For that matter, KSU’s celebration of Gay Pride is an affront to the entire state since the university, the state’s third largest, receives tax money generated by citizens across Georgia. No one who has lived in Georgia for six months could be in doubt about the state’s predominant culture. We aren’t Washington State, and Atlanta isn’t San Francisco either, or not yet.
At issue is a great university that was made great by supportive, local community leaders, the general citizenry, and thousands of tuition-paying students, many of whom will just have to endure the month of October. That university, instead of honoring the hand that has fed it, has taken a cultural stand that is anathema to those who foot its bills. October, you see, is Gay Pride Month, and the KSU administration assures us they will host a party.
Let’s take a look at what that month-long party portends: parades, forums where “sexual equality” is touted, exhibits teaching gay history, coming-out testimonies, probably some well-known speakers who will tell KSU students how backward Georgia is, and most certainly a trek to Piedmont Park for something or another.
Around the nation, Gay Pride Month is held under the auspices of L-G-B-T-I-Q. If we’re going to understand what our beloved, local, grown-up university is promoting, we should get a handle on these letters.
Of course “L” is for lesbian. We know what that one means. “G” is gay. We understand that one as well, although there is overlap of “L” and “G.” Gay is the broader term because all lesbians are gay but not all gays are lesbian (female). Some, of course, are male. “B” is for bisexual. OK, Georgians, with this one we are really, really moving away from our traditional community values. But bisexual doesn’t need an explanation either, except to say that nobody can claim it squares with the Judeo-Christian ethic.
“T” is for transgender. This one makes me sad, because any way you cut it, it argues that God made a mistake. We should never be unkind to anyone who grapples with this issue, but neither should we allow a tax-supported university to tout or defend it.
“I” is for intersex. Don’t ask me about this one, and if you know, don’t tell. I don’t want to know. If KSU’s goal is “to increase awareness,” they failed to reach me on this one, but there’s enough in the mix already to get the picture.
“Q” is the most disturbing, not because it stands for queer, which it does, but because it also stands for “questioning.” In other words, if a 17- or 18-year-old freshman thinks his or her parents are so yesterday and has questions about his or her sexuality, KSU has answers. Or at least aid and comfort. KSU, that’s not why we have given you all these decades of support. Please get on with mathematics, history, your nursing program, etc.
I have had a long, pleasant association with KSU as it has moved from a small, two-year college to university status. I have taught English there, tutored in its Writing Center, served as founding co-director of its Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, worked as supervising teacher for several of its student teachers, and served on an accreditation commission that found it very easy to recommend KSU for continued accreditation. KSU is a vibrant, exciting place.
Furthermore, the Presidents I’ve known, Dr. Horace Sturgis and Dr. Betty Siegel were intellectual and community giants. The current President, Dr. Dan Papp, I haven’t met, but I have heard him speak numerous times. His mind is incredible; his person is a delight.
Even so, I will never believe that most Georgians approve of KSU or any of their other universities pressing or encouraging the gay agenda. But universities do it anyhow. It is the way of academia. They ply state legislators for funds and then foster such things as gay politics that neither state legislators nor their constituents approve of. This should cease.
According to newspaper reports, Dr. Papp will participate in the Gay Pride Month kickoff event on October 3. His goal and that of KSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (what does that office do eight hours a day?) is to “open doors” and “make gays feel safe.”
Let’s hope that KSU is inclusive of conservative Christian students somewhere in all of their diversity. There are legions of them amongst KSU’s 23,000 students. I’ll be thinking about them come October.
Roger Hines of Kennesaw is a retired high school teacher and former state legislator.