TriMet kicks queer teens off the bus

This weekend was such a giant celebration. It felt good. I’m always excited to see queer youth having some of their first positive experiences with their newly found identities, especially since I remember that same feeling at my first Gay Pride celebrations more than 10 years ago. But lulled into this false sense of security can make you forget that there are still so many out to harm and humiliate us. It’s especially hurtful to see this happen to the youngest members of our community such as the 2 14 year old girls who were kicked off a TriMet bus for kissing.

Younger teens can certainly be obnoxious. My bus route has often taken me past Middle and High Schools and I’ve been inundated with all kinds of juvenile flirting and fighting. But they are also vulnerable. When a 14 year old is ejected from public transport they may not have another dollar to get back on. Being called a ‘sicko’ affects me little these days but coming from an adult in a position of power over you it could be devastating. That these girls can even be publicly out at such a young age is a testament to their strength and courage but I’m sure this experience has affected them greatly. In a population already at a higher risk for suicide, homelessness and depression I fear even relatively small amounts of bigotry can seriously harm queer youth.

Recent articles talk about TriMet issuing an apology but it seems weak when the agency refuses to divulge any information about disciplinary action taken against the 11 year veteran driver. I’m not necessarily inclined to sue, as the families have been encouraged to do, but I expect something a little more than “Removing the girls from the bus was not consistent with our policy…”

Kiss in at the TriMet ticket office anyone?

8 comments to TriMet kicks queer teens off the bus

  • stevejdavis

    Sick perv get the boot from the bus.


  • alley

    Say it again without derogatory sexist slurs and I will leave it up.

  • phxguy

    The driver kicked them off because the girls were committing an unnatural act and made the passengers uncomfortable. Both girls need psychiatric counseling. To engage in lust at such an early age is the result of so-called “role-models” like Madonna and Britney Spears. There needs to be an law or ordinance against same-sex teen kissing.

  • 66duck

    The very fact that it is the bus driver who is singled out for breaking Tri-Met policies is the problem here. Yeah, ok maybe he should not have kicked them off the bus. But I wonder if he’d asked them to stop what would have happened. What does it say about our society as we condone this abhorrent behavior and then get upset when all semblance of decorum and respectability in public disappear. I feel sorry for those less fortunate who have to ride the bus, and I thank God every day that I can afford to drive. And my condolences to the bus driver. You were in a no win situation. You don’t do anything and the other passengers are rightly upset. You do and you’re a homophobe, bigot, breaking all the policies general bad guy.

    When right is wrong and wrong is right…you had better watch your back…

  • alley

    oh my but there’s so much more over at Blogtown and I didn’t even know it. How come the ‘phobes never come out in full force for them? I guess that’s part of being on this beast that is OregonLive…

  • antithesis

    phx guy –
    i agree with you a bit. . . .in that its sort of sad to see young kids expressing themselves sexually at younger and younger ages. where i greatly disagree with you is that “same-sex teen kissing” is the problem. so its alright if a 12 year old girl is making out with a 12 year old girl on the bus? hypocrite much?

  • antithesis

    whoops! i meant a 12 year old girl making out with a 12 year old BOY!

  • alley

    anithesis – Interesting comment. I hear what you’re saying, although I don’t think a little innocent snogging at 14 is too terribly young. They were both the same age so no one was taking advantage of anyone. And by 14 you’ve had those raging hormones for awhile. Sure, 12 is a little young, but a lot happens in those 2 years. I certainly encourage young people to make sure they know all about themselves before venturing out to the world of sex with others, which certainly has so many more physical and emotional risks.