I was Proud of the HISD Board Once
My name is Cristan Williams and I support the campaign to have Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez removed for his bigoted behavior. Before Mr. Rodriguez compared being GLBT to being a pedophile and that merely being against hate should disqualify you from fully participating in our society, I was incredibly proud of Houston’s school board.
On June 23, 2011 HISD, the seventh largest school district in the country and the largest in Texas voted for fully inclusive GLBT protections for students. This was especially moving because I had been a victim of anti-GLBT sentiment in my public high school. When I was a teen, I had been considering suicide as a possible option to deal with the fact that I was transgender. I reached out to a school counselor and disclosed my transgender status. Doing so resulted in my expulsion from high school.
On a personal level, I know how important it is to have supportive school leadership. That’s why I signed up to publicly speak in favor of the possible move to protect all of our GLBT students from discrimination and harassment:
When HISD took the step to ensure that students and HISD employees would not discriminate against, bully or harass others because they are a member of the GLBT community, I was moved to tears. However, when Mr. Rodriguez, an HISD board member, leader and employee, went on television to make disgusting comparisons between child rape and simply being gay, I felt as if someone had punched me in the gut. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from an HISD Board representative!
Thus far, Mr. Rodriguez hasn’t faced any official repercussions for what seems to be a blatant violation of HISD policy. In fact, Mr. Rodriguez was re-elected by 24 votes! It’s for these reasons I’m choosing to take a stand against hate. Not only will I will speak out against Mr. Rodriguez’s behavior at the next HISD board meeting, I’m going to make time to stand in protest with our brave GLBT school youth before the meeting.
There’s a lot of ways you too can take a stand:
However you feel you can support our GLBT school youth, please do!