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Children at Risk: GLSEN and Youth Corruption

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network recommends harmful and deceptive material to kids.


by Linda Harvey

The following was first published several years ago yet most of these materials are still being promoted.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is a growing, well-funded pro-homosexual organization which advocates the practice of dangerous sexual behaviors by children and adults. Using the schools as its major platform, GLSEN conveys these radical ideas primarily through its web site; in books and curricular material; in teacher training workshops; and in after-school homosexual clubs for students.

There is growing support for this organization's "cause." The group has close ties with many local educators as well as some very powerful allies like the National Education Association. Behind its discussions of "tolerance" and "safety," however, are the sordid realities of what GLSEN actually supports. Just about every type of sexual practice imaginable is acceptable and even worthy of "celebration" by any age student and any teacher. GLSEN also supports gender-distortion through cross-dressing, even for elementary school children.

A review of the materials recommended by GLSEN confirms that the group implicitly condones criminal sexual contact between adults with minors, since it's a frequent, casual theme in these materials. For listings of these resources, consult the group's web site at www.glsen.org .


Warning: Graphic sexual content follows. The following are just a small sample of the situations, opinions and themes depicted in the books GLSEN recommends as "resources" in its materials and on its web site; however, these examples are representative of the whole.


1. GLSEN believes the early sexualization of children can be beneficial. This means that virtually any sexual activity as well as exposure to graphic sexual images and material, is not just permissible but good for children, as part of the process of discovering their sexuality.

"I released his arms. They glided around my neck, pulling my head down to his. I stretched full length on top of him, our heads touching. Our heavy breathing from the struggle gradually subsided. I felt ---" and then follows a graphic description of a homosexual encounter between two ten- year- old boys who are playmates, in a childhood recollection of Malcolm Boyd, an Episcopal priest, in Growing Up Gay/ Growing Up Lesbian, ed. Bennett Singer, New Press, 1994, p.100. This book is part of recommended reading by GLSEN for 7-12th grade students.


The president and founder of GLSEN, Kevin Jennings, wrote the foreword for a book for educators called Queering Elementary Education (William J. Letts IV and James T. Sears, eds., Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999.) One chapter is written by a woman who says she and her male partner have raised their daughter "queerly." She then goes on to describe Stephanie's attendance at several "gay" pride parades by the time she is eight. Stephanie already has a detailed familiarity with her own female genitalia "because it gives her pleasure when she masturbates." And the mother describes one incident where she and her daughter, while observing a group of twelve- year- olds, decide they are both attracted to the same girl. (pp. 71-81)

"One day, on the bus to shop class, this ugly f--- of a man sat behind me....he managed to get me to follow him to a nearby restroom...[ a graphic description of homosexual sex follows]...I spent a good deal of time locked in the stall, trying to clean up.... This incident should have soured me on men, but it only made me more confused and needful... The whole world of rest-room sex had opened itself up to me..." (From Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade, Clifford Chase, ed., Rob Weisbach Books,1998, pp.43-44. Book recommended by GLSEN for adults, presumably including teachers.)

Some rather unorthodox advice is given in the book Queer Kids: The Challenges and Promise for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth( Robert E. Owens, Jr., Ph.D., Harrington Park Press, 1998). These tips are given for the "special" needs of homosexual youth who are runaways or have been kicked out of their homes, and therefore live in residential shelters. "Agency policies must recognize the sexual behavior of adolescents...Residential facilities should distinguish clearly between normal, healthy and harmful, exploitative sexual behavior regardless of the gender or orientation of the youths involved.... Within Child Protective Services Guidelines, youths should be allowed privacy and dignity regarding sexuality. Discrete times and places should be provided to allow for private masturbation." (pp.157-158) This book is recommended for adults on the GLSEN web site.

"As far as I know, I've been masturbating my whole life. But it wasn't until 9 that I realized it was an impulse that you had to turn off. Especially in class."
(Revolutionary Voices: a multicultural queer youth anthology, Amy Sonnie, ed., Alyson Books, 2000, p.220. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.)

In the novel Rainbow Boys (Alex Sanchez, Simon & Schuster, 2001), three 17-year old boys explore their homosexual attractions. Frequent themes include obtaining sexually explicit magazines (p.51) and movies (p. 88), as well as graphic descriptions of male homosexual arousal (pp.51-52, 89). The book features several scenes of explicit heterosexual sex, and a scene where one of the teen boys has anal intercourse without a condom with a 29-year-old man he has just met via the Internet (p.148). Rainbow Boys is recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.

"I am a triracial, First Nation, Two-Spirit Fairy Trans Faggot activist...I am committed to unleashing Out/rage/us Acts of Delightful Revolution." (Qwo-Li Driskill, age 22, in Revolutionary Voices [cited above], p.198.)


2. "Coming out" (calling oneself or believing oneself to be homosexual) and even beginning homosexual sex practices at a young age, is a normal and positive experience for youth which should be encouraged by teachers and parents, according to GLSEN.

"I first began to come out when I was 11. In terms of my family, I was fortunate because my parents have always been accepting of my sexual identity....So at the age of 12 I came out to my entire elementary school, which included grades K-8." (Fifteen-year- old girl writing in Revolutionary Voices, Amy Sonnie, ed. [cited above], pp.43-44. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.)

"Young people are just as capable of exploring or asserting their sexual identity as adults." (Author Mary L Gray, in In Your Face: Stories From the Lives of Queer Youth, Harrington Park Press,1999, p. 23. Book recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.)

"'My first experience was with a much older man, a friend of Derek's [his dad]...When I was fifteen, he must have been twenty-nine, thirty...I seduced him...It was a wild night. We did everything.'" ( Young man, Eliot, telling about earlier experiences in a story excerpted in Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian [cited above], p.111.)

"Despite my best efforts, someday the artifice of 'normality' had to fall away. It did, early one Sunday afternoon when I was twelve. My cousin was sixteen." The author then recounts his homosexual activities with his cousin. Queer 13: lesbian and gay writers recall seventh grade [cited above], pp.86-87.

"I identify as bisexual, and have since I was about six or seven...I sort of experimented when I was young." (Eriq Chang, age 17,in In Your Face: Stories From the Lives of Queer Youth [as cited above], p. 32.)

"I am a fifteen year-old dyke artist and activist. I've got flaming pink hair and a passion for genderf--- in both directions." ( Young girl writing in Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology [cited above], p.28).

"Toward the end of my first year, during the spring of 1988, Brewster appeared in my office in the tow of one of my advisees, ...to whom I had been 'out' for a long time. 'Brewster has something he needs to talk with you about,' she intoned ominously....On a hunch, I suddenly asked, 'What's his name?' Brewster's eyes widened briefly, and then out spilled a story about his involvement with an older man he had met in Boston. I listened, sympathized, offered advice. He left my office with a smile on his face...." (Kevin Jennings, former teacher and current president of GLSEN, describing his interaction with a male student, in One Teacher in Ten: Gay and lesbian educators tell their stories, Kevin Jennings, ed., Alyson Publications, 1994, p.25.)

"By tenth grade, though, the gang had split up....That left me and Matt. He lived just four blocks up the street...." There follows a very explicit story of a boy named Jesse's homosexual obsession and then sex encounter with a classmate. ( Love & Sex: ten stories of truth, edited by Michael Cart, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001, pp.129-156. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.)

3. Bisexuality, "fluid" sexuality and sexual experimentation is encouraged by GLSEN as a right for all students.

"Although it's common to feel more strongly attracted to one sex or the other, many people feel at least some amount of attraction for both sexes. Alfred Kinsey, the famous researcher of sexual behavior, found that our attractions and our sexual behaviors are seldom absolute..." (Passage continues to describe the Kinsey Scale, a 0 through 6 continuum from heterosexual to homosexual, that the now-discredited Kinsey described as "fluid" sexuality. In Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth-- and Their Allies, Ellen Bass & Kate Kaufman, HarperPerennial, 1996, pp.6-7. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.)

"My sexuality is as fluid, infinite, undefinable, and ever-changing as the north-flowing river...Sexuality is not black or white...it is gray...I know that defining myself is not so simple..."(T. Rowan, 16, in Revolutionary Voices [cited above], p.167.)

"Hello," I Lied (M.E. Kerr, Harper Trophy, 1997) is a novel about a 17-year-old boy who believes he's homosexual, has an actor boyfriend, and yet "falls" for a French girl during his summer vacation-and has sex with her. The book closes with his reunion with his male lover, and his acceptance of even more undefined boundaries for sexuality. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.

"Curtis flops over the side of his bed and looks underneath....he browses his modest library of soft to medium-core pornography....Image upon image, man upon woman. Upon woman. Upon man. Curtis swims in a sea of bodies..." A very graphic story of masturbation, fantasy and real sex unfolds in this tale about a teen boy who, after viewing homosexual porn, has homosexual fantasies and believes he's "gay." His girlfriend, with whom he has been having sex, convinces him otherwise after he visits her in her bedroom, she confesses that she likes female homosexual pornography, and his arousal results in their sexual encounter. Story "The Cure for Curtis" in Love & Sex: ten stories of truth [cited above], pp.109-126. Book recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.

" '...You never wanted to, like, do it with a girl?' 'No, I guess I'm a Kinsey six.'"( Two boys discuss the Kinsey scale in the novel Rainbow Boys [cited above], p.95.)

"Weetzie changed into her lace negligee from Trashy Lingerie and went into Dirk and Duck's room and climbed into bed between Dirk and Duck....And that was how Weetzie and Dirk and Duck made the baby-well, at least that was how it began, and no one could be sure if that was really the night...." This group sex encounter between a girl and two homosexual men (p.37) occurs in the novel Weetzie Bat, part of a collection of several books, Dangerous Angels, by Francesca Lia Block (Harper Collins Publishers, 1998).The heroine, Weetzie Bat, is trying to get pregnant, and turns to her two "gay" housemates when her live-in boyfriend doesn't want a child. A child is conceived by this teen girl and one of the three men. Dangerous Angels is recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12.

"Last night, I told my friend Leslie that I am gay-after I had sex with her...." ( From a homosexual man's diary of his youth, in Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian, [cited above], pp. 80-81.)

"I think the first time I actually thought about being bi or questioned my sexuality was when, under the influence, I kissed a girl. I would have been thirteen...I was really heavily into drugs and stuff like that..." ( Paige, age 18, in In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth [cited above], p.42.)

"Each of us should have the freedom to explore our sexual orientation and find our own unique expression of lesbian, bisexual, gay, straight, or any combination of these." (From a lesson called "Bisexual Basics" for students in middle school and up, in a curriculum manual published by GLSEN for educators called Tackling Gay Issues in School: A Resource Module by Leif Mitchell. Co-sponsored by GLSEN, 1999, Planned Parenthood of Connecticut and Leif Mitchell, p.78.)


4. Meeting other "gay" and "questioning" youth, sometimes without parental knowledge, is a frequent theme in GLSEN materials. At these meetings, minors will come into contact with college-age people and adults practicing homosexuality.

"The night I got back from my first support group meeting, I lied to my mother about where I'd been. And I was horrible at lying because I had a good relationship with my mother......" (Dawn, age 17, in In Your Face: Stories From the Lives of Queer Youth, [cited above], p.50.)

"....One of the best ways to meet other lesbian, gay and bisexual young people - is a gay youth support group. There are youth groups all over the country....If you find a group you can get to, GO!" (Passage mentions nothing about checking with parents. From Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth-- and Their Allies, [cited above] p.30)

"Jason Carillo walked around the block a third time, working up his courage to go into the brownstone....He'd read about the group for teens in his school newspaper...."(Opening scene of novel Rainbow Boys, which is about three boys who meet at a "gay" youth meeting. Cited above, p.1)

"I was in sixth grade and attending a Catholic school in San Francisco when I came out to a small group of people...During this time I started attending LYRIC, the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, a wonderful program and hang-out space for LGBT youth in San Francisco....The next year I was in seventh grade..."(Gina De Vries, age 15, in Revolutionary Voices [cited above], p.43)

"...I joined this youth group called Positive Images; it's the Sonoma County gay/lesbian/bisexual youth group. I got a boyfriend instantly; he picked me up right away, right when I joined the group. He was older; he was twenty-five, I was sixteen...." (Todd Fay-Long, age 17, from In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth [cited above], p.58.)


5. In GLSEN material, the "cool" adults-parents, teachers and counselors--are those who encourage students to embrace homosexuality and cross-dressing. They also allow adult-level freedoms and let children associate with questionable teens or adults.

" For Nancy, talking to a supportive adult was the start of finding affirming information about being a lesbian:
'The first time I said anything I was fourteen. I told this social worker. I told him I had feelings for women....He was really cool. He ran around giving me all this information and he gave me the number for the gay and lesbian center. He helped me a lot. He opened the door.'" ( From Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth-and Their Allies, [cited above], p. 35).


"I first met Danny in my seventh year of teaching....I said I was planning to go to Santa Monica Boulevard to watch the [gay] ' parade'...Suddenly Danny said, 'Take me along!'...We made plans and waited for the day....I took Danny to dinner at a nice gay café. We made quite an entrance with Danny looking all of fifteen and I looking all of thirty-one...."( HIV positive teacher Gary Dowd writing about his mentoring relationship with one of his students in One Teacher In Ten: Gay and lesbian educators tell their stories [cited above], pp. 65-67. )

"I live with my mom and her husband and my twelve-year-old brother; I'm out to all of them and it's good...I've hung out downtown since I was fourteen..." ( In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth [cited above], p.19.)

Teachers of six classes at one Australian school taught a lesson which is recommended for use in American classes. Twelve and thirteen- year- old students read the book Two Weeks With the Queen, the story of a boy who stays with relatives in London for two weeks, meets a homosexual man in front of a hospital, and become friends with him and his partner dying of AIDS. At one point the boy visits them at their apartment. The lesson is supposed to teach about the value of befriending someone who is "different." The lesson does not bring up the issue of parental knowledge or supervision. (From Queering Elementary Education, [cited above], pp.137-149. The foreword to this book for teachers is written by president and founder of GLSEN, Kevin Jennings.)


6. GLSEN resources contain many hostile, one-sided anti-Christian vignettes and opinions, as well as false information about Christianity and the Bible's position on homosexuality. This encourages antagonism against biblical morality and increases the risk that youth will experiment with high-risk behavior. It also increases prejudice against Christians and Jews.

"In fact, the Bible says very little about homosexuality. Amidst the hundreds of thousands of other teachings, responsibilities, laws and prohibitions, there are only a handful of statements that might possibly apply to sex between men-and none that address lesbian sexuality." ( Inaccurate information that ignores Romans 1:26 and many passages strongly prohibiting homosexuality. From Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth-and Their Allies [cited above], p. 279.)

"'God will punish you!' was my mother's favorite saying to me.... I remember going to Sunday school at a very early age-it was a must. Sunday school can be heavy for a child....If you do anything that isn't right, you are terrified you'll be struck by lightning or go to hell...." ( From the recollections of a girl named 'Whitey,' who in the 1950's ran away from home at age thirteen to Greenwich Village, in Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian [cited above], pp.44-45)

"Later that week, Kyle arrived home from school to find his mom standing in the center of his bedroom...She barraged him with questions like, Should she have done something different bringing him up? or, What about the ex-gay groups that claimed homosexuals could change? 'Mom,' he said, frustrated. 'You didn't do anything wrong and I can't change. Those groups are full of fakes...'" ( From novel, Rainbow Boys, [cited above] p.103.)

"I grew up in a house where my mom said it was okay to touch yourself in private, and to hell with those self-righteous idiots who talked about going to hell but did the same thing when they could.....My grandparents are serious Christians who think that if it feels too good, you probably shouldn't be doing it. And that includes food and movies. My mom raised me opposite." ( From Love & Sex: ten stories of truth [cited above], p. 185 and 189)

7. The spirituality presented positively in GLSEN resources is heavily laced with occult themes and nightmarish images.

"The creature came into the light. It had thin, pale, slightly blueish skin....'Who are you?' La felt a slice of fear, remembering her mother's tub of blood. Had her mother seen this creature? Had this been the demon who told her mother to cut herself?" ( From the story "Blue" in Girl Goddess #9, Francesca Lia Block, Harper Trophy, 1996, p.17. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12)

"...What I really noticed was his aura....'One day you can be like me,' he whispered...'You saw how that girl looked at me? I'm going to have her tonight. I can get any woman I like-or any man, if I was that way inclined.....You know why? Because I was born with the Power. Power over things seen and unseen, power over folk and field, power over wind and water....You've got to keep it charged up. You've got to use it, boy! You have to feed the Power!'" (Love & Sex: ten stories of truth [cited above], p.46,48. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12)

"Alex...did his astrology bit. He was a believer like a lot of actors: superstitious, fascinated by the occult. " ("Hello," I Lied, by M.E.Kerr [cited above], pp.70-71. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12)

"Dirk felt the bitterness and anguish making his lips tingle... He was carried forward by the whirlpools of the crowd to the stage. On the stage. Blinded sweat tears lights. Howling. Panic. Pandemonium. Pan, hooved horned god...."(Story about a homosexual male in Dangerous Angels, 'Baby Be-Bop', Francesca Lia Block, HarperCollins Publishers, 1998, p. 412. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12).

"The concert was sincerely awe-weaving and mind-unraveling. It is really hard to describe. There were jugglers, panthers, acrobats, naked children with wings, dwarves, a white horse, swine, deer, owls, bats, dancing trees, fireworks, waterfalls, windstorms, twelve-foot-tall flowers growing out of the stage and of course best of all Nick Agate. He came dancing out on stilts wearing a devil mask...He pretended to do it with this ghost-type thing..." (Girl Goddess #9, [cited above],pp.103-104. Recommended by GLSEN for students in grades 7-12)

Because of the danger to minors, it is our opinion that GLSEN staff and volunteers should not be permitted to have any contact with minor children. Schools and organizations that utilize GLSEN materials, list its web site or other contact points as resources, or allow GLSEN representatives to address children or educators may find themselves ultimately exposed to criminal liability for corruption of minors or for facilitating contacts that lead to child sexual abuse.

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