I’m not generally in the habit of responding via blog post to tweets by 21 year old college students, but when that 21 year old college student is an occasional World Net Daily columnist tweeting slurs to mock something I’m involved in, I’m willing to break that rule.
This lovely little gem was tweeted earlier today, he’s since deleted it (without apology, I might add), but too bad the Internet is forever.
There’s a good post by Nicholas Ducote, one of the folks who started Homeschooler’s Anonymous, over on the site. I’d encourage you to go read it. Among other things, it points out that you can’t fit the contributors to the site into a box and write the whole thing off with a label.
The funny thing about trying to write off Homeschooler’s Anonymous as a bunch of disgruntled “homos” is that of the people who are official blog partners with HA, I’m the only one who identifies as gay. So yeah, Josh Craddock, I guess I resemble that remark. And yet, I’m the one who has repeatedly gone on record talking about how my homeschool experience was overwhelmingly positive (other than that whole courtship thing), even in posts that are critical of aspects of homeschool culture.
My story happens to be a mostly good one because my parents didn’t buy into the movement homeschooling to the same level as many parents. I was always taught that could be or do whatever I set my mind to, and was never given the message that there were certain things that were off limits to me because of my gender. I had free reign of the library to read whatever interested me. Other than being told when I was seven that Stephen Hawking was way too advanced for me to understand (I was on a black hole kick and figured that meant I should read his work), and not being allowed to read Primary Colors when I was twelve, I don’t remember any restrictions on what I got from the library. My dad has an undergrad degree in elementary education, an M.Ed. specializing in elementary guidance, and spent years as a high school math teacher–the fact that he actually knew what he was doing in educating us meant that I escaped a lot of the negative aspects of movement homeschooling.
This goes back to the post on HA that I referenced earlier. You can’t put us all in a box and write it off with a label. I’m not disgruntled–I don’t know how many times I can say I had a good experience. I’m not whiny–again, I don’t know how many different ways I can say I had a good experience. I’m not self-loathing–I’m quite happy with who I am and my life is good. I’m most definitely not an atheist either–I’m a born again Christian who was baptized on profession of faith when I was four years old and my faith is an important part of my life.
You can’t put us in a box and slap a label on it and pretend that the problems within homeschooling aren’t real.
This is bigger than a few people, and just calling us homos and atheists isn’t going to make the abuses within the homeschooling subculture go away.
Not only that, but those of us who are queer homeschoolers are just that–homeschoolers. We grew up in the same homeschooling subculture, heard the same messages, wore the same stupid denim jumpers (well, I never owned a denim jumper, thankfully), had the same racist BJU textbooks (parents, read the textbook first, don’t take others’ recommendations on face value), felt the same pressure to be model homeschoolers as everybody else did. I got the copy of The Excellent Wife as a high school graduation present just like thousands of other homeschool girls, even though everyone knew my plan was college and then law school–heck, my senior picture is taken posing with a thick con law casebook. I was given Beautiful Girlhood when I was a kid just like a lot of girls in the homeschool movement. I had no idea until I started reading other homeschoolers’ stories that it wasn’t for some inexplicable reason that random people gave me those books, it was because those books were heavily pushed in the homeschool world.
So what, does none of that matter because you think you can sweep me into the box marked “homo”?
My story is just as valid as any other homeschooler. I have just as much right to tell it as any other homeschooler, mixed up complexities, tensions and all. Being a “homo” is the least interesting part of my story though.