None Dare Call It Recruitment

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

When LGBTQ activists camp out in high schools. “Working with the Bay Area Video Coalition, we constructed a private, storytelling booth in high schools, and then, for two weeks, invited students, teachers, and staff to enter the booth and tell a story about LGBTQ sexuality and gender,” the lead researchers for the Beyond Bullying Project at Harvard write. “Our pitch to would-be storytellers was open-ended—tell a story about yourself, a friend, your family, political and social events, anything; the story does not even need to be true.”

“We situated the booth in a conspicuous location on each campus: in one school it stood in an outdoor courtyard beside bustling basketball courts and a campus garden; in another, the booth was inside an auditorium that also served as a place of prayer for Muslim students and a detention holding room during hall sweeps; and in a third, we squeezed the booth onto a landing in a busy stairwell. In each location, student advisors helped us decorate the booth with rainbow paper, lights, boas, and chalk drawings. Everywhere, it screamed gay.”

“The team recognized that approaching a big, gay booth might be a social risk for some students and teachers so we offered them alibis to account for their interest. On our table outside the booth, staffed with friendly researchers and research assistants, we placed bowls of granola bars or chocolates, flyers announcing pizza lunches and other events, and iTunes gift cards and an iPod touch that we would raffle off at the end of our two weeks at the school. For every story a student told, they received a raffle ticket for the iPod or gift cards. Together, these incentives provided enough cover to allow storytellers to enter the booth without inviting too many questions about their interest.”

One wonders how much cooperation from school administrators a Christian group would get if they tried the same thing.