Well, it looks like the “good folks” at Itawamba Agricultural have struck fear into other random counties in Mississippi, with the way they set the bar for good old Southern Christian gay-hatin’. Apparently worried that their pictures wouldn’t appear in the dictionary next to the “bigot” entry, Copiah County, Mississippi has submitted a gay-hatin’ entry of their own:
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.
“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 and I told her to suck it up. 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?”
And of course Ceara is an honors student. Constance McMillen is an honors student. Derrick Martin, in Cochran, Georgia, is an honors student. (Derrick was, of course, treated better by his school district, but unfortunately treated awfully by his “parents.”) And pardon me for sensing that there’s a bit of anti-intellectual resentment going on here, because not only are these kids gay, but they’re also smart. Because if anything threatens a backwoods Southerner more than blacks, gays, women, Mexicans, Muslims, books, museums, etc., it’s when these people and things are ascendant. As in, it’s one thing for gays to exist, as long as we’re behind closed doors and not bothering the idiots around us. It’s one thing for black people to live in the same town, as long as they stay over there, in smaller, shabbier houses. It’s one thing for Mexicans to immigrate to the United States, but goddammit, if they have to press 1 for English, they’re gonna spit. It’s one thing for museums to exist, but if they don’t have any wax statues of Jefferson Davis and Chuck Norris paying homage to an animatronic Jesus galloping into Jerusalem on top of his favorite Triceratops…
The point is that again, it all goes back to these people (teabaggers, many of them, and you know it) having the floor ripped out from under their illusions that, by virtue of their white skin and faith in Jesus, they are the “real” citizens of this nation, and that the rest of us are just people they allow to squat. They’re realizing that the rest of the country is on to their game, and that with every passing day, the culture is moving more and more out of “their” era, and that their worldview is truly becoming the laughingstock of educated society. Never mind that “their” era has remained stubbornly in 1954 or so for 56 years now.
Dan Savage has the contact info for the administrators at Wesson Attendance Center. They need to hear from us.
This will be very interesting … how will the town and her fellow students respond? Will they be cheering the Phelpsians on, or will they finally get a good look in the mirror?
The answer is probably C, unfortunately. They’ll buck back and forth and holler about how they’re just standing up for traditional values, and how they Are. NOT. Like. Those. God. Hates. Fags. People., but are victims just the same, of the evil wily gays, who are of course being abetted by the East Coast Liberal Elites and the College Professors and the Marxists and the Moose-lems and the ACLU (correctomundo on that count), and of course, Katie Couric and probably Hollywood. At least three people in the town will blame it on George Soros, god only knows why.
The poor little dears are just misunderstood, you see, and they view us as suspect because we can’t see the various boogeymen who live in their closets. And through it all, they’ll find a way to blame it on the kids who dared to stand up for themselves, for to these people, kids like Constance and Ceara aren’t humans at all, but rather notches for their bedposts of wingnut resentment.
Take heart, though, Ceara, Constance, and every other kid in Mississippi who finds herself to be intelligent, driven, and a minority in any way: there is a greater world outside waiting for you, and y’all have a better chance to get out than any of the knuckle-draggers who feel threatened by you.