It’s a big day in the history of gay rights. The majority of the US population believes that gay people should be allowed to get married, which matters because married people get financial benefits and protections that unmarried people do not have. The majority of people in the US think it is illegal discrimination to deny gay people these same protections and benefits.
While the Supreme Court is trying to figure out how to read the Constitution in the face of our current civil rights battle for gay people, Jason Collins is making his own huge impact, just by being him. He’s a pro basketball player who came out, in Sports Illustrated, this week.
He is the first professional athlete from a major team sport to come out while he’s actively playing. To get a sense of how big a deal this is, read the article at The New Yorker site. Just the fact that the NBA is tweeting with the hashtag #NBAFamily gives me chills. Because the NBA is saying that family protects family, even if that person is gay.
1. Social pressures of school are dangerous to gay kids.
There is a horrifyingly high level of gay kids committing suicide from the social pressures of school. And we have tomes of evidence that high school is debilitating to a teen’s identity and personal growth. The required conformity in high school – which many people call “socialization” – is like prison to kids who don’t fit in.
2. Hiding sexual identity is mentally and physically debilitating.
If you have a gay child who wants to homeschool, consider it seriously. Here’s how Jason Collins describes what life is like trying to keep a gay identity under wraps: “No one wants to live in fear. I’ve always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don’t sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly.”
3. Homeschool teaches gay kids what the real world is like – school doesn’t do that.
Homeschooling is not isolating a gay kid from the realities of the rest of the world. Homeschooling gives gay kids the opportunity to feel the support we can offer to gay people of all ages in the real world. The real world is not like school: the real world supports everyone discovering who they are, being true to themselves, and feeling safe as they do it.