Janice Daniels’ reference to homosexuality being dangerous to mental health disturbed leaders of the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance, whom the mayor met with on Monday.
Troy Mayor Janice Daniels again met with members of the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Monday afternoon in an effort to reach an understanding after Daniels’ anti-gay Facebook slur garnered statewide and nationwide attention last month.
The meeting, however, left several members of the GSA and their supporters disappointed.
“There were a lot of disturbing things that were said in that meeting,” said GSA member and Troy High School senior Skye Curtis.
According to Curtis and others who attended the meeting – including GSA member Zach Kilgore and lesbian couple Amy and Tina Weber – Daniels, while discussing mental health and suicide among members of the LGBT community, at one point suggested putting together a panel of psychologists to show that homosexuality is dangerous to your mental health.
“She definitely meant it in quite a negative connotation,” Curtis said.
“The mayor of Troy told my daughter this afternoon that she wants to bring in a panel of psychologists to explain to the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance that homosexuality is a mental disease,” Rodney Curtis, Skye’s father, wrote on his Facebook page.
Amy Weber was so disturbed by Daniels’ comments that she attended the Troy City Council meeting Monday evening and asked for an audio copy of the meeting between the Troy High GSA and the mayor, which the mayor recorded, during public comment.
When asked about the comment, however, Daniels said she said no such thing.
“That is a misrepresentation entirely,” Daniels said in an interview with Troy Patch Monday evening. “I would like to meet with Skye and her parents to discuss these kinds of issues. Rather than have all this division, we need to come together, because I never said that.”
“Her tune changed completely,” Kilgore said. “Before, she was very for an anti-bullying event because she thought we could turn this into a positive thing. What we found out today was that she was not planning on doing that.
“She turned it into an anti-suicide thing, which is great, but she wanted to completely ignore the issue that started this.”
“That bullying leads to suicide,” Curtis continued. “Then we started talking about who could possibly speak, and she alluded to the fact that she wanted to bring in a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality was a mental disease.”
“This was implied by her,” Kilgore clarified. “She didn’t explicitly say it. Somebody said something to the effect of, ‘we can’t tell these kids that what they’re doing is wrong.’”
“And she said, ‘well, I can get a panel to testify,’” Curtis said. “Which is really horrifying, because if we’re trying to prevent suicide, telling a room full of gay kids that they have a mental disease probably isn’t a way to prevent suicide.”
Curtis said they hope to press on with plans to put on an anti-bullying and suicide prevention program some time in January or February.
“We’re moving on without her,” Kilgore said.