Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kevin Jennings of GLSEN at NYSUT RA

Twenty years ago I stood in this room to support a resolution on Domestic Partner Benefits. I was congratulated for being brave enough to say "I am a gay man." 20 years later a plenary speaker who is an openly gay man spoke to the assembly from the podium.

Today Kevin Jennings, founder of GLSEN spoke to a riveted crowd about the need to support Dignity for All Students which has been before the the legislature for 9 years.

Kevin message was powerful in its witness to how big the problem of harassment based on perceived or real sexual orientation or gender identification is. He spoke of the role of educators in supporting and providing role models to all students who identify themselves as different.

I wish that 20 years ago I had the guts to stand before my class and say "I am a gay man."

Knowing I touched students in many ways is wonderful. I will always live with the regret that I did not do enough.

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