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Making it illegal to say 'gay' wouldn't have changed much — but it was a stupid idea anyway

You Don't Say

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A few days back, I was clicking through the Internet, and I stumbled across a little bit of info that said Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield was running his bill SB0049 through the legislature. I know, a lot of you people are wondering, "Who's this Stacey character, what's SB0049, and what would it do for – or more likely to – us citizens?"

Well, I'm going to tell you. Sen. Campfield's bill — which was defeated last Thursday — would've kept students in classes below ninth grade from learning about any sexuality — well, any human sexuality anyway — that doesn't have "hetero" in front of it. SB0049, during its short history in the legislature — was known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

After I learned this, my first thought was, "These knuckleheads aren't really going to try to ban the word 'gay,' are they?" Don't they know that people — even eighth-graders — use the word "gay" all day, every day? If our legislature had destroyed a perfectly good word, smarty-pants eighth-graders would've just switched over to invented words such as the strong confirmation, "ogay!"

I am not making this up. Here's a tidbit from SB0049: The bill "prohibits the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8."

Ogay, how many of you adult readers think eighth-graders don't know about "human sexuality other than heterosexuality?" Aren't there any kids at your house watching Glee? That's a prime-time show, with everybody kissing everybody right side up, upside down and every other which way. Do your middle-schoolers have smart phones? Aren't they sending naked pictures to each other, Brett Favre style?

Eighth-graders are not altogether naive these days. Some years back, I was looking to buy a Jugs pitching machine online, and I typed "Jugs" (a maker of pitching machines) into Google. I did not find any pitching machines that day. However, I saw all manner of human sexuality displayed on my monitor. I thought those people would never stop rolling and moaning and carrying on. For all I know, they're still at it.

Anyhow, while I'm thinking about it, you sporting-goods shoppers listen to me: If you need to buy baseball, softball and football gear, especially ball-tossing machines, you want "Jugs Sports," not just plain "Jugs."

I know, I know. The average set of parents doesn't want their kids to learn too much about their sexuality too soon. That's why parents have bedroom doors. But sooner or later, the cat would get out of the bag, so to speak, the kids would get frisky-curious, and next thing you know the little darlings would be flashing fake IDs down at Hustler Hollywood and spending their lunch money on all manner of naughty-cheerleader DVDs. With all they will have learned about trans-this and trans-that, and andro-something-or-other, it wouldn't have been long until they were looking up Buck Naked on the Internet.

There's rich irony here. We had a male state senator named Stacey trying to stuff teen lust back into the hetero-chastity bag before the kids hit the ninth grade. Ninth grade is when the kids read Romeo and Juliet, and get all lusted up. We know what happens, don't we? Romeo sneaks into Juliet's room, the couple spends the night humping and bumping like zoo monkeys, and then Romeo runs away at dawn. After that, all the teenage boys who saw the Romeo and Juliet movie in 1968 couldn't get Olivia Hussey's exceptional boob flash out of their minds, and every teenage girl who saw the show couldn't forget Romeo's exposed backside. I know, I know. Some boys are probably still thinking about Romeo. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Getting back to politics momentarily: Imagine the gender confusion down at the capitol. We would've been trapped in a crazy world hiding from a little sex ed.

Now, you people who think the word "gay" could still be outlawed, believe me when I tell you that won't happen. The word is burned into the language. I suggest y'all go ahead and wordnap "ogay." Nobody can hear the difference between the G and the K. So what can the word police do to you? Nobody's going to get arrested. If you need a new word, I gently suggest "joyful."

Email editor@nashvillescene.com.

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