Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outspoken: Jack Harrison

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outspoken: Jack Harrison

Article excerpt

I was the first out queer student in the 100-year history of McCallie School, a private all-boys religious high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., where the likes of Pat Robertson have attended. Well, there was one other in the ]990s, but word got back to his parents, and he was shipped off to "straight camp."

Being in that environment offered a number of challenges to me and the other closeted queer students because there is an overarching atmosphere of homophobia. In the past there have been decrees by old headmasters that homosexuality would be considered an officially taboo topic, not to be discussed anywhere in the school because it might plant the idea in the minds of the young and impressionable. A faculty member was once fired because his campus roommate found his stash of gay porn.

I was out for my last two years there--the end of a six-year stay at the school. …

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