Kids are heading back to school, which means parents are stocking up on new pencils, backpacks, notepads, and queer-retardant clothing for their young ones.

Actually, since that last item has not yet been completed in the Focus on the Family labs, Candi Cushman is here on CitizenLink Report to warn parents of the ongoing threat of “gay activism.”

Cushman says that parents want their children to just learn the basics at school: reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, if you will. While a school environment like that might be nice in some ways, no school will ever exist without a social environment, and no student will ever go through school without evaluating and reevaluating who they are in the wider context of that social environment. For those who are LGBTQ, part of that evaluation may be choosing to accept or reject the truth about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Cushman seems to think that “gay activism” (or LGBTQ-positive material) is infecting little straight kids with a message of “sexual anarchy and sexual chaos.”

“You can choose from a whole array of things: you can choose to be bisexual, you can choose to be something called ‘genderqueer,’ that means a combination of male, female or neither one. You don’t have to be male or female, you can be a mixture of both. Things like experimenting with transgenderism, which gets into cross-dressing behaviors. Really, I think, when you boil it down, it’s a message of sexual anarchy and sexual chaos.”

She then pulls out a book about a Bailey, male-bodied child who likes to wear dresses, despite being told that she’s a boy. The horrors! What a damaging message for children to hear, that they can be whoever they want to be, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else! With all the damaging behavior that people learn from and encourage in each other at school, including but definitely not limited to bullying, verbal abuse, eating disorders and drug addictions, the one that definitely takes the cake is a male-bodied child deciding to wear a dress! Yep, that one really strikes a fatal blow at the wheezing, arthritic state of human society.

All sarcasm aside, do these people really think that, even if they yanked all LGBTQ-positive support for queer kids, that queerness would cease to exist among kids? Logically, I know the answer to that question must be yes, since Cushman and her ilk continue to insist that being queer is a choice. That argument has been rebutted countless times by those much more skilled in logic, research, and rhetoric than I am, but let me just say this: I was someone who grew up in an intensely conservative environment where I did not even know the word “lesbian” until high school and did not learn the terms “bisexual,” “pansexual” or “genderqueer” until college, and yet, for years, I knew that I was different, and I felt a vague sense of condemnation for who I was. I was so ignorant and sheltered that I did not even have the right vocabulary to express my thoughts. When I realized I wasn’t just attracted to men, and I didn’t feel entirely comfortable identifying as female, I concluded that there was something wrong with me, and I struggled for years with depression, isolation, and occasionally suicidal thoughts. Those feelings never went away until I accepted that I am pansexual and genderqueer.

So no, Candi Cushman, it was not a choice for me, and I knew I was different before I encountered any of the scare-quote-worthy “gay activism” that encouraged me to embrace my true identity. If only I had been exposed to some of that queer positivity as a lonely 12-year-old who felt like a freak.