Jewish World Review May 12, 2006/ 14 Iyar, 5766

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

“Outing” history | If you don't really think that California is all that liberal and wacky, I've got some news for you. The California state legislature has a bill pending that would require California textbooks to tell the stories of the contributions made to history by gays and lesbians. This bill has been proposed by Sheila Kuehl, state senator from the People's Republic of Santa Monica.

To be specific, school textbooks would have to "accurately portray in an age-appropriate manner the cultural, racial, gender and sexual orientation diversity of our society." They also would have to include "the contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to the total development of California and the United States." Historically, I don't know who the transgender people were that contributed to the development of California and the United States, and it's really been bothering me. But now, thank heavens, we'll know. Funny, I've often wondered, usually on quiet, cold winter nights, just what the sexual proclivities were of John C. Fremont. Maybe now at last we'll find out. I do know he was married to a woman, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Who knows what he did on the side? And it would be enlightening to discover if he pranced around in any of his wife's ball gowns when she was out of the house.

And I think it would really be elevating for our public school children to know just how many California governors were homosexuals and exactly who they were. Let's really dig into it. Once and for all let's find out what the real deal is with Jerry Brown. We know ol' Jer is a space cadet, but space cadets come in all flavors of sexual orientation, so in which direction does Governor Moonbeam shine? Our children deserve to know what he did as governor behind closed doors and to whom. And that goes triple for Schwarzenegger. After all, Arnold is an actor and we all know about actors, right?

Frankly, I think most of our politicians are probably bisexual since more often than not they wind up screwing everybody.

And what about Father Junipero Serra, the Spanish missionary who founded nine Franciscan missions in California from 1769—1782 up and down the coast. He worked with Native American Indians in these missions, converting them to Catholicism and teaching them all sorts of things at the missions. Oh yeah? Like what, I'd like to know. Maybe these new history textbooks will tell us. Considering what our modern day Catholic priests have been up to in recent years, I think it's about time we get the real skinny on good old Father Serra and the Indian boys. Personally I've always been a bit suspicious of that big loose robe he wore all day long.

If these new textbooks are going to identify and label prominent historic individuals by sexual orientation, then why stop with only homosexuals, lesbians and the transgendered? Let's be fair and label the heterosexual leaders as heterosexuals. Like "Abraham Lincoln, the heterosexual emancipator." No wait — that sounds like Lincoln only emancipated the heterosexuals. Better say "Heterosexual President, Abraham Lincoln." That works.

And with a little bit of additional research our educators should be able to find out to what extend these important people engaged in their choice of sexual endeavors. How often? With how many partners? All of this is extremely valuable in learning the history of our country.

Maybe they will find out who the first prominent homosexual and lesbian of the American Revolution was. If George Washington is the father of our country, then why not have a father of gay America? Maybe they could dig up some colonial guy named Bruce who designed the bunting for the first Continental Congress or something. Or find a butch gal who pulled a Yentl/Mulan and donned a tri-cornered hat, grabbed a musket, and ran off to join the Minutemen at Concord. She would be the mother of American Bull Dykes. And the transgendered, too, I guess. A two-fer.

To be all inclusive we need to find at least one homosexual, lesbian, and transgender to be represented at every prominent historical event. That includes the landing of the Pilgrims, Colonial America, westward expansion, the Indian wars, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, the machine age, enlarging the public sector, the Iron Curtain and well, everything else. The possibilities for jokes are endless. Make up your own.

And speaking of jokes, the old gag line that was used to describe California was "the land of the fruits and the nuts." If this bill gets passed in the California legislature, that line won't be so funny anymore. The textbooks will point them out in specific detail.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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