It seems that just as soon as I start trying to verifying one story about Kevin Jennings and the conferences he sponsored when at the helm of GLSEN, another one comes along requiring verification. An undated clip on a conservative blog suggests GLSEN hired security to prevent parents from seeing what was going on a conference they sponsored. This appears to date back to 2001, but is it indicative of more recent conferences?
Jim Hoft has been all over a book that was distributed four years later:
The children who attended Kevin Jennnings’ GLSEN 2005 Conference also left with their own “Little Black Book – Queer in the 21st Century”.
While the guide provides helpful information about STD prevention and the perils of drug use, it all but avoids discussing the link between sexual expression and emotional attachment. Not to mention the fact that the repeated use of the word, “queer,” politicizes the whole endeavor. A good many, perhaps even an overwhelming majority of, gay people bristle at being labeled “queer” by overzealous advocates.
Although the booklet does include some essential information, it is entirely inappropriate for teenagers. And not just for the promotion of casual sex without emotional attachment — and even appears to countenance sex in public parks. The guide even provides a list of Boston area bars. Let me repeat that, the booklet that GLSEN distributed to teenagers, high school students, includes a list of gay bars in the Boston area. Now, I went to college in Massachusetts and I recall the drinking age there was 21 and also recall that it was illegal for minors to enter bars.
Doesn’t seem like something to include in a booklet distributed to high school kids, (nearly) all of whom are under 21.
The more information that comes out about Kevin Jennings and the conferences his organization sponsored and the information it distributed, the more it seems he wishes to define a gay identity in purely sexual terms.
It’s hardly anti-gay, as at least one left-wing web-sites has suggested, to call him out on this. Ask yourself this question, would it be appropriate for a straight man who had helmed an organization which provided tips for high school boys on cruising chicks and listing straight bars to work in the federal Department of Education (or any department of Education for that matter), much less at head of an office responsible for “safe schools.”
FROM THE COMMENTS: Beth, just south of Berkeley and just east of San Francisco offers:
Suggesting to gay teenage boys lit up by hormones that anonymous sex in public parks is an ordinary experience rather than something ill-considered (for any number of reasons) goes beyond (the very Nixonian) “mistakes were made.”
Well said, very well said.