I know the title of this post is a little strange but that's exactly how I felt when I read an article in The Atlanta Journal Constitution regarding a possible school board decision in Cobb County to allow male teachers to wear earrings to work. Currently male teachers are not allowed to wear earrings under the present policy, but after a group of teachers complained that the policy was discriminatory the school board has decided to revisit the rule.
The entire article works hard to avoid implying that male teachers who wear earrings might be perceived as gay, or "worse" might actually be gay. But the people of Atlanta didn't waste anytime getting right to the point in the feedback section. I actually couldn't believe that this discussion was even taking place in 2007. I thought we had agreed that men would be able to wear earrings and still maintain their masculinity years ago? But whenever you're a teacher in charge of molding the minds of young people you often have to operate by a different set of rules.
Many parents worried that it would set a bad example for their children (I know what you're thinking, but it's Georgia), they even went down the slippery slope and said; "If men are allowed to wear earrings next they'll want to wear dresses and baggy pants to work". Sounds like "if we let the gays get married then we'll have to let a man and his dog get married and all of the polygamists", but I digress. I think it's a teachers job not only to teach out of the textbooks but to prepare their students for the real world and in the real world there's a lot of different people and some of them might be wearing earrings. As long as a teacher is doing their job effectively their sexual orientation or their decision to wear earrings should not be an issue.
Never before have I encountered people who actually believed that a person’s sexual orientation could be linked to a piece of jewelry, it's absolutely ridiculous if you ask me! But all you have to do is google it and you'll see that some people are still uncomfortable with the idea and there's even scripture that tells you why it's unacceptable. Now of course you know some right wing nut had to find a scripture that speaks to this issue, there's a scripture for everything.
I think the next time my mother asks me why I'm gay I'm just going to blame it on the earrings. But wait...my ears aren't pierced. Oh well... I guess it's back to gay by birth.
The school board is expected to vote on the policy change on October 18th and has asked the public's input. You can e-mail your thoughts to email@example.com.