Affidavit given to district attorney asking for action on "Fistgate" conference
On April 18, 2000, Scott Whiteman hand-delivered an affidavit to Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley. (Coakley is now the Massachusetts Attorney General.) The affidavit was also delivered to Education Commissioner David Driscoll and various other public officials, GLSEN directors, and others connected with the "Fistgate" conference.
The affidavit described the "Fistgate" conference in detail and called on Coakley and Driscoll to take appropriate action given the extreme situation and the fact that minor children were involved.
Neither Coakley nor Driscoll responded in any way. In fact, Coakley's office was particularly uncooperative when Whiteman attempted to discuss this personally with someone there.
April 18, 2000
Hon. Martha Coakley
District Attorney Coakley:
It is my belief that three specific public servants should be investigated for their involvement in the corruption of minors at a recent student/teacher conference in Medford. Additionally, as the conference was supported by several publicly funded and private groups and the Department of Education, I believe that they may have some liability for the corruption of children.
On the weekend of March 25, 2000, I attended the tenth annual “GLSEN/BOSTON & Project 10 East Teach Out!” conference at Tufts University. GLSEN is a national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, led by Kevin Jennings a former Massachusetts teacher. GLSEN works with teachers and students throughout the nation and claims to fight what they deem “homophobia.” GLSEN/Boston is headed by Wallace Bachman and receives some funding from the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth and the Massachusetts Department of Education through the Safe Schools Program.
I attended two workshops while at the conference that should be brought to your attention. In the first workshop, “What They Didn’t Tell You About Queer Sex & Sexuality In Health Class: A Workshop For Youth Only ages 14-21,” the three homosexual presenters acting in their professional capacities coaxed about 20 children into talking openly and graphically about homosexual sex. The three presenters were:
The workshop syllabus was as follows:
This workshop for youth addresses what is different for glbt (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual) youth when it comes to sex, dating, relationships, HIV etc. Come and discuss the questions you couldn’t or didn’t ask in health class. What’s it like to be young, queer and beginning to date? Are lesbians at risk for HIV? What does it mean to identify as queer and still be sexually active with the opposite sex? Who can you talk to about these things? And, why aren’t queer issues addressed in Sex Ed classes? We will address the information you want about queer sexuality and some of the politics that prevent us from getting our needs met.
The workshop opened by the three public employees asking the children how they knew, as gay people, whether or not they’ve had sex. Questions were thrown around the room about whether oral sex was “sex,” to which the Department of Public Health Employee stated, “If that’s not sex, then the number of times I’ve had sex has traumatically decreased; from a mountain to a valley, baby.” Eventually the answer presented itself, and it was determined that whenever an orifice was filled with genitalia, then sex had occurred. In coming to that conclusion, one student, egged on by the Department of Public Health employee, said in response to the question, “What orifices are we talking about?”
By my estimation, that child was just about 16.
But since sex occurred when an orifice was filled, the next question was obviously whether lesbians could “have sex.” At one point, Margot Abels asked whether a dildo had to be involved; could one be too big or too small; and where would students go to get these questions answered?
The children were asked to role play at this point. The scene was set up like this. One student was a “young lesbian who’s really attracted to another woman, and it’s really coming down to the wire and you’re thinking about having sex.” The other student played the “hip GSA (gay, straight alliance) lesbian advisor, who you feel you can talk to.” In effect, Michael Gaucher was telling these high school aged children that they should be talking about lesbian sex, oral-vaginal contact, or “carpet munching,” as one student put it, with a teacher. The student asked whether it would smell like fish.
At one point in the session, there was a five minute break so that all of the children could write down their questions for the homosexual presenters. The first question was read by Julie Netherland, “What’s fisting?” A student answered this question by informing the class that “fisting” is when you put your “whole hand into the ass or pussy” of another. When a few of the students winced, the Department of Public Health employee offered, “A little known fact about fisting, you don’t make a fist, like this. It’s like this,” forming his hand into the shape of a tear drop rather than a balled fist. He informed the children that it was much easier.
Margot Abels told the students that “fisting” is not about forcing your hand into somebody’s “hole, opening or orifice” if they don’t want it there. She said that “usually” the person was very relaxed, and opened him or herself up to the other. She informed the class that it is a very emotional and intense experience.
At this point, a child of about 16 asked why someone would want to do that. He stated that if the hand were pulled out quickly, the whole thing didn’t sound very appealing to him. Margot Abels was sure to point out that although fisting “often gets a really bad rap,” it usually isn’t about the pain, “not that we’re putting that down.” Margot Abels informed him, and the class, that “fisting” was “an experience of letting somebody into your body that you want to be that close and intimate with.” Michael Gaucher provided the “how-to” of a lascivious act, and Margot Abels the incentive. When a child asked the question, “why,” Margot Abels provided comfort to the children, to “put them into an exploratory mode.”
Michael Gaucher asked the next question, “Do lesbians rub their clits together?”
Michael Gaucher and Margot Abels asked if it was possible, and whether someone would do a “hand-diagram” for the class. No one volunteered, but a girl who I estimate was 15 or 16, stepped up to the board and drew a three foot high vagina, and labeled each of the labia, the clitoris, and “put up inside the ‘G’-spot.” While drawing, Michael Gaucher told her to use the “pink” chalk, to which Margot Abels responded, “not everyone is pink, honey.” All of the children laughed.
After the chalk vagina was complete, the children remarked on the size of the “clit,” and the presenters stated that that was a gifted woman. Then, Margot Abels informed all of the young girls that indeed, you can rub your “clitori” together, either with or without clothes, and “you can definitely orgasm from it.” Michael Gaucher told the entire class that “there is a name for this: tribadism,” which he wrote on the board, and told one girl who I estimate was 14 to bring that vocabulary word back to Bedford. Julie Netherland informed the children that it wasn’t too difficult, because “when you are sexually aroused, your clit gets bigger.”
Michael Gaucher read the following from a card: “Cum and calories: Spit versus swallow and the health concerns.” Michael Gaucher informed the children that although he didn’t know the calorie count of male ejaculation, he has “heard that it’s sweeter if people eat celery.” The public employee thereafter asked, “Is it rude not to swallow?” Many of the high school boys mumbled, “No,” but one, about the age of 16, said emphatically, “Oh no!” One student, again about the age of 16, offered his advise on avoiding HIV/AIDS transmission while giving oral sex by not brushing your teeth or eating course food for four hours before you “go down on a guy,” “because then you probably don’t want to be swallowing cum.”
Another question asked was whether oral sex was better with tongue rings. A 16 year old student murmured, “yes,” to which all of the children laughed. Michael Gaucher said, “There you have it,” and stated something to the effect that the debate has ended.
As often as we hear that there is an aggressive HIV/AIDS prevention campaign, the session ran 55 minutes before the first mention of “protection” and safer sex came. In the context of the “safer sex” discussion, however, it was pointed out that these children could make an informed decision not to use a condom. Outside in the conference hall, the children could easily obtain as many condoms, vaginal condoms, and other contraceptive devices as they wished from various organizations which distribute such.
The second session which I attended was far less graphic, but potentially more dangerous. This session was presented by the same three public employees in their professional capacity and was called, “Putting the ‘Sex’ Back Into Sexual Orientation: Classroom Strategies for Health & Sexuality Educators.” The workshop syllabus was as follows:
What does it mean to say “being gay, lesbian and bisexual isn’t about sex?” Where do queer youth get their information about sex and sexuality? How can we deny that sexuality is central for all of us? How do we learn to address the unique concerns of queer youth? What about the epidemiology and risk behavior data concerning sexual activity, HIV and pregnancy for queer kids? This workshop is for educators to examine strategies for integrating sexuality education and HIV prevention content specific to gay, lesbian and bisexual students into the classroom and GSA’s. Data will be presented, exercises from the GSA/HIV Prevention Project will be shared and additional strategies will be discussed.
These three presenters who just told a group of 14 to 18 year olds how to properly position your hand for “fisting” now assumed the task of teaching teachers how to facilitate discussions about queer sex with their students. Several of the attending teachers asked to review the questions which the students submitted.
Margot Abels opened by telling the room full of teachers and two high school students, “We always feel like we are fighting against people who say publicly, who say privately, that being queer is not at all about sex… We believe otherwise. We think that sex is central to every single one of us, and particularly queer youth.” Margot Abels, Julie Netherland and Michael Gaucher reviewed a few “campaigns” that have been used to demonstrate to queer youth how to best “be safe.”
The campaign, “Respect yourself, protect yourself,” was thought good in getting the message to kids that they should use protection, but since it made children who didn’t protect themselves feel bad, it ultimately was a poor message. Michael Gaucher was sure to point out that children “with an older partner, that they are not feeling they can discuss things with, does that mean that they don’t respect themselves?” My question is why does Michael Gaucher not consider boys having sexual relations with men, either with or without a condom, to be a problem. Let me put this into perspective. If I, a 26 year old man, were to approach a 16 year old girl for sexual intercourse, wouldn’t I end up in trouble? Yet public employees, who are bound by law to report abuse under rule §51(A), are concerned more with how the young sodomized boy feels that whether he is being sodomized at all. This is absolutely outrageous.
The campaign, “No sex, no problem,” was ridiculed, as it assumed that children could opt not to have sex. Additionally, it made those children who had already had sex feel bad, or think they had a problem, since they had sex.
After reviewing a few of the campaigns, Margot Abels described the project she works on. The “Gay/Straight Alliance HIV Education Project” goes around five different schools each year conducting up to eight HIV prevention sessions in that school’s gay club. These same presenters who just told a group of children how to properly position their hands for “fisting” were now telling a room full of educators that they would visit their schools and conduct their workshops for their students.
One participant remarked half-way through that Margot Abels just wasn’t “talking to” her, since she, the participant, was a lesbian-middle school teacher. She wanted to know specifically what she could do to facilitate discussions about homosexuality in middle school. After I left that session, I met a few people and we compared notes. I was told of another session entitled, “Struggles & Triumphs of Including Homosexuality in a Middle School Curriculum.” Christine L. Hoyle, Special Education Teacher and workshop presenter, told the story of how she turned the holocaust portion of her curriculum into a gay affirming section. Ms. Hoyle allowed the group at the conference to watch a video which she had her students produce and which was narrated by a seventh grade girl. This girl told the audience that ancient Greeks “encouraged homosexuals; in fact, it was considered normal for an adolescent boy to have an older, wiser man as his lover.” In effect, this teacher informed her adolescent students that it is okay if an older man approaches them for sexual gratification.
I have a compendium of resources and information which I obtained at the conference encouraging young children to become actively engaged in homosexual activities. I approached the Sidney Borum Community Health Center table to obtain a cassette sized “pocket sex” kit, which included two condoms, two antiseptic “moist” towelettes, and six bandages, which were for when the sex got really rough according to the high school aged volunteer behind the desk. I now have a countless supply of condoms supplied by both Sidney Borum and Planned Parenthood, all of which was for the taking by any child who wanted them. Again I will restate, that the conference was for teachers and students and there were easily children as young as 12 or 13 at the conference. I am extremely troubled by what I learned at the GLSEN conference, and even more troubled to report that it was led largely by Department of Education employees and was supported by Commissioner Driscoll and the Department of Education, which is demonstrated by the attached letter to participants as well as the Department’s endorsement of the conference by offering six Professional Development Activities hours for teachers attending the conference.
The specific areas in the law I am asking for you to investigate are the abrogation of Massachusetts General Laws, ch. 272, § 2, 4, and 28: Enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse; Inducing person under 18 to have sexual intercourse; and Matter harmful to minors, dissemination; possession; defenses, respectively. If you have any further questions regarding my knowledge of what occurred in that most disturbing and child corrupting conference, please do not hesitate to contact me at the phone number on the first page of this letter. I swear under oath and the pains and penalties of perjury that everything written within this letter, to be best of my knowledge and recollection, is true and factually accurate.
Margot E. Ables