FEATURE: World’s first gay high school

Funny how I came across this… I noticed one of my newly added “friends” belonged to a group for Gaynes School in Upminster. Naturally, I read it as “Gayness.” Wondering if my chances with my new friend were finished, I quickly Google-ed it (with the misspelling) — and Harvey Milk High School popped up.

The website for the public high school in New York, NY, states that it’s open to all students on any spot of the sexual spectrum who “are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment,” but the majority of its students are primarily of homosexual orientation. Students between the ages of 12 and 21 can volunteer for a transfer from their home schools to attend.

Naturally it’s caused much controversy. Some feel it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and that it’s segregating the troubled youths from real-life situations. God forbid gays have a normal learning environment, free of hurtful name calling, physical abuse and a real chance to succeed in life! (Yes, that was sarcasm).

Others argue that if you’re going to have a school specifically for homosexuals, then you should also have a school specifically for “short fat kids.” (Why did I suddenly feel like Tina Fey reading the news for Weekend Update?)

But HMHS must be doing something right. The school’s website states: “95 percent of their students graduate, which is well above NYC’s average, and over 60 percent of students go on to advanced programs and college.”

Also, HMHS students occasionally have to make their way through anti-homosexual protesters simply to attend class. If that’s not a real-life situation, I don’t know what is.

We say let them have four years of peaceful, uninterrupted learning, eight hours a day. They have the rest of their lives to be ridiculed by ignorant, intolerant people.

The only downside I can see to this is that heterosexuals will lose out on the opportunity to interact with sexually-diverse individuals and it will not prepare heterosexuals for real-life situations.  Had all my gay friends gone to such a school, I never would have met some of my best friends.

– JD


2 Responses to “FEATURE: World’s first gay high school”

  1. Its so funny that ever since my brother “came out” I feel like I have a stronger stance for the gay community. When he first told me he was gay, I immediately worried about him getting ridiculed and teased in school. This is awesome that they have this type of school.

  2. globosexuals Says:

    Hi Steph, thanks for posting!

    I know what you mean. It definitely makes a difference when you know someone who belongs to a group, whether social, ethnic, sexual, religious, national etc, that is continually derided by the majority. You can put yourself in their shoes and it moves you to stand up for them and join their fight. It also encourages you to learn more about that particular group and it makes you more aware when you hear the media cover related issues. It makes things more personal. Knowledge is the only way to combat ignorance. Traveling and meeting people from different cultures is also a great way to get educated and see things for yourself so that you don’t always believe what the media says.

    Thanks for reading!

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