Monday, February 16, 2009

The Education of Shelby Knox

Documentary about a devout Christian teenager in Lubbock, Texas, who completed the True Love Waits purity-ring ceremony at her church but nonetheless spent a couple of years campaigning for sex education and gay-straight alliances in public schools. I liked Shelby, who is scrappy, empathetic, and very liberal in a conservative place. I adored her parents, who are conservative Republicans and seem really, really nervous about anything remotely gay-related . . . and yet they love, admire, respect, and support their daughter, even when they disagree with her. How many parents do you know who would frame newspaper articles that include the headline "Sex Education" and a prominent photograph of their teenager?

Minor spoiler: My favorite moment was when Shelby's mom accompanied her to an anti-Fred Phelps rally (he's the "God Hates Fags" guy). The mama not only attended but marched while carrying a homemade "Judge Not" sign. And you know she wasn't trying to be incognito, not in a DYED-MAGENTA RABBIT FUR JACKET. OMG y'all.

My favorite sign from the anti-Phelps rally: "HATE IS TACKY."

So why aren't there purity ceremonies for young men? I would guess that they are approximately half the problem as far as teen pregnancies are concerned.


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