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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

GLBT history should be taught in schools

When I look back to all of the history classes I took in middle school and high school, I don’t remember learning about a single homosexual person. There were legends about whom the students would gossip as being supposedly gay, like how Abraham Lincoln was totally queer because he shared a bed with another man, something we had learned in a “weird facts” book.
Such an absence of legitimate information about gay men and women in history has inevitably led to a factual void which neglects to include a large part of our culture that has a history and deserves recognition. This group of people is continually neglected and suppressed, and if the history of gays and lesbians was brought into everyday curriculum in high school history classes, it would be a clear step toward minimizing today’s homophobia.
By failing to mention the presence of gay people throughout our history, we are negating the legitimacy of such people today. An introduction in history courses would provide questioning students a visible community and history with which they could take comfort in; a clear foundation if they feel alone in the realm of unclear sexuality.
For the majority of students who do not identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, such information provides an education of a group who is commonly misunderstood in decades past and today, and thus an understanding with which to approach today’s issues.
There are certain people in our history who have been blatantly ignored simply because they are gay. Bayard Rustin was an important part of the civil rights movement and was one of the primary planners of the March on Washington. He worked directly with Martin Luther King, Jr. specifically in using nonviolent techniques to encourage equality. The reason why such a prominent figure is unknown to most is because he faced attacks from the government and from various interest groups due to his sexuality.
The purpose of revising the history we teach to high school students isn’t to call gays out as different or deserving of special attention, but rather to give their struggle the appropriate recognition that it deserves. This information can be integrated for students into ordinary lessons in order to make it clear that this is also a part of a straight person’s history. When talking about civil rights, the struggle of women and blacks should be acknowledged as well as that of homosexuals.
In 1969, the Stonewall riots, where gay men rebelled against police brutality, was a monumental start to the beginning of a cultural demand for gay and lesbian recognition. This was an appendage to the greater Civil Rights Movement that is still being fought today, as seen by the continued talk on gay marriage and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
We need to give gay people the recognition that they deserve in the classroom, making students and the general community more aware that gay people and their concerns aren’t a passing fad but a problem that has existed for decades.

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