Kind teachers, flags make all the difference

I spent 11 years in the Federal Way Public Schools before the days when pride flags and safe stickers could be found in classrooms, but I still turned out gay.

I read with interest the letter to the editor, published in the Dec. 21 edition of the Mirror, in which Mary Locke worries that teachers and other officials in Federal Way are trying to recruit children into the homosexual lifestyle, as she puts it, by displaying the pride flag and “Safe Space” stickers.

I spent 11 years in the Federal Way Public Schools before the days when these things could be found in classrooms, but I still turned out gay. Supportive teachers have nothing to do with whether someone is gay or not. Instead, they affect whether a gay kid hides in the closet, terrified of people like Ms. Locke, as I did, or feels that he belongs in this world.

It should be obvious, but stickers, flags and kind teachers don’t make a person gay any more than intolerance, neglect and cruel parents can make him straight, but they can make all the difference in whether our children have miserable or productive childhoods. I am glad Federal Way is moving in the right direction.

Tyler Rosenbaum

Santa Monica, California

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Letters to the Editor

Email letters to
This is why we’re protesting in Federal Way | Letters to the editor

Why we’re protesting As a Black man living in Federal Way for… Continue reading

Email your letters to
Federal Way proud | Letter to the editor

Around noon May 31, Nick Rose, who owns our Ace Hardware store,… Continue reading

Christian flag at City Hall? | Letters to the editor

Christian flag at City Hall? It looks like maybe a new tradition… Continue reading

Listen to voices of reason during worldwide disaster

To the citizens of Federal Way and leaders at all levels of government: Tune out Trump.

Act now, act local

If commercial property landlords do not adopt a more compassionate and sensible position, they will quickly lose all income and destroy the chance of retail recovery.

Stay at home and be safe

Get fresh air, conserve your food, and follow the governor’s directives.

Go back to the drawing board on comprehesive sex ed

Mandating comprehensive sexuality education in every schoolroom in Washington State is completely wrong.

How to reincarnate democracy

Democracy died with the vote Feb. 6 to acquit the president. The Oval Office Occupant is now above the law.

Make training mandatory for all elected leaders

Congratulations to council member Linda Kochmar, who was awarded an Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership.

Raising the red flag on state of the schools

Months have passed and the Federal Way School District still has not published the 2018-2019 Smarter Balanced Assessment district and individual school results.

Don’t ignore the drug problem

Why not start with addressing the truth that homelessness is not a housing shortage or a mental health issue alone — it is a drug problem.

Keep up the great work, Grocery Outlet

A big thank you to the new owners of Grocery Outlet in Federal Way.