Alameda, California - As Mrs. Helen Crabtree silently takes down some of her first-grader's finger paintings from her classroom wall to make room to pin up a Sesame Street poster of Bert and Ernie whose arms would be benignly around each other's shoulders if not for the caption above their heads that suggests otherwise reads: "We're Here! We're Queer! Now Do You Know All Your ABC's Kids?"
There at the bottom of the same poster the caption continues: "This Message of Tolerance Has Been Brought To You Bi the L word. And the Letter T. Do You Know What T Stands for Boys? And Girls? That's Right. Transgendered."
Pausing a moment as if lost in some deep thought before being able to speak her mind on the controversial matter at hand, Mrs. Crabtree finally spoke.
"I know the school board approved the new same-sex education curriculum for my first-graders," said Mrs. Crabtree with timber in her voice. "But I wonder if we really know what we are doing to our kids."
Mrs. Crabtree identifies herself, as do millions of Americans who consider themselves intelligent, sensitive and tolerant beings, despite having voted for the anti-same-sex marriage intuitive, California's Proportion 8.
"For God sakes," said a somewhat frustrated Mrs. Crabtree. "I have a K.D. Lang CD in my Toyota Hybrid Prius out in the parking lot right now. I even voted for Adam Lambert on 'American Idol' because he's Gay. God knows it wasn't for his talent. So why aren't I comfortable with this?"
Mrs. Crabtree went on to explain that it seems to her that just last week or so ago her Gay friends considered her a tolerant person, because she was for civil unions for same-sex couples.
"Now my same Gay friends are calling me a bigot because I voted for Prop. 8 to keep traditional marriage defined as that between a man and a woman," said Mrs. Crabtree. "Now this: teaching my first-graders about same-sex marriage? What's going on here? I don't think they're ready. They're only in the first grade for God sakes."
However, being the professional that she is, Mrs. Crabtree kept her personal objections to herself. And played the school board approved instructional aide on same-sex marriage to her first-grader class just the same.
After viewing the Sesame Street TV "special" entitled: "Why Bert and Ernie Came out of the Closet and Got Married", the children were asked (as instructed by the school board) by Mrs. Crabtree, if anyone one them would like to come out of the closet too. By which all the children were instructed in the video to rise up their hands unabashedly, signaling to their teacher that they would.
With all their little hands raised up in the air and their voices all saying, "Oh, me! Me! I do! I do!" Mrs. Crabtree, though visibility shaken, caught by surprise by the overwhelming response, replied nevertheless in a patient and non-judgmental manner as trained.
"Okay, then," said Mrs. Crabtree, nearly in tears. "You all can, because it's okay to be Gay. It's...okay...to be Gay."
With that all the children stood up and ran into the classroom closet where they hung their coats, sweaters and hats. Once all inside they closed the door behind them and from within came a unified and somewhat muffled request, "Can we come out of the closet now?"
With that, Mrs. Crabtree let out an explosive: "Yes! Yes you can children. Yes you can all come out of the closet."
"Yeah," said Mrs. Crabtree's first-graders. "Coming out of the closet was a fun game. Can we play it again, Mrs. Crabtree? Can we? Please."
"No, no more today, okay kids?" said Mrs. Crabtree sighing as she spoke. "Perhaps when you're older, maybe, but no more for today. After all, you're still kids. Back to studying and learning about the wonderful world we live in. Now who can tell me the name of the President of the United States?"
"The program still has some kinks - I mean problems," said the school psychiatrist, speaking on behalf of the school board members. "Children at that age still think in literal terms. So to fine-tune the program, we may have to adjust some minors along the way -- I mean make some minor adjustments along the way. But rest assured, we are not conducting any social experiments on your kids here -- That's what inner-city schools are for. Yup, we're still giving your children our best liberal arts education your tentative tax dollars can buy, and your rigid community standards will allow."