4 Types of Gay Websites Schools Should Block

Last summer, the ACLU got the Knoxville and Nashville school districts to retool computer filtering software that blocked students from visiting out over a thousand LGBT sites, including educational sites like GLSEN and The Trevor Project’s homepages. Maryland’s schools just freed themselves from such restrictions. Now students can find gay-positive info on the web, which is awesome. But there are, in fact, sites with LGBT content that should be censored. “Quoi?” you ask? Call us old-fashioned, but students should using their school’s Internet access for educational purposes, not as a way to get ass or read about John Mayer sucking on knobs.

(Let’s get this out of the way: If we recommend a certain site shouldn’t be blocked, it doesn’t mean we’re recommending students have unrestricted access to it. Proper supervision by teachers and library faculty for many of these sites is required. But removing all access to these pages, in a blanket move, isn’t a wise call.)


High school sucks, especially when you’re a single LGBT teen. But ads looking for “jizz-eating buttsluts” won’t help such students feel any less lonely or confused. Instead, students should have access to chatrooms and discussion boards where they can interact with other LGBT folks like themselves. Sure, some online chats can get a bit steamy, but they can also be great platforms to discuss coming out, health issues, parents, media, and all sorts of positive development-y things. Plus, it’s a million times better if students can meet other kids through social networking sites or by actually socializing in public, rather than on a site where “a good connection” means an NSA hookup.

BLOCK ‘EM: Manhunt. Adam4Adam. Dating is scary enough without 58-year-olds asking “What U N2?” during free period.
KEEP ‘EM: Facebook. MySpace. Students shouldn’t be spending the school day “poking” their friends, but there’s no reason gay artists’ MySpace pages or GLSEN’s Facebook page should be completely denied.


Especially since so many school districts seem afraid of discussing LGBT sexual health in their sex-ed classes (if they even have sex-ed), students need access to good information about LGBT physical and mental health. They’re not likely to learn about enjoyable, safe-sex through the condom users on Hot House Backroom. Nor should their research paper on transgender icon Christine Jorgensen inevitably lead them a Students should learn that sex doesn’t just mean orgasms; it also means communication, empowerment, intimacy, and so many other wonderful and affirming things.

BLOCK ‘EM: Nudist societies. Barely legal teens running around the bases and repeatedly sliding into home isn’t age appropriate. And nobody should see their teacher raising his legs like that.
KEEP ‘EM: Sex Etc.’s LGBTQ section. Smart, funny, real-life articles by and for teens about sexual health and politics. It’s about education, not titillation.


We love us some bitchy gossip, especially when it looks like we might finally have a shot with the latest heartthrob or glamour girl. But it’s like junk food for the brain: fun, but hardly “educational.” If students want to study LGBT celebs, let it elevate the discourse to more than just “who-did-who”? How about why aren’t there more LGBT folks on TV? How does my local news station cover our community? Where can I find movies and music that really speak to me. You can find junk food almost anywhere. But good nutrition is much harder to come by.

BLOCK ‘EM: OMG Blog, PerezHilton. Getting good LGBT celebrity gossip doesn’t have to come with drippy knobs and cooches drawn in MS Paint.
KEEP ‘EM:, Worthwhile celebrity coverage, plus media analysis done with wit and style.


Students should have access to “both sides” of the gay political and religious conversations: the reasonable side and the hateful side. Hate sites don’t automatically turn students into bigots; the people raising them do. And blocking access to these pages won’t teach students how to recognize and discuss that kind of crap when they see it. So many of these should stay in bounds in certain circumstances — except the pages that aren’t about informing students about the types of hate groups out there, but instead push absolute nonsense.

BLOCK ‘EM: Westboro Baptist’s These sites serve no purpose but to anger and incense visitors. There is no education value aside from reading first-hand what America’s hate leaders are spinning as wisdom.
KEEP ‘EM: WorldNetDaily. The information posted on these “news” sites is horribly skewed and offensive. But blocking them — even the self-labeled “not safe for children” homepage of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, the just-branded hate group— prohibits students from seeing how information can be manipulated. Reading is not the same as believing, and with proper supervision and discussion about the articles on these sites, kids can grow wiser about what constitutes objectivity, and what qualifies as dis- and misinformation.