Depressed and battered kid
via Science News for Students

Some kids are dead. Some will die. Some will wish that they were dead.

The cynical promotion of bigotry through the exploitation of LGBTQ persons makes LGBTQ kids suffer.

“Our kids” means LGBTQ kids. We don’t raise them but most of us have a healthy regard for their wellbeing. In many cases, and in some ways, we understand them better than their own parents. Moreover, some parents are as toxic as right wing defenders of the faith.

“Consciously or not they are advancing a defense of the faith through misinformation.”

Friday, I wrote about an anti-LGBTQ former teacher, Brenda Lebsack. She is determined to undermine medical science in her efforts to conform society to Christian teachings.

Ms. Lebsack is no different than any other warrior for Christ. One of the things that they seem to have in common is indifference or obtuseness. Lebsack has not considered the consequences of what she is doing.

What do these people hope to accomplish? What harm do they think is produced by school boards? Age-appropriate education about sexuality enables students to better understand themselves and others. It also teaches kindness and that kids should not make adverse judgments of people just because they are different.

It is a fact that medical science (based on evidence) conflicts with some religious teachings (based on faith). However, as a dogmatist, that is the world that Ms. Lebsack chooses to live in.

What Ms. Lebsack and others do, however, is to send a message of hate. That message has the potential to influence others; particularly people who are already predisposed to bigotry and ignorance. The bigotry gets passed down to their kids and we end up with anti-LGBTQ bullies that make life hell for sexual minority students.

“Promoting lies about LGBTQ people harms LGBTQ people. Particularly children.”

What makes it all the worse, in their misguided efforts to conform their world to scripture, is that they lie. Dogmatists might not realize that they are lying. They accept religious doctrine as incontrovertible truth regardless of evidence to the contrary. Consciously or not they are advancing a defense of the faith through misinformation.

The same people used to devote a considerable amount of energy to discredit the theory of evolution. Perhaps they still do. These days they are intent on promoting a list of lies about LGBTQ persons (in no particular order):

  • They are addressing a secular concern for the wellbeing of LGBTQ kids.
  • Sexuality is a choice.
  • Conversion therapy works.
  • A failure to submit to conversion therapy means that one chooses to live against the wishes of their god.
  • Gender dysphoria is a state of confusion.
  • Transgender persons are confused.
  • If transgender people resolve their confusion then they will be cisgender.
  • Gender-affirming therapy makes people more prone to self-harm.
  • Transgender persons are adherents to an “ideology.”
  • Gay men are predisposed to be child molesters.
  • Sex education causes children to choose to be either gay or transgender.
  • LGBTQ people pose a peril to “innocent” children.
  • The mainstream professional organizations are just “woke” political operatives.
  • Being tolerant and kind (or “woke”) is a character flaw.
  • LGBTQ sexuality is contagious.
  • The doctors who treat transgender kids are exploiting them for money.
  • The gender-affirming standards of care of the American Academy of Pediatrics have been contrived to create revenues for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Education about sexuality is indoctrination.

“The principal purpose for railing against sexual minorities is to raise money.”

I could go on at considerable length. The point is that every element in the above list is untrue. Promoting lies about LGBTQ people harms LGBTQ people. Particularly children. These lies rob persons of their dignity. Furthermore, the lies make LGBTQ persons potential targets for physical violence.

Just today, Monday, I received an email from Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group. The purpose of the email is to promote a series of videos: Watch FRC Action’s School Board Boot Camp.

The intent of these videos is to make people believe that they and their children are endangered by critical race theory and knowledge of LGBTQ sexuality. FRC wants to “arm” school board members with their propaganda so that they can battle against “wokeness.”

I won’t bother with CRT except to say that it is just a chew toy and a potential wedge issue. Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins of Family Research Council is desperate for the aggrandizement that a Republican administration might offer him.

As for LGBTQ matters, there are three possible motives:

  1. Like critical race theory they are trying to create a wedge issue for voters.
  2. They want people to believe that education about LGBTQ sexuality will cause their children to choose to be gay or transgender.
  3. They are trying to instill in people the harms of sex education which includes LGBTQ sexuality. They fear that tolerance leads to nondiscrimination laws which make it more difficult to oppress LGBTQ persons.

It’s probably all three. Family Research council doesn’t actually do much (other than promoting hate and division). FRC exists to enrich its officers while giving them political power. Leadership wants to be seen as a powerful threat to politicians who do not yield.

Again, I ask the question: At what cost?

“The real indoctrinators are religious extremists.”

The principal purpose for railing against sexual minorities is to raise money. Those funds are used to promote hate to raise more money. LGBTQ persons pay a price for those endeavors.

Furthermore, suppose, for the moment, that FRC’s videos influence school board members. Or suppose that they encourage right wing activists to contest for a seat on a school board. Then what happens if they influence the policies of school boards?

The activism will make its way down to the students. It harms all students, not just the LGBTQ kids. Straight kids also pay a price. Bigotry may limit their career opportunities. More importantly, it destroys intellectual curiosity. Ultimately it makes kids stupid. They lose the ability to separate facts from religious doctrine. Moreover, they lose the ability to question the doctrine.

Furthermore, these themes create haters who are actually LGBTQ children. They are being taught to hate themselves. Their insecurity causes them to lash out at others as a projection of self-loathing. Furthermore, their bigotry helps — in their minds — protect them from discovery.

In the final analysis the right wing hate groups create a perpetual existence. What school boards have the power to do is to create the next generation of anti-LGBTQ ignoramuses and religious extremists.

The “indoctrination” meme is simply a form of projection. The real indoctrinators are religious extremists.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.