City Desk

The District’s Homophobic Bullies Part Two: It’s All About The Jeans

Last week, I chronicled one very good cop's encounter with kids who were victims of homophobia. I also wrote about one foster child's horrific journey through the District's child-welfare system. This week I'm going to focus on my interviews with the lawyers, judges, and advocates who see homophobia up close via their involvement with the child-welfare system and the family court system. This is just a sampling.

Shane Salter, the Executive Director of D.C.'s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), recalls a case: "One foster parent put a kid out for creasing his jeans. He was a little too prim and proper. It was a conflict around the boy wanting a crease in his jeans—as if that was the end of the world."

Salter remembers another case, a transgender youth who ended up in the D.C. Jail. "He was put out, his father didn't want him. His father beat him at one point. He dressed like a girl."

A D.C. Superior Court Judge recalls a case they had recently involving a younger kid with serious behavioral issues. "[The parents] were distraught that she's dressing like a boy and acting like a boy. They're whole take is very religiously based. I keep trying to focus on the fact that she took a gun to school and threatened a kid with it...The gender identity thing is the last thing you’d focus on."

This judge and another D.C. Superior Court Family Court judge agree that they see a strong percentage of LGTQ kids having issues with placements, and safety. "Absolutely," says a family court judge. "I know it comes up. I know it's come up on my caseload and on other judge's caseloads. I couldn't begin to tell you percentage. It's obviously an issue that needs to be addressed. You've got kids who have been taken from their family of origin and they're already experiencing abandonment issues and rejection issues and we're placing them in another home we are saying is going to be better than where they came from. It's critically important that wherever we place them, the people are capable."

This judge has heard the dress complaints as well. "Who cares how they dress?" they say. "For whatever reasons, there's a lot of focus on that."

LGBTQ kids face rejection from their foster homes and group homes. And, says one lawyer who has represented LGBTQ kids in the child-welfare system, indifference from social workers: “I think it’s absolutely the most neglected population. The gay child is just out in left field. There’s nothing specifically designed for them.”

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  • Rick Mangus

    JASON CHERKIS, STILL WAITING FOR MY ANSWER THAT YOU HAVE BEEN DUCKING FOR OVER A WEEK, DISPLAY SOME BACKBONE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YOUR LIFE! YOUR READERS SHOULD KNOW WHO IS WRITING THIS SLOP!

  • And while we’re at it…

    It's worth noting that DC also doesn't have a queer youth shelter and we don't have a fully-functioning, stable and independent queer resource center. What we do have is the Metro LGBT Center which has to squat a loaner space from a developer.

  • Jason Cherkis
  • L Ellis

    SMYAL ON 8th St., S.E. DC is an excellent resource.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ Rick Mangus: I opt out of the group dubbed "YOUR READERS" in comment 1. And judging from comments posted by others on Cherkis' article last week, it appears the only "reader" you speak for is you. Enough with the journalism degree obsessiveness. Means nothing at all.

  • downtown rez

    Last week, I chronicled one very good cop’s encounter ...
    I'm speechless. Jason recognizing in his opening sentence that there actually are good people working in DC Gov?
    This is ghost-written, right? Kidding, sort of ;)

  • Jason Cherkis

    Downtown Rez: Brett Parson is a very good cop. One of the smartest officers I know!

  • Rick Mangus

    'Truth Hurts' It doesn't concern you who is writing the articles that you are reading and what qualifies them to write these articles. Jason Cherkis is an uneducated hack who has no journalist qualifiactions who is representing a public newspaper with his dripping diatribes. Now if he wants to write commentary, then lable it as so, not falsely pose it as hard news. So 'Truth Hurts' if you want to drink the 'Kool-Aid' and be a 'Borg Drone' be my guess!

    AGAIN JASON, ANSWER THE QUESTION!

  • noodlez

    ENOUGH ALREADY!

    TEENS HAVE BEEN OFFING THEMSELVES FOR CENTURIES FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER. LOVE, PEER ACCEPTANCE AND MENTAL ISSUES DWARF THIS JOHNNY COME LATELY HOMO SHIT. THIS BULLYING BULLSHIT IS PROPAGATED BY A BUNCH OF WHINY FOLK WHO REFUSE TO TAKE SOME SORT OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR CHILD’S DECISION. BEING A HOMOSEXUAL IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY REASONS WHY TEENS GET BULLIED AND UNLESS THAT SPECIFIC TEEN LEAVES A NOTE AS TO WHY THEY DECIDED TO TAKE THEIR OWN LIFE THEN STOP ASSUMING IT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEIR SEXUALITY.

    THE QUESTION I HAVE IS WHY HOMOSEXUAL TEENS GET TO LEAP FROG EVERY OTHER DISPLACED OR MISPLACED TEEN WHEN IT COMES TO THIS ISSUE. THE FOSTER SYSTEM IS CHOCK FULL OF CHILDREN THAT ARE CYCLED IN AND OUT WITH ALL KINDS OF ISSUES. WHAT MAKES HOMOSEXUALS SO SPECIAL? THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY IS FLUSH WITH CAPITAL AND RESOURCES. WHY DONT THEY START AND SUPPORT A "QUEER SHELTER"? WHY DONT THE GAYS ADOPT THE GAYS AND SHOW THEM HOW TO BE GAY? JAY-JAY THAT IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING INTO!

  • Reader under age 75

    Dude, Mr. Mangus, there's a button on the left side of the keyboard that you should consider pressing. They've had them for awhile now. As much as I like the nostalgia of reading a telegraph, there's something to be said for not SHOUTING ENTIRE PARAGRAPHS through the series of tubes.

    As for the journalism degree issue, I echo "Truth hurts" (even if that person is actually the story's author, which is theoretically possible). Many of the best journalists have unrelated degrees or (as was the case with Mike Royko), none at all.

  • Reader under age 75

    Mr. Mangus -- My apologies. I misread the order of messages, along with some author information. You clearly know how to use the caps-lock key. It's noodlez who has the issue.

  • Typical DC BS

    @ Reader under age 75:

    Noodlez is known for the caps-lock comments. Believe it or not, he has some thought-provoking comments sometimes. I don't agree with a lot of what he says, but he makes me think, which I appreciate.

  • http://www.unlockroom303.com Annonymous

    http://www.unlockroom303.com Unlock the secrets by watching a series of webisodes and you could stand a chance to win DKNY JEANS Fall 10 collection! Im not Joking! Do check it out guys!

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