Our Homophobic World: Christian School Pressures Student to Drop Out Because She's Gay

Last night, Jezebel pointed us to one of those stories that reminds us just how homophobic the world still is: A teenage girl admits to the teachers of her (private, Christian) school that she's a lesbian and is promptly asked to drop out.

The Hartford Courant reports on Rachel Aviles' story:

This was to be her senior year and a former coach says she would have been up for all kinds of awards. But last spring she went on a class trip where several students, Aviles among them, pretended to be married. They made "wifey" phone calls to one another. They held hands — not unusual among same-sex friends at Master's, Aviles said.

"Looking back, it was kind of stupid," said Aviles, of Hartford. "But it was harmless."

Word got back to the administration, and the students were called in and questioned about their sexual orientation. When it was her turn, Aviles told administrators that she is a lesbian. Her friends knew. Teachers didn't.

Aviles said she was encouraged to withdraw, rather than be expelled. "It was a not thinly veiled threat," said Beth Miller, who met Aviles when the student applied to Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation in '07.

Aviles apparently also isn't a Christian, though, according to the paper, "she insists she respects the faith." And that shouldn't have been a problem -- although private schools do have legal wiggle room in choosing their students, the Master's School has no explicit policy about the religious belief or sexual orientation of its students.

Still, the school's administrators made it clear to Aviles that if she didn't drop out, she would be kicked out. Aviles, on the other hand, took the Christian-like high road:

[W]hen Aviles sat down to talk about her leaving Master's, the first thing she said was she didn't want Master's to look bad.

"Just because you've been wronged doesn't mean you have the right to wrong back," said the newest member of Watkinson Class of '12.

Read the whole article at the Hartford Courant.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at September 9, 2011, 5:20am

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