School we are planning to use one of our school forums (which take place on Thursdays to discuss issues related to school and world news) to discuss homophobia and the purpose of this new student-led group.
I felt energized sitting there with the students and teachers listening to their concerns and plans for the group. I view homophobia as on par with the same kind of ignorance and hatred that define racism and working with these young people gives me hope that change is possible.