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Parent’s Extreme Reaction To So-Called ‘Secret’ Gender Identity Club Just Proves How Necessary These Groups Are

A young person rides a bicycle up a set of steps painted in rainbow colors..

Erin Lee, the mom of a sixth grader in Colorado, is extremely pissed off right now. The problem, it seems, is that the local middle school allowed her child to go to an after-school meeting of the ​​Gender and Sexualities Alliance club. She is so hopping mad that she, along with her husband, another set of parents, Illumine Legal, and the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Poudre School District and its board of education. Yes, that’s the same AFPI that was founded by Trump lackeys and is funded by a CNBC called a “Trump-allied dark money group.” 

According to an interview between Lee and Fox News’s Harris Faulkner, the middle schooler was tricked into going to a meeting where gender and sexuality would be discussed after being told she would be attending an “art club” meeting. Mmm yeah. That sounds real, Mom. Look, we can’t speak for Lee’s kid but if this woman were my parent and I knew she’d get mad enough to start a lawsuit and go on Fox News because she found out I was curious about gender, I’d tell her I was tricked into going too.

“When she got there, she very quickly learned it was actually a gender and sexuality awareness club,” Lee told Faulkner. “The art teacher had invited in an outside presenter into the classroom that day, and this woman did absolutely unthinkable things with the kids.” According to Lee’s own lawsuit, what the guest speaker, Kimberly Chambers, did was “introduc[e] concepts of gender fluidity and various types of sexual attraction.” Gasp!

Chambers is the executive director of SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado, which, according to its website, serves “LGBTQIA+ youth ages 5-24, their families, schools and community connections by providing support, resources, referrals, social belongingness and special events in Larimer and Weld counties.” That term, “social belongingness,” really stands out to me in this case because while we know LGBTQ youth are “more than four times more likely to commit suicide than their peers,” according to a 2020 study, which is pretty likely due to the alienation and poor treatment those young people face from society, not because of their relationship to boobs and butts. So providing a feeling of belonging to someone within a community where parents are this extreme and this hateful in reaction to a simple gender and sexuality awareness club could be an absolutely lifesaving service.

So basically, Lee and the other plaintiffs are furious that anyone connected to a school could talk to their children about gender and sexualities and rainbows. Most egregiously of all in the eyes of these parents, at one point, the teacher reportedly told the kids they did not have to disclose what they were talking about to their parents. The suit calls this “an unequivocal attempt to repudiate parental authority,” which it says violates both the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It also says the club made their kids trans and/or queer. Here’s the thing. The Poudre School District, where this is all happening, has a stated policy that school officials won’t disclose private information about a student’s gender identity, even to the student’s parents, “unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.”

Plus, under the Equal Access Act, students have the right to form a GSA in a public secondary school that receives federal funding. So, although the lawsuit is throwing around a lot of angry words about violating parents’ rights, it’s unclear if they actually have any legal footing in their complaint. However, it is clear that these parents totally suck, and kids, it is fine to rebel against your parents if they try to deny your sexuality or gender journey.

(featured image: John Lamparski/Getty Images)

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