Nettelhorst Elementary School has become the first school to march in Chicago's Pride Parade. Parents of this magnet school located in the middle of Boystown, the heart of Chicago's gay community, decided that it would be a good idea to have the kids and the school show solidarity with the community.
As one might expect, some were not happy with this idea...at all:
Children at Nettlehorst Elementary will be made to march in a gay pride parade in Chicago during the weekend of June 26-27. Nettlehorst is located at 3252 N. Broadway Street, Chicago, in the East Lakeview neighborhood, also known as "Boys Town."
A typical shop window along a main strip of Boys Town (top left) gives you an idea of the predominant "culture" in this part of Chicago. That culture is based largely on anal intercourse and the pursuit thereof.
While the person I quote above pulled back on his criticism some, he still did not like the idea. From what I can tell, the man does not have a child at that school. It also does not appear to be near as "mandatory" as he puts on his blog, so I doubt that children were "made to march" in the parade. Yes, their parents made the decision, especially for the younger ones, but does that mean they were "made" to march?
This is a question that I ask myself a lot as I raise my daughter. How much of my politics and views am I pushing on my daughter versus letting her make up her own mind?
Then I remember that people of all views take their children to a house of worship before the child can even tie their shoes. Children are taught morals, ethics and other views from their parents. Why is respect for LGBT families any different than learning anything else?
We should also remember that no one is too young to learn respect for the LGBT community, that it is ok to be gay and that sometimes respect for LGBT people translates into respect for gender non-conformers aka tomboys and effeminate boys.
I saw the kids on the news tonight and it was the best part of the parade for me. Yes, I love the over the top pride that happens every year, but there's something endearing about seeing families in the parade. It's not a "they are just like us" feeling, but LGBT families are just like us hetero families. But it's mostly that we are moving closer and closer to a generation of kids who will reject the hate because they were taught to love first.