Homo Gay Kiss Blacked Out
posted by June 23 at 12:45 PMon
Andre Jackson, a high school student in New Jersey, paid $150 a special “tributes page” in his high school yearbook. When school administrators saw one of the photos he chose for his page—a picture of Andre kissing his boyfriend—they seized all the copies of East Side High’s yearbook and blacked out the photo.
Newark Superintendent of Schools Marion Bolden called the photograph “illicit” and ordered it blacked out of the $85 yearbook before it was distributed to students at a banquet for graduating seniors Thursday.
“It looked provocative,” she said. “If it was either heterosexual or gay, it should have been blacked out.”
Well I guess that’s alright—I mean, if East Side High has a policy against yearbook photos of students kissing, be they gay or straight, and this one photo of Andre kissing his boyfriend somehow slipped past the yearbooks editors, then I guess this isn’t a big deal. I mean, so long as everyone is being treated equally, right?
There are several photos of heterosexual couples kissing in the yearbook, but the superintendent said she didn’t review the entire yearbook and was presented only with Jackson’s page….
“I don’t understand,” said Jackson, 18. “There is no rule about no gay pictures, no guys kissing. Guys and girls kissing made it in.”
Oh man! I did not see that coming! Okay, let’s sue the bastards—hey, Andre? Need money for college? Get yourself a lawyer.
Here’s the offending image…
I don’t see any tongue, do you? So what’s so provocative about that picture? It’s not the kiss—there are other couples shown kissing in the yearbook—it’s the gays. Some people regard the mere existence of gays and lesbians as a provocation. The school administers in New Jersey were worried that the picture would be “upsetting to parents,” which seems a bit broad. Only a minority of parents would have been offended—a loud, bigoted minority of parents, the kind of parents who like to pretend that there’s no such thing as gays and lesbians. Gays on TV, gays on the news, gays in their kids’ high school yearbook—that sets ‘em off the bigots, so the school erred on the side of censorship and discrimination.
The school opted to accommodate the bigots—potentially imaginary bigots! What are the odds that no one would have complained? School officials are so terrified of anti-gay bigots that they don’t even wait for a complaint. And that’s the world the anti-gay bigots want to live in—a world in which public officials are so terrified of the loud, bigoted minority that public officials proactively discriminate against gays and lesbians in order to placate the bigots.
Let’s end with the heartening bit of the story. Someone at East Side High gets it:
Rules for publication of the [tribute] pages prohibited shots of gang signs, rude gestures and graphic photos, said Benilde Barroqueiro, an East Side senior graduating with Jackson.
“You know, it couldn’t be too provocative. No making out, no tongue,” she said.
Students were surprised when they opened their books and found Jackson’s picture had been covered with marker, Barroqueiro said. “He purchased the page and fell under the rules,” she said. “If they want to kiss, that’s their page. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.”
UPDATE: Gay rights group makes some noise:
The gay-rights advocacy group Garden State Equality is demanding an apology from Newark School Superintendent Marion Bolden for ordering her staff to black out a picture of a gay couple kissing before distributing yearbooks to students at East Side High School.
Calling the directive both homophobic and unlawful, Garden State Equality chair Steven Goldstein said the school should also redistribute a new batch on uncensored yearbooks at the district’s expense.
“This action by the school district will have an unspeakably vile chilling effect on other gay and lesbian students coming out,” Goldstein said. “Her trying to erase a student and his boyfriend is a metaphor of her trying to erase the gay and lesbian community out of Newark and its school system. It’s wrong and it’s ridiculous.”