A Story about Love, Hate and Lessons Yet to be Learned
Christine A. Yared
Christine Yared is completing the research and writing of her book, Gay Teacher: A Story about Love, Hate and Lessons Yet to be Learned. Gay Teacher is the first book to tell the compelling story about Gerry Crane, a gay high school music teacher in Byron Center, Michigan, who was outed by a student, harassed, ostracized by parents and educators and eventually forced to resign. Gerry died six months later from a stress-related heart attack at age 32. Gerry Crane was a role model for his students and an excellent music teacher who lost his job, career and life because of LGBT-based discrimination. Gerry's ordeal was covered by Time magazine and the television show 20/20. Along with Gerry Crane's story, Gay Teacher also addresses the current climate for LGBT teachers.
While Gerry's struggle occurred between the fall of 1995 and January 1997, almost two decades later teachers are still losing their jobs for merely being gay, lesbian or transgender. If Gerry Crane were to return today, it would be hard to explain to him why, 18 years after he literally died from discrimination, his state, most states and his country still do not prohibit LGBT-based employment discrimination.
Gerry’s story needs to be told in order to honor him and his struggle, one that is representative of generations of people who have lost their families, housing, jobs, careers, health and lives for merely choosing to live an authentic life.
It is important to tell his story so Gerry's death from discrimination will provide the impetus for change. LGBT teachers, administrators and staff should be able to work without worrying about losing their employment because of their employer's prejudice. LGBT youth will not be safe in their schools until at a minimum their adult teachers cannot lose their jobs for being gay.
Gay Teacher also chronicles the story of a West Michigan community that was greatly affected by the vicious, public, personal condemnation of Gerry. Many religious leaders and others in the community cited the Bible to justify their view that a gay person was not the proper role model for a school teacher. A large number of religious leaders and believers remained silent. In response, a small group of courageous religious leaders formed a coalition, Concerned Clergy, to offer a differing Christian and Jewish view and initiate a dialogue within the community about faith and homosexuality.
Christine has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to self-publish and market Gay Teacher and has started a Facebook page about the book. The pages can be found at www.gofundme.com/gayteacher and www.facebook.com/gayteacher.
If you or someone you know has information about Gerry Crane's story or more current LGBT discrimination-related stories, please contact Christine at email@example.com. Please share this website link, the GoFundMe link, or the Facebook page with others you know who may be interested in a book which chronicles Gerry Crane's ordeal and the struggles which many LGBT teachers experience today.