Friday, November 25, 2011

The Shameless Search for Lesbian Martyrs of the Homeschool Movement

I was nineteen years old when I first discovered people’s eagerness to gain from others’ sexual orientation. A fellow college student, Mr. Popular concluded that I was “gay” because that was the only logical explanation his conceited self could make for my disinterest in him. Ms. Social Butterfly was the only friend – now former friend – who believed there was enough corroborating evidence for the rumor. She wanted to be compassionate by publicly accepting me. But she had an ulterior motive too: Having a lesbian friend would complete her social circle and make her appear more open-minded. A couple years later, Ms. Black Woman Power, whom I only knew by sight, persisted in believing that I was dating my sister, despite the constant refutation of other students. She was too busy celebrating black women’s independence. Facts and others’ feelings took second place to her socio-political goals.

One thing that all three of these experiences had in common: The primary instigator can be generally described as Christian. In other words, Christians were perfectly willing to use others’ real or imagined homosexuality to further their own ends. I reached this conclusion years later after seeing more of that nonsense in the “secular world” with non-Christians and genuine homosexuals. The script was very similar. Use someone else’s deviant sexuality to boost your public image.

So a few years ago, I was not surprised when a (married) survivor of the Quiverfull Movement and anti-homeschool activist began hinting that the key to resolving my singleness would be to enter a lesbian relationship. She wasn’t interested in hearing me deny being attracted to women. She didn’t care about my theological views on the topic. What she did care about was destroying conservative Christian homeschooling by having its key product (i.e., patriarchal-minded women) fail.

The conservative Christian homeschooling movement is infamous for declaring all men unmarriageable but a select few, leaving hundreds of women waiting decades for a non-existent perfect husband. A few concerned homeschool graduates had predicted that an epidemic of lesbianism would result, but to my knowledge no cases had been actually found. (Homosexual homeschool graduates tend to be from less religious or non-religious homes.) So someone decided to create one. The suggestion sickened me for a number of reasons, but primarily due to the realization that someone wanted to use my disappointments in life to further a personal cause against Christian homeschooling. I wonder how many homeschool girls are being used this way…for the good of the movement.