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Missouri Teen Fights for LGBT Rights

Missouri Teen Fights for LGBT Rights

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A lesbian teenager in a Kansas City suburb is leading a fight against discrimination wherever she finds it -- for instance, at a shop that refused to print T-shirts for her school's gay-straight alliance.

The Kansas City Star profiles Bailee Webb (pictured, foreground), 17, president of the GSA at Blue Springs South High School in Blue Springs, Mo. It reports that the GSA members recently agreed on a T-shirt design with the phrase "Why is it that as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"

After the school's principal approved the design, Webb emailed an order for the shirts to Rod's Sporting Goods in Blue Springs. The owner, Rod Lindemann, emailed her back the next day, saying that because of his religious beliefs, he could not do the job. "I am a man who walks my faith," he told the Star. "God calls me to love all, but he doesn't call me to be comfortable with things that I don't see as God-pleasing."

Webb found another vendor to produce the T-shirts, and she contacted leaders of other clubs at her school and got them to agree to cease patronizing Lindemann's store. She emailed him, "I respect your decision, even if I do not agree with it, and I'm sorry that the Blue Springs South GSA and many other clubs here at South cannot and no longer will be doing business with you."

Webb came out to her mother two years ago and has received unconditional support. Now a senior, she is an honor student who has applied to Harvard University and hopes to become a nuclear or aerospace engineer. Read more about her here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.