The Rainbow Report – Bridging Divides: Reflections from a School Board Meeting 🌈

“The best way to know yourself is to know others.” – Philippa Georgiou

This past week, I attended the Broward County School Board meeting to demonstrate Safe Schools’ support for the resolution recognizing October as Queer History Month in the school system. This was my first school board meeting, and I can honestly say I was not prepared for the barrage of hateful language and deviant behavior I encountered from those who opposed the resolution. It was troubling and somewhat disheartening to hear that the primary concern of the opponents was their inability to distinguish between sexual acts and the identities of those who identify along the queer spectrum.

One after another, they voiced concerns that recognizing Queer History Month—and thereby honoring individuals like the inventor of computers, Alan Turing—would shift the focus from his pivotal role in ending WWII to an undue emphasis on his personal life. It seemed as if Turing’s identity was reduced to acts of love and intimacy, casting him as a deviant through the lens of their particular religious beliefs and narrow worldview. At its core, their perspective is tragically simplistic.

However, the incident that resonated with me throughout the week was the queer and progressive community’s failure to engage with some of those who spoke against the resolution. I was especially moved by a mother who identified herself as lesbian yet opposed the resolution. Wearing her “Jesus Loves Me” hat, her concern against the resolution was to shield her daughter from those who want to place simplistic labels on her and her family. What shocked me wasn’t her fervor—after all, I’ve known people with similar views—but her palpable disconnect from a community she seemingly regarded as adversarial. It felt as if she anticipated boos or heckles for aligning herself with those who might ostracize our community. And yet, as she spoke, there was only silence. I felt deep sympathy for her, for she seemed to find solace among those who might wish her harm rather than with those who would celebrate her whole self.

Reflecting on this, I wonder if our community shares some responsibility. Admittedly, I don’t have all the answers—my only knowledge of her stems from that singular meeting. But I’ve witnessed the judgment our community can impose on those deemed “other” or those grappling with the pace of societal change. These are everyday people overwhelmed by the world’s rapid transformations. How often have I inadvertently driven someone away by failing to truly listen or prematurely judging them based on their opinions?

To that mother who felt her identity was solely tied to her lesbianism, I apologize if we ever made you feel isolated. I recognize your intrinsic value: as a mother, as a human, and as a parent striving to protect her child in an increasingly polarized world. I see you, I value you, and when you’re ready, our vibrant, diverse community will welcome you, embracing you not just for your sexuality but for the multifaceted person you truly are—a sister, a mother, and a friend. And just like Alan Turing, you are more than whatever label anyone wishes to place on you.

By: Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer

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