Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fired On The Basis of Lesbianism

Its as if we are fast-forwarding to Meg's envisioned situations of "illegal homosexuality" in 2030 right now in 2010. In Vancouver, Canada, a lesbian music teacher Lisa Reiner was fired from an all-girls Catholic school on the basis of being gay.

How did this come about? Well, supposedly, when the school hired her, they were aware of her sexuality. Reiner went on leave after her partner gave birth to their first child (which can be interpreted as a re-negotiation of gender roles within same-sex partners. BOTH go on leave rather than just the one who gave birth. This should totally be emulated (both structural/institutionally by employer benefits and socially) by hetero pairings) and returned only to be fired by the school board because too many parents complained that her being lesbian might 'influence their daughters.'

Discrimination on the basis of sexuality? Yes. I am not aware of Canada's non-discrimination policies but that shit's illegal!

It comes back the two assumptions of 'infectious homosexuality' and 'perversion.' The misconception that homosexuality is a product of influence runs rampant in our society to the benefit of those who think theres something wrong with it. Even my own parents think my queerness has to do with being a Women and Gender Studies major and reading things by queer women and being 'constantly' surrounded by them. This fear is reproduced and upheld through the process of 'othering' and excluding. As long as the queer 'other' is an image of perversion, then theres ample reasoning to keep a distance from it.

This incidence is one of the many ways that LGBTQ folks are systematically excluded and denied from the system. Moreover, the implications of this for LGBTQ identified people is a domino effect out of this. This lesbian school teacher lost her job and the benefits that go along with it like healthcare - things that effect her family, especially her new born baby. She then has a new 'tag' on her name seeking employment elsewhere in the job market that already will marginalize her on the basis of her sexuality. Bottom line, the consequences are much greater than mere loss of jobs - consequences that are never fully delineated because they are so complex and reveal the truth behind our social stuctures.

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