Qmmunity: Back to School and Bassackwardlandia

State Board of Education excludes queer and trans kids in sex ed overhaul


SBOE, assemble! (at least 6 feet apart) (Image via Texas SBOE website)

From textbook wars to debates on slavery's role in the Civil War, the State Board of Education has always occupied a special place in right-wing Bassackwardlandia. That needle may shift, however, come this November, when the SBOE is expected to take the final vote on its overhaul of statewide standards for teaching sex education and health in public schools, the first in more than 20 years. As I write this, the 15-member GOP-dominated SBOE is hearing testimony on revisions recommending students learn "abstinence-plus" (versus "abstinence-only") at younger ages. Teaching kids more comprehensive sex education is a win – I won't argue with that. But to entirely leave out standards for learning about sexuality and gender identity and expression is not only shortsighted, it's dangerous. According to a national survey by the Trevor Project, 40% of LGBTQIA youth age 14-23 have considered suicide in the last year – with more than half of trans and nonbinary youth considering suicide. Other studies have shown that queer and trans youth who died by suicide were more likely to mention bullying than their non-LGBTQIA peers, with queer and trans children age 10-13 being the most at risk. As Out Youth's Heather Frederick pointed out in an earlier hearing, LGBTQIA-inclusive curriculum and resources are linked with less bullying. To echo SBOE Dem Ruben Cortez: If creating an explicitly queer- and trans-inclusive learning experience means just one life can be saved, then how can leaving out sexuality and gender identity and expression be worth it? LGBTQIA advocates turned out at Tuesday's hearing, and the SBOE is expected to take a preliminary vote on this Friday, Sept. 11. Stay tuned for more in next week's issue.

2 to Do

Queer Riot Fest QRF is bringing you queer bands, queer art, and a queer market all month long, featuring Fea, Dog Park Dissidents, Juno Black, and special guest DJ Chuy Politron. This year's proceeds benefit Kind Clinic. Through Sept. 29. Online. $5-10. www.queerriotfest.com.

A Night of Fetish, Fantasy & Fairy Tales Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, bbs. The Prince and the Pupper – aka Imperial Crown Prince Evan Inell and Grand Duke Pup Sora of United Court – present pre-recorded performances exploring the freakier side of fairy tales. Sun., Sept. 13, 6-7pm. FB Live. www.fb.com/unitedcourtofaustin.

Q'd Up

HackOut Networking for qmmunity entrepreneurs. Thu.-Sun., Sept. 10-13. Online. Free. hackout.startout.org.

Prismatic Taiwan Taiwanese queer cinema virtual retrospective. Through Sept. 13. $3.99+. www.aaafilmfest.org.

Gender Unbound Celebrating trans and intersex artists. Through Sept. 30. Free. www.genderunbound.org.

OUTsider 2021 Get yer submissions in by Oct. 1. www.outsiderfest.org.

Class Transitions Strength training with Rocky Lane. Thursdays, 6pm. Online. Price varies. www.patreon.com/workoutwithericanix.

BookWoman Open Mic An evening of virtual poetry. Thu., Sept. 10, 7:15-9pm. Online. www.fb.com/bookwomanaustin.

Connecting to Kindness Reconnect through mediation. Sun., Sept. 13, 3-5pm. Online. www.allgo.org/events.

Trans Feminisms Reading Donna Ostrowsky's "The Queer Experiment." Tue., Sept. 15, 6:30-8pm. Online. www.fb.com/lgbtqstudiesut.

GOTV Phone Bank for Equality In the name of achieving LGBTQIA equality at the polls this November! Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm. www.fb.com/equalitytexas.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Austin LGBTQIA
Qmmunity: Keep the Census Queer and Get Counted
Qmmunity: Keep the Census Queer and Get Counted
Plus, Joterías celebrates Latinx Heritage Month with a special show and more queer fun

Beth Sullivan, Sept. 25, 2020

Qmmunity: Stay Strong, Y’all
Qmmunity: Stay Strong, Y’all
Reminding ourselves of our resiliency in difficult times

Beth Sullivan, March 20, 2020

More Qmmunity
Qmmunity: SBOE Debates the Good, the Bad, and the Bass-ackwards
Qmmunity: SBOE Debates the Good, the Bad, and the Bass-ackwards
Plus, join AIDS Walk Austin Saturday to step to zero new HIV infections by 2030

Beth Sullivan, Sept. 18, 2020

Qmmunity: Lessons From the Past for the Present
Qmmunity: Lessons From the Past for the Present
Plus, Gender Unbound and Austin Asian American Film Festival kick off virtual programming

Beth Sullivan, Sept. 4, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin LGBTQIA, Austin LGBTQIA, State Board of Education, sex education, abstinence-plus, abstinence-only, Out Youth, Heather Frederick, Ruben Cortez, Queer Riot Fest, United Court of Austin

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle