Republican-endorsed candidate attacks gay teenager for wearing make-up
A Republican-endorsed candidate has sparked outrage by warning that acceptance and approval of LGBT people will lead to “transgender education”.
John Kinchen, who is running for a position on the school board in Virginia’s Campbell County, has released a Facebook video attacking a gay teenager for wearing make-up.
Reading from a local high school yearbook, he says: “On pages 18 and 19, one student was highlighted for staying true to himself.
“This means wearing makeup and dressing in feminine clothing,” he adds.
Kinchen then quotes the high school student, who wrote that he wished people would teach their children to be “open-minded”.
The student added: “If I could do one thing to change the world, it would be to teach acceptance.”
Kinchen warns that the ideas put forward by this teenager could become “normalised”.
“Today it is seeking approval, tomorrow it is transgender education because it is currently being accepted and promoted in schools,” he warns.
“Acceptance has become a code word for what is sought by liberal activists,” Kinchen adds.
He accused these “liberal activists” of seeking “homosexual marriage equality and gay rights”.
Same-sex marriage has been legal across the US since 2015.
Kinchen, currently an associate dean at a Christian research university in Virginia called Liberty University, did not identify the student by name.
Nevertheless, Mikel Jenkins spoke to ABC 13 News about being spotlighted in such a bizarre way.
“I like to wear makeup; I identify myself as a male,” said the second-year high school student.
He added that he was confident enough to handle the attention.
“I’m glad it was me, because I’m accepting of myself and I’m strong,” he said.
Students involved with creating Brookville High School’s yearbook, called The Buzzer, rushed to Mikel’s defence.
The current editor-in-chief, Madison Sims, said on Facebook that “our yearbook is allowed freedom of speech and I will allow no-one to take that away.”
She pointed out that “the Bible condemns hatred,” adding that above all, “Christianity is a religion of love, not one whose main principle is intolerance.”
Sims added: “I will stand for kindness.”
Another yearbook staffer, Emily Johnson, said: “The school loved his story!
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“We got such positive feedback on the book, because we showed that ‘it takes all kinds’ which really meant for us that these ‘kinds’ all work together to make a unique and diverse school environment – which is what people should strive for in the first place,” she added.
Kinchen’s opponent in the race, Barbara Rypkema, said that “we are here to support all of those children.”
Kinchen defended his position to local publication The News & Advance, saying: “When it comes to the transgender thing, most people not only don’t understand it.
“They’re not supportive of this position and trying to accommodate a minority, to give special privileges and special rights to people.”