Vermont's Gendertopia

Over the past couple of months, shy, inconspicuous Vermont has become my favorite state of the union. It's not because of the scenery from Camel's Hump mountain, the bitchin' maple syrup or the hundreds of snowmobiling clubs. No, I admire Vermont's recent standing as the 4th state to legalize gay marriage and for the after school program at Burlington High School called Gendertopia. The program helps students understand the vast spectrum of gender and sexuality past male/female, gay/straight. Amazing! Gendertopia is partly funded with tax dollars and run by Outright Vermont, Vermont's queer youth center and advocacy organization. The program teaches the difference between gender and sexuality, has students go into their community and photograph ways gender is translated in pop culture and explores the damaging ways homophobia and transphobia affect the individuals on the receiving end. In an AP article, Sophia Manzi, a student at Burlington High, said, "I'm straight, but I don't like using that word because then it feels like if you're gay then you're crooked, you're not meant to grow up in a certain way. I come because it's a really good program. The people, it doesn't matter what sexual orientation you are, they totally come in with open arms." Gendertopia indeed.

by Ashley Brittner
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6 Comments Have Been Posted

Really, tax-funded?

I have no problem with an after-school program that is voluntary no matter what the agenda, but seems like something like this should be privately funded.

Just sayin'


why? isn't social justice and tolerance things society needs? aren't our educational tax dollars supposed to help kids learn to cope in the world?

if my tax dollars are paying for our justice system, a broken system i disagree with frequently, why shouldn't tax dollars pay for this sort of thing?

vermont's gendertopia

I disagree with the previous comment. An initiative such as this should be publicly funded and should be rolled out to encompass more schools and educational establishments. People of all gender identities and sexualities contribute to state funds as tax payers - why shouldn't there be some attempt to educate people about gender and sexuality to ensure that they have a more inclusive and fair view of the diversity of students that no doubt attend schools up and down the country. An initiative such as this can help to combat discrimination, bullying and violence towards those who are viewed as 'non-mainstream'.

'just sayin'

just sayin original poster...

....just didn't gather from the Constitution that it is the role of govt (and tax payers) to indoctrinate specific social values --kinda thought that was the role of parents.

I guess if it's a program with an agenda you agree with, it's okay....but I don't suppose and abstinence after-school program would get the same kind of fawning over....or how about a conservative youngsters' support group (they aren't extended a lot of tolerance either).

I really don't care about the message, just don't think taxpayers should be on the hook for everyone's personal crusade and personal biases. Now it is in the Constitution that govt must provide protection and the justice system (through tax dollars). So I guess that's the difference. You know, that document that's the foundation for our republic.

Okay, go on and call me names because I pointed out unnecessary spending when our deficits are at all time highs and people are getting laid off right and left but somehow there's money in the coffers for something that could be done off the dole if it's something that participants are passionate about and committed to. Just try to practice a little of that tolerance before calling me a bigot or ignorant because you disagree....

oh, i see, respecting

oh, i see, respecting people, or thinking children should be taught to respect people, is a 'personal bias' of mine.

it's funny that you are already using the "calling me a bigot means -you're- the intolerant one" argument, since no one called you a bigot. or called you any names at all. why do you think anyone would call you a bigot? do you think you said something bigotted?

and someone was -hired- to teach this afterschool program. so playing the bad economy card doesn't really play out for you either.

the only name i'd like to call you is "anonymous" because it's the only name you are apparently comfortable giving.

wow, non sequiter.

homosexuality becomes a big issue everywhere. everyone doesn't have their own rights. or at least they don't have the same rights. and outside of 'rights', gay people don't have the priviledge of knowing they will always be safe and loved, even if they have sex with the people they want to have sex with.

i'm not saying the student loan situation isn't fucked up. it is. but then i'm a socialist. but what a totally random place to bring it up, and to dismiss the issue being addressed by this afterschool program? i'm guessing you're straight.

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