The Lens

Walk Proud: Kentucky Students Protest Anti-Gay Legislation

Society puts far too much pressure on being “in.” What’s trending, what’s hip, what’s happening? We always want to be with the IN-crowd, to be IN on the joke, and to generally be INcluded.

But it’s also empowering to get OUT.

A handful of Kentucky high schools recently flexed the power of departure when their pupils marched out of the classroom and into the political sphere. The kids are protesting a draconian senate measure that threatens to infect the state’s education system, similar to what’s happening in the fascist republic of Florida.

Taking a page from Don’t Say Gay, Bill 150 aims to “prohibit a school district from requiring school personnel or pupils to use pronouns for students that do not conform to that student’s biological sex” and to “establish requirements for any public school’s course, curriculum, or program on the subject of human sexuality.”

In other words, the law would embolden bigots to bully children by dismissing their truth and calling them whatever the hell they want whilst keeping kids ignorant of the diverse spectrum upon which we all coexist.

Not so fast, Kenf***y!

“This bill puts so many people in so much danger,” Janelle Pitmon tells the Courier Journal. “I’ve been like terrified about this for days – I’m losing sleep over this.”

Pitmon led the walk-out of J. Graham Brown School in Louisville, which inspired two Lexington schools to follow in their footsteps just 48 hours later. In addition to protesting the treacherous harbinger of Senate Bill 150, Dunbar High students were marching against House Bill 470, which prohibits gender affirming care for individuals under the age of 18.

“People should be able to live safely and happily,” declared Lio Pinson to the Lexington Herald Leader, calling the legislation “really harmful.”

While it is endlessly gutwrenching to watch our nation descend into a cesspool of prejudice and puritanism, these kids are emerging as heroes. As they find themselves IN the headlines, we applaud their OUTstanding work.

Image: ©Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK



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