Jonesborough student suspended for raising awareness about anti-gay violence

After a Jonesborough, Tennessee high school principal suspended Curtis Walsh for participating in a silent demonstration to raise awareness about anti-gay violence, the American Civil Liberties Union demanded today that David Crockett High School apologize to the student and promise not to punish students who take part in such actions in the future.

Walsh, who is a senior at the school and will be graduating on May 19, said he has been a frequent target of anti-gay harassment at the school. The school is part of the Washington County School System.

“I just wanted to do something positive about the harassment I’ve had to deal with every day at this school,” said Walsh. “I’m graduating in a few days, but I want things to be better for future gay students than they were for me.  It’s pretty ironic that my principal decided to silence me for taking part in a protest in which I was planning to be silent all day.”  

Walsh and other students were called into Principal Henry Marable’s office within minutes of arriving at school on April 18 for participating in National Day of Silence, an annual nationwide student action in which students take a daylong vow of silence to illustrate the silence in which lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender people often suffer discrimination and violence. 

Walsh was sent home for three days for participating in the silent protest.  According to the students, Marable claimed that he was trying to protect them from other students who might react badly to their demonstration.

“I’m really proud of my son for wanting to do something so other students don’t have to suffer the kind of harassment he’s had to endure at school for all these years,” said Zina Owens, Walsh’s mother.  “Where was all this concern about harassment when other students were calling Curtis names and threatening him every day?  Why should he be punished for something other students might do?  That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

“Schools don’t get to take away students’ right to free speech just because they fear that others might respond badly to that speech,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. “The school’s proper response when students react disruptively to constitutionally-protected speech is to punish the students who are disruptive, not to violate the rights of students who are exercising their free speech rights.”

In its letter to Washington County School System officials, the ACLU demands that the school apologize to Walsh and guarantee that the school won’t violate students’ rights in this fashion in the future.  A copy was also sent to the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, which spearheads National Day of Silence.

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in this country face harassment, discrimination, and violence in their schools and communities on a daily basis,” said Christine Sun, staff attorney for the ACLU of Tennessee. “It’s completely unacceptable that a student trying to convey a positive message of human rights for all would face this type of reaction from their school administration.”

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less