During my first year in middle school, I experienced severe bullying. I was called terrible names that were quite hurtful. At that time, I had just realized that I'm gay, and the bullies used the word "gay" as an insult. This made me feel like being gay was horrible.
In his view, it isn't an anti-gay bill but a "mental health bill" that says that school officials must "notify parents or legal guardians in the manner specified by law for such a medical referral" if a child is, among other things, suspected of being LGBTQ.
It's some excuse making rolled up with some happy PR talk: "We love gay and transgender kids!" But there's no concrete promise of making any changes to their criteria for honoree selection or their fundraising efforts or really any action at all, promised or delivered.
Word is going to be bandied about quite often throughout day by all sorts of people, no matter how hard I may try to get people to remove it from their vocabulary. Word is still present. Word still exists. Word does not disappear just because I choose not to use word in this essay.
Campfield's latest version of the bill would require teachers or school administrators to out suspected gay youth to their parents. I suspect that Campfield misunderstands how kids, even young kids, figure out who they are -- and how important it is not to interfere with that process.
Not only is it going to take every Tennessean who believes in equality to help fight this horrible legislation, but it is also going to take people across the nation to shut down these unrepentant, negative, and regressive mindsets.