From: (Brian Reddy)
Subject: Let's support Paul Kim
Date: 28 May 1995 13:22:24 GMT

In 5/28/95 New York Times article (page 18), evidence of how ever-present 
and dangerous homophobia remains.  Paul Kim is a young, bright and 
articulate high school student with a 3.88 grade point average, 1510 
SAT's, who happens to be gay, out and proud.  His version of a graduation 
prank was to create a parody of his school as a Web page which included 
links to Internet sites containing "sexually explicity material" (no 
further description of these sites provided in the article).  His Web 
page made the facts of being a parody and his authorship explicit.  His 
school principal's reaction was to tell him he was "immoral", to formally 
withdraw his eligibility for a  National Merit scholarship, and then, 
behind his back, fax letters to all of the seven colleges he had applied 
to (Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, etc.) telling them that the school no 
longer endorsed his applications (all except Columbia subsequently 
rejected him.)  The Times quotes the principal as saying "...there were 
other problems" besides the Web prank, but declining to elaborate.  Later 
in the article it comes out that Paul had taken his boyfriend to the 
senior prom and had organized a gay pride day at the school - the "other 
problems"?  Paul's prank hurt no one and damaged nothing, including his 
school's "reputation", and so the principal's punishment seems totally 
out of proportion until you factor in the lethal nature of homophobic 
instincts.  And we're not talking about some red neck back in the piney 
woods somewhere, but the head of a mainstream suburban high school.  If 
Paul was straight, a member of the football team, and had linked his Web 
page to Playboy or Penthouse, he would have gotten the same punishment - 
right?  The good news is that the ACLU has taken up Paul's case in regard 
to his Merit scholarship eligibility.  

This case seems a clear-cut instance of the double standard between 
what's OK or tolerable ("boys will be boys") if it's straight and not if 
it's gay, and we ought to make a big deal about it because it's so 
typical and Paul seems so innocent.  In addition, according to the Times, 
Paul's financial circumstances in regard to handling college expenses are 
not good at all.

This posting is my "just read it" reaction, and I haven't thought through 
what things we, as a community, can do - maybe creating a "Paul Kim 
Scholarship Fund" would help get the attention and make the point that 
this case deserves.  All comments and suggestions welcomed (including 
yours, Paul, if your listening.)

Brian Reddy
Return to Gay:Stories:Homophobia
The Bibble Pages, Christian Molick,