What Karen Pence’s Gay Former Student Wants Her to Know | Opinions | NowThis

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This former student of Karen Pence, who is now openly gay, has a message for her about what Christianity really means.
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Vice President Mike Pence's wife Karen Pence has returned to teaching at Immanuel Christian School. Pence is catching flack for teaching there because the school bars openly LGBTQ students.

Luke Hartman: My name is Luke Hartman. … I'm a gay man and very proud of it. I went to Immanuel Christian School which is in Northern Virginia which is adjoining to Immanuel Bible Church where my family attended. I started going there when I was 4 or 5. The church and the school were a huge part of my upbringing as well as my identity as a whole.

Karen Pence started working at Immanuel Christian school in Jan. 2018. She previously taught there for 12 years while VP Mike Pence was in Congress. In an online statement, the school says it can refuse admission to LGBTQ+ students. The school also says that LGBTQ+ employees are forbidden from violating the ‘unique roles of male and female’

Luke Hartman: When I saw the news about Karen Pence I didn't really think about her or the policies. I immediately thought about the kids that are there right now and how having that representation in their classrooms every day would affect them growing up.

When I was in Immanuel Christian middle school, I was bullied a lot by people who were taught to be loving and accepting.

I'm a living example of the policies that she is supporting. She knows who I am. She was my teacher. And I just wanted her to think about how those policies might have affected me because they're definitely affecting other students in the same position as me.

More than a third of LGBTQ+ youth are bullied at school 23% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students and 35% of transgender high school students have attempted suicide

The Trevor Project donated 100 copies of ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’ to Immanuel Christian School to support to LGBTQ+ students and employees and to raise a national awareness about supporting at risk LGBTQ+ youth.

Amit Paley, CEO, The Trevor Project: This administration has put forward a number of policies that have had a negative impact on LGBTQ youth.

When people in positions of power make decisions, people look to them, young people look to them. And we hope that what they will hear from them is that all people are deserving of love and respect. And that LGBTQ people exist and that they are deserving of being accepted and celebrated as much as any other young person.

We want LGBTQ youth to know they can reach out to the Trevor Project. We are here 24/7 and our mission is to be there for young people who have no one else to talk to.

#KarenPence #LGBTQ #Homophobia #MikePence

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678-678.

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