Words: Steve Brown
The Trevor Project has sent 100 copies of a LGBT+ book to a Christian school where Mike Pence’s wife will teach art.
News broke that the renowned homophobic Vice President’s wife, Karen Pence, has accepted a part-time position at the Immanuel Christian School – an institution that doesn’t allow LGBT students and requires employees to affirm that marriage is between a man and woman only.
Now, the Trevor Project – the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis organisation for LGBTQ youth – has encouraged the school to accept LGBT+ youth.
The charity decided to send 100 copies of ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’, an illustrated children’s book which explores topics of acceptance and marriage equality.
Amit Paley, CEO and executive director at the charity, said: “The Trevor Project hears from young people every day about their experiences with rejection at home and school - places where they should feel the safest.''
“We know that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth from rejecting families are more than eight times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.
“We hope Immanuel Christian School will adopt policies of inclusion for LGBTQ young people that make them feel safe, accepted, and loved.”
According to the school’s ‘Essentials of the Faith’ parent agreement, they can refuse students or discontinue enrolment if they participate in, support, or condone ‘homosexual activity or bisexual activity’. It also prohibits any LGBT+ staff.
Luke Hartman, an alumni of the Christian school and a gay man, said: “As an alumnus of Immanuel Christian School, I am a living example that intolerance, both in policy and rhetoric, are harmful to the mental wellness and development of LGBTQ students, who are desperately looking for ways to fit in.
“The silent and spoken messages of rejection that are constantly felt by LGBTQ students directly impact the relationship they have with their faith, education, and relationships with family and friends - ultimately resulting in a feeling of being less than when compared to their straight and cisgender peers.”