If there had been any doubt left that California is run by nutcases, it has been removed by the recent decision of the CA legislature to mandate “‘age appropriate’ lessons on the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people”. State Senator Sheila Kuehl, the bill’s lesbian author and Bea’s roommate Camille’s boss (who is, incidentally, a Domer)*, defends her bill by saying, “”All we’re saying is let us also be reflected in history.” The bill was purportedly introduced “on the belief that presenting positive role models could help ease negative feelings and battle high suicide rates among gay and lesbian students.”
Now, I’m all for doing the best we can to increase tolerance of gays and lesbians and lower their suicide rates (though I wonder where they’re getting their data), but isn’t this going a little too far? I mean, should school textbooks note there was a gay rights movement and discuss its goals and accomplishments? Absolutely. But now we should start noting “gay firsts” (”the first gay CEO;,the first lesbian lawmaker, etc.) like we’ve done with African-Americans, religious minorities, and women? To an extent this makes sense, but creating chapters and lessons focused on this topic seems rather ludicrous. Should us short people start clamoring for recognition of short people in history? Napoleon Bonaparte seems to get a lot of publicity, but it’s usually not very positive. In fact, from the connection between Napoleon’s famous height (or lack thereof) and his warmongering exploits we have the derogatory term, “Little Man syndrome”, a syndrome which no doubt exists perhaps, but imagine the outcry if we started talking about “Terrorist Muslim syndrome”….
In any case, passage of the bill into law appears to be almost a fait accompli, so allow me to look for a silver lining. One unintended consequence I am hoping for is a newfound recognition of just how exemplary a historical institution Great Britain’s parliament is, as well as a growing appreciation for the benefits of British colonialism, given that British MPs and Britain’s upper class white men have been historically notorious for being cross-dressers and closeted fagalas. Is that too much to ask, or am I being dreamy?
CORRECTION: Camille’s boss is State Senator Christine Kehoe, not State Senator Sheila Kuehl. Sen. Kehoe is much more moderate, but is also a lesbian. I apologize for the mistake; I apparently confused my lesbian Democratic California senators whose last names begin with K.