One of the duties of being a politician is meeting and greeting with different people, groups and organizations in your political territory, and recently Mayor Dan Rogers met with another group of young people in this city.
Say what you will about Mayor Rogers' fiscal policies while running the city, but he has shown in the past (marching in the PRIDE parade) and in the story we ran in this paper on Jan. 8 that he is not afraid too buck the trend.
Meeting recently with a group of teens at the school district's Gay-Straight Alliance youth group, Rogers said, "It gives the kids a nice opportunity to learn a bit about municipal government, and ask questions. It's quite cool," he said.
But for some reason, there are people in this city who seem to think that being gay, transgendered, bisexual, a cross-dresser or even meeting with someone who is, is some form of disease.
We have several letters to the editor on this page today stating their utter disgust that the mayor would meet with this young group of people. One even says she believed mayor Rogers to be a family man, seeming to imply that he is no longer a family man because he met with the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Doreen Spence says, "I believed (Mayor Rogers) to be a family man who wished to make Prince George a better place to live."
How does meeting with any group or organization detract from someone being a family man, and is she inferring that he wants to make this city a worse place to live just by meeting with these teens?
She goes on to say that "these people at this meeting will not be the people running our city." And how does she know this? The assertion is that anyone who is gay, bisexual, transgendered or even a cross-dresser can never be on council or be mayor. Isn't Murry Krause on council, and has been on council since 1996, and wasn't he born and raised in Prince George? And isn't he gay? Valentine Crawford was elected to the board of education and he is the city's current Queer Citizen of the Year.
Spence also says these young people are an embarrassment to our city, but what is really embarrassing is that some people still have such closed-minded views of people.
"Dressing up and parading around dressed as a different gender is only showing the people of this town what a sad, state our city has become," Spence adds.
But if you look at the world of entertainment, which is where Foxy De-Rossi spends most of her time, you will see that people have been dressing up as women for a long time, and this city would be proud to say people like Danny La Rue, Dame Edna Everage, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are from here. La Rue was at one time the highest paid entertainer in the UK, has received an OBE from the Queen, and Barry Humphries who dresses as Dame Edna has received the CBE.
Another letter from Julia Serup asks, "What kind of message does Dan Rogers convey to young people when he meets with a glamorous young man decked out to look like a female?"
Maybe the message is, it doesn't matter who you are, he is willing to meet with anyone in this city, which is a good thing.
What if Rogers refused to meet with people from the Creation Science Association of B.C. Would Serup be OK with this?
Just to make things clear, sexual behaviour (not just of the homosexual kind) can be extremely risky and can lead to HIV and AIDS.
"It is beneficial for heterosexual youth to be in the company of those who may try to persuade them to become homosexual?" Serup adds.
Is that like a Catholic being in the company of a Jehovas Witness and being constantly hassled to convert to the other side?
Or is it like an Irishman being in the company of a Punjabi man and the Irish man being convinced to change his skin colour so he can be Punjabi?
Serup says, "Neither, do I approve of Dan Rogers using his position as mayor to endorse the homosexual lifestyle, that may lead a young person to think it may be OK to try this lifestyle, since Dan Rogers gives the impression he finds nothing wrong with it!"
It's like saying, "I don't approve of Mayor Rogers using his position as mayor to endorse the Catholic or Jewish or Creationist lifestyle, as it may lead a young person to think it may be OK to try this lifestyle, since Dan Rogers gives the impression he finds nothing wrong with it!"
Doesn't make much sense, does it?
Serup goes on to say, "The public school's job is to teach children, not to push social change on a captive audience."
Yes, the public school's job is to teach children, as is the job of private schools.
It also their job to teach children that it is OK to be different. However it is not the job of the public school system to teach bigotry.
It shows how far this city has come since the '80s that not only can these people have a meeting of their own, but that we have a mayor with the cojones to meet with and discuss this city with them.
Say what you will about Mayor Rogers, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with him, or anyone else for that matter, meeting with the school district's Gay-Straight Alliance youth group.