Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lesbian kissing not allowed

A lot of Westerners in the Korea blogosphere frequently chide Koreans for their overly prudish ways, but similar stuff in the U.S. and other Western countries goes unnoticed.

In Garden Grove, a major Orange County city, a lesbian high school student named Charlene is suing the Garden Grove School District because she was allegedly disciplined unfairly for hugging and kissing her girlfriend on campus.

The lawsuit alleges that the school principal revealed Charlene's sexual orientation to her parents, two conservative Asian immigrants, and suspended her "while allowing similar behavior by heterosexual couples." She was forced her to transfer to another school.

The ACLU is representing her and she's getting hellp from the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.
Charlene, now a senior, began dating her girlfriend in fall 2004 at Santiago High School. The lawsuit alleges the pair was repeatedly disciplined for displaying public affection despite the fact that their behavior is not prohibited in the school's student handbook. Eventually, Principal Ben Wolf told Nguon's mother about the relationship, and, in March, said the two teens had to attend different schools, according to the lawsuit.

Shortly before the end of her junior year, Charlene transferred to Bolsa Grande High School, increasing her commute from a short walk to a 4 1/2 -mile bike ride, according to the lawsuit.

Charlene, who hopes to attend Stanford University and study international relations, had been a straight-A student in the top 5% of her class at Santiago High. But the commute to the new school, coupled with changing courses midyear, caused Nguon's grades to drop, according to the suit.

"Unfortunately, for Principal Ben Wolf and other staff at Santiago High, all of her accomplishments and exemplary qualities are overshadowed by one fact: that she is a lesbian," the lawsuit alleges. "... during this past school year, Charlene's junior year, Principal Wolf has repeatedly punished Charlene and derailed her academic success, all because she dared to be openly lesbian on campus."
I think it's sad that this kind of thing still goes on in 21st-century America, but it doesn't surprise me. A few years ago, I was kicked off a prominent Korea-related list that preceded Marmot's Hole because of my orientation. Americans in the majority group are fond of talking about how open-minded it is, but if you're in one of the "suspect" groups, things aren't always so rosy. At least in Korea, I could hug or hold hands with another woman (maybe not make out, though).


At 9/20/2005 8:32 AM, Blogger San Nakji said...

When it comes down to it, the US is just as conservative, if not more in some cases than Korea.

At 10/03/2005 12:08 AM, Blogger jon said...

Surfing some of the lesbian blogs today I stumbled onto your blog. I liked it! Thanks for the posts...


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