Kevin Jennings

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Kevin Jennings addresses the "Day of Silence, Night of Noise" GLBT youth event, April 28, 2004


Kevin Jennings (born May 8, 1963) is the CEO of Lambda Legal.

Kevin Jennings was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education by the Obama administration, where he worked closely with Arne Duncan.[1] Kevin Jennings is founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and was the trailblazer for Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in elementary and High Schools.


Kevin Jennings' bio on the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) reveals that he is the founder of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in elementary and high schools:[2]

After graduating from Harvard in 1985, Jennings accepted a teaching job at Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island where he taught for two years. His next job was at Concord Academy where, on November 10, 1988, Jennings came out to the entire campus in a Chapel Talk.
After his address, his students rushed the pulpit, crying and hugging him. When he got to his classroom, he saw that they had written on the blackboard, "We love you, Kevin, and we're so proud of you."
Soon after his public coming out, one of his students, a heterosexual girl whose mother was a lesbian, asked Jennings to help her start what she called a "Gay-Straight Alliance" at Concord. Jennings was off and running the first lap of what would become his two-decade fight for glbtq students.
In 1988, Jennings and his student founded the country's first Gay-Straight Alliance. Almost immediately other schools sought him out to speak on their campuses, and he became increasingly convinced that what was needed was a national organization to address the problems of glbtq students.
In 1990, Jennings, with three other people, founded GLISTeN, the Gay and Lesbian Independent School Teacher Network. In May, 1991, the organization held its first conference at Concord Academy; over 100 people attended. Also in 1991, the organization changed its name to GLSTN, Gay and Lesbian School Teachers Network.

Beginnings of Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network

Kevin Jennings received a "list of the twenty biggest donors to gay causes" from Bill Clinton "confidant" David Mixner which allowed the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network to expand:[3]

"In 1993, Jennings was awarded a Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University's Teachers College. He left Concord Academy that year and moved to New York where, in 1994, after receiving his M.A. from Columbia, he started the process of making GLSTN a national organization. GLSTN received $25,000 from an anonymous donor and Jennings set to work running the organization.
That same year he published his first book, One Teacher in Ten: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories. The book compiles the stories of 40 glbtq educators who discuss what it is like to be gay and teaching.
In his travels to help establish GLSTN chapters in 1994, Jennings met David Mixner, then a confidant of President Clinton, who gave him a list of the twenty biggest donors to gay causes, and GLSTN began to receive the funds necessary to expand."


Kevin Jennings wears a "Gay and Lesbian Independent School Teacher Network" at the "1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation" with students from Concord Academy in Massachusetts.

Kevin Jennings wrote an open letter to his high school principal titled "The Principal Lesson" dated September 21, 1995:[4]

Presented verbatim:

The following letter was written by the executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Teachers Network to the current principal of his old high school.
Dear Principal Land,
I attended Mt. Tabor High School as a freshman in 1977-78, before you became the principal, so I don’t expect you to have any idea of who I am. But I want to tell you a story that I hope will help you better serve today’s students.
Since we are not acquainted personally, let me introduce myself. I only attended Mt. Tabor for one year, leaving at the end of freshman year to graduate from another high school. I went on to Harvard University, where I earned a B.A. magna cum laude in History in 1985. I then became a high school history teacher and taught for eight years. In 1993 I went back to school and received my M.A. from Columbia University in 1994.
From my resume and my career in education you might expect that I had a positive school experience at Mt. Tabor, that my achievements were based on the fine education I received there. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I need you to understand why.
Ever since I was a young boy, I had realized I was different from other boys. I knew, from about age seven, that I was gay. I never told anyone about my feelings. I tried my best to deny my feelings and “fit in” with the guys. By the time I got to Mt. Tabor, though, this was getting harder and harder to do. Soon they had a name for me. That name was faggot.
Mt. Tabor became a nightmare. I had once loved school, but now it became a place of dread, where I was taunted, harassed, and tormented on a daily basis. I once went to a guidance counselor for support. He told me he knew the student whom I accused of tormenting me, and that he couldn’t imagine what I was saying could be true about such a fine young man.
I learned that no one would be on my side. Not even the adults would stick up for the school fag.
By second semester I stopped going to the dining hall, to my homeroom, to my gym class - all places where I was tormented by other students while teachers looked on without saying anything. Slowly but surely, I started dropping out of school.
That fall I told my mom I wasn’t going back to Mt. Tabor. Unable to tell her why (she would not learn I was gay until I attempted suicide at age 17), I just told her I wouldn’t go back, under any circumstances. My mother deeply valued education and wouldn’t accept this: she pulled every trick in the book and got me transferred. I stayed in school, and you know the rest.
You may wonder why I have told you this story. I am writing because my story is not unique. In 1992 I was appointed by Massachusetts Governor William Weld to the first-ever Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. We discovered some startling facts:
• 45% of adolescent gay male youths and 20% of adolescent lesbians are physically or verbally harassed at school;
• 28% of gay youth drop out of school (11 % is the national average);
• One out of every three gay youth attempts suicide; a gay youth tries to kill himself or herself every 35 minutes in this country.
It all added up to one thing: our schools were failing this population of students, failing them so badly that they often left school and tried to take their own lives.
I learned that we could make a difference, however. I served as the faculty advisor for the first Gay-Straight Alliance founded in an American high school, a group that was the model for clubs that now exist in schools in over 20 states. An organization I now work for, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Teachers Network, developed recommendations for schools that were adopted by the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1993. These led Massachusetts to become the first state to ban discrimination against students on the basis of sexual orientation. In short, I learned that, when educators are committed to doing so, they can make sure our schools are safe for all students.
In the final analysis, I suppose I did go into education because of my experience at Mt. Tabor - but for all the wrong reasons. I saw how awful school could be, and wanted to make sure that my students had somewhere to turn for help, because I knew how it felt not to have that. I hope you will find a way to make things better for today’s gay and lesbian students at Mt. Tabor. And I hope you’ll remember that you have the power to literally make the difference between whether some of these kids live or die.

Underage Sex Advice Controversy

A professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, Warren Throckmorton was given a tape of a 2000 lecture by Kevin Jennings discussing a 15-year-old student named Brewster. Jennings was speaking to a GLSEN rally in Iowa where he told the audience of one of his experiences as a teacher in 1988, the same year he established the first Gay-Straight Alliance:

"Brewster was missing a lot of classes; he was in the boarding school so I said to his first period teacher, I said, ‘next time Brewster misses a class I want you to tell me that he’s missed that class and, uh, I will go find him.’ So I went and found Brewster one morning when she had called and he was asleep in his dorm room. And I said, “Brewster, what are you doing in there asleep?” And he said, “Well, I’m tired.” And I said, “Well we all are tired and we all got to school today.” And he said, “Well I was out late last night.” And I said, “What were you doing out late on a school night.” And he said, “Well, I was in Boston…” Boston was about 45 minutes from Concord. So I said, “What were you doing in Boston on a school night Brewster?” He got very quiet, and he finally looked at me and said, “Well I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.” High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people. I was a closeted gay teacher, 24 years old, didn’t know what to say. Knew I should say something quickly so I finally said, My best friend had just died of AIDS the week before. I looked at Brewster and said, “You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.” He said to me something I will never forget, He said “Why should I, my life isn’t worth saving anyway.”"[5] (click here for audio)

On October 3, 2009 Brewster contacted CNN telling them that he did not in fact have sex with that man at all, and that he was 16 at the time of the incident; not 15 as Jennings states he had told him, the morning after the incident. Brewster recounted his version of the event:

"In 1988, I had taken a bus home for the weekend, and on the return trip met someone who was also gay. The next day, I had a conversation with Mr. Jennings about it. I had no sexual contact with anybody at the time, though I was entirely legally free to do so. I was a 16-year-old going through something most of us have experienced: adolescence."[6]

Jennings was of the understanding that the boy was fifteen-years-old and that he had had sex with an older man. Under Massachusetts law such an event was statutory rape, with the requirement of reporting it to the authorities. CNN obtained a copy of Brewster's driver's license, verifying that he was in fact 16 at the time of the incident. However as has been maintained, "Whether Brewster was 15 years old or just turned 16, a sophomore having sex with an older man he met at a bus station bathroom should have raised alarm... A teacher ignoring a female sophomore's confession that she met an older man in a bathroom and then went home with him should have raised similar concerns."[7]

Use of Pro-Pedophilia Publisher

When Kevin Jennings sought out a publisher for his first three books, "Becoming Visible", "One Teacher in 10"[8] and "Telling Tales Out of School", he chose pornographer Pat Califia’s publisher, Alyson Books. Alyson Books is a publisher of LGBT titles including children's books such as "Heather Has Two Mommies" and "Daddy's Roommate". Alyson Books has published pro-pedophillia titles such as "Pedophilia: The Radical Case" by Tom O’Carrol, and "The Age Taboo: Gay Male Sexuality, Power and Consent", by Dan Tsang, who has also had involvement with NAMBLA.[9]

A known North American Man/Boy Love Association supporter, Pat Califia contracted Alyson Publications to publish such titles as "Macho Sluts", a collection of short stories she had written, one of which is about an incestuous S/M sexual relationship between a mother and her 13-year-old daughter, now considered a classic of taboo sadism porn.[10]

Califia wrote an endorsement for NAMBLA's book, "A Witchhunt Foiled". NAMBLA supporter Harry Hay also wrote an endorsement for the book, both of which appeared on the back cover of the 1985 publication. In his endorsement, Calfia implied strong agreement with the conclusions found within when he wrote:

"Are you a gay activist who thinks the issue of man/boy love has nothing to do with gay liberation? Read this book. Are you a lesbian feminist who thinks any sex between adults and young people is exploitation and abuse? Read this book..."[11]

In support of pedophiles, Califia once wrote:

"Instead of condemning pedophiles for their involvement with lesbian and gay youth, we should be supporting them."[12]

Teaching Students about Sexual Technique

From the Washington Times in 2009:[13]

"There are shocking new revelations this week of tape recordings from a youth conference involving 14-year-old students. The conference, billed as a forum to encourage tolerance of homosexuality, was sponsored by Mr. Jennings’ organization and was held at Tufts University in March 2000. Mr. Jennings was executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) from its founding in 1995 until August 2008. The conference sessions appear to have had less to do with promoting tolerance and more to do with teaching children how to engage in sex."


"During one session about oral sex, a presenter asked the 14-year-old students: 'Spit or swallow? Is it rude?' In another session, the 14-year-olds are taught about a gross practice called 'fisting,' in which 'the man leading the discussion position[ed] his hand and show[ed] 14-year-olds how to insert their entire hand into the rectum of their sex partner.'"

Admiration for Harry Hay

Harry Hay

Harry Hay, (1912 - 2002) is widely recognized as the father of the gay rights movement in the U.S.A. and is well-known for his involvement with and support of NAMBLA, a pro-pedophilia group.

In 1994 Jennings co-wrote and edited a reader in gay and lesbian history for high school and college students entitled "Becoming Visible". In this book he devotes an entire chapter to discussing "Harry Hay and the Beginnings of the Homophile Movement".[14]

On October 25, 1997, Jennings addressed the GLSEN Mid-Atlantic conference in a panel entitled "Looking to the Future", in which he spoke of his admiration for Harry Hay. Americans For Truth obtained an audio recording of his speech and have placed the transcript on their website.

"One of the people that’s always inspired me is Harry Hay, who started the first ongoing gay rights groups in America. In 1948, he tried to get people to join the Mattachine Society."[15]

Member of ACT UP

At the GLSEN "Respect" awards presentation in Beverly Hills, California on October 11, 2008, Jennings' partner Jeff Davis described his early dates with Jennings fourteen years ago:

"The first few interactions were challenging for both of us. He was a member of ACT UP. Act Up! So it’s like – you know - here’s a big gay activist. BIG gay activist! And he was this really big liberal."[16]

From Oct. 15 - Dec. 23, 2009 the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University featured an exhibit entitled "ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis, 1987 - 1992". In the press release put out by the Harvard Art Museum, the organizers of the exhibit thank Kevin Jennings amongst others, for their support, gifts and grants.[17]

The exhibit gained notoriety for its explicit photos, pictures and text, the majority of which were "memorabilia" from past activism carried out by ACT UP. Click here for photos of the exhibits at the Mass Resistance website.

Queering Elementary Education

Jennings wrote the introduction to a book entitled "Queering Elementary Education" (1999), authored by William Letts and James Sears.

Former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers also endorsed the book with a promotional blurb on the back cover.[18]

On Promoting Heterosexuality

<flashmp3>Marx ballot jennings.mp3</flashmp3>

The audio clip to the right is from Kevin Jennings' address he gave to the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network in Iowa in 2000. In the clip he states that schools are aggressively recruiting children into a heterosexual (mindset) as well as talking about Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential win and referencing it back to a Karl Marx quote:

"We all know what is promoted in our schools: Heterosexuality is promoted in our schools... Every time kids read Romeo & Juliet, (muffled), or whatever it is, kids are aggressively recruited (muffled) heterosexual. The reality is that at schools (muffled)... You know what, it's easy to panic people if you make them think that they're after your kids. It's a very irrational thing... (muffled) Anita Bryant was also for homophobia. She started a campaign in the late seventies called 'save our children.' which was designed to repeal the few protections that existed in that time in our country for LGBT people. She succeeded. She panicked our nation. She started a nationwide crusade that led to the creation of the moral majority and the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. She was very successful, and I look at Oregon in the year 2000, and I think history repeats itself, and as Marx once said the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. I am hoping this will be a farce."

Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network

Jennings founded the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), pronounce "glisten".

"Teach-Out" Conference

Jennings holding conference program at the conference

On March 25, 2000 GLSEN ran the "Teach-Out" Conference at Tufts University. Approximately 200 young teens (as young as 12) and 300 adults attended the day-long event. Jennings, who was at the time the Executive Director of GLSEN was the keynote speaker at the conference. At the conference, during a workshop listed as a "youth only, ages 14-21" session, three self-professed gay employees of the Massachusetts Department of Education instructed the audience on how to perform a range of sexual activities such as homosexual oral sex techniques, inserting one’s entire hand in someone else’s rectum, sado-masochism techniques, girls using "dildos" and rubbing their sex organs together for pleasure. Below is an excerpt detailing a technique known as "Fisting", taken directly from audio recordings of the conference made by Mass Resistance:

"Fisting [forcing one's entire hand into another person's rectum or vagina] often gets a bad rap....[It's] an experience of letting somebody into your body that you want to be that close and intimate with...[and] to put you into an exploratory mode."[19]

On March 25, 2001 the "Teach-Out" Conference was again held at Tufts University. Of the approximately 650 attendees, about 400 were students. Here Planned Parenthood distributed "fisting kits" at their table in the lobby. They contained a single plastic glove, a package of K-Y lubricant and instructions on how to make a “dental dam” out of the material.

"The instructions explained how to cut up the glove with scissors until all that remains is a rubber rectangle with the “thumb” portion protruding from the middle. “Use the thumb space for your tongue,” say the directions. The label on the ziplocked package says, “protects against STD’s,” and bears the Planned Parenthood logo and phone number."[20]

Jennings' High Salary

IRS form (click to enlarge)

In 2007 Jennings was paid $273,573.96 as the executive director of GLSEN, an organization that receives public and private funding. The image to the right is of a scanned in copy of GLSEN's 2007 990 IRS form, sourced by the Founding Bloggers blog.[21]

GLSEN Recommended Reading List

The "Featured Booklinks" page on the GLSEN website features a list of over 100 books published by GLSEN. These are split up into four categories, grades K-6, grades 7-12, educator resources and other ally resources. The Gateway Pundit Blog researched into the content of a random selection of the books contained within the grades 7-12 book list. They found that:

"We found that book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren’t merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between pre-schoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air. One memoir even praised becoming a prostitute as a way to increase one’s self-esteem. Above all, the books seemed to have less to do with promoting tolerance than with an unabashed attempt to indoctrinate students into a hyper-sexualized worldview."[22]

Below the reading list is a disclaimer regarding the quality and appropriateness of the content within the books:

"All BookLink items are reviewed by GLSEN staff for quality and appropriateness of content. However, some titles for adolescent readers contain mature themes. We recommend that adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."[23]

External links


  1. Fox News, Critics Assail Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar, Say He's Wrong Man for the Job, September 23, 2009
  2.,2.html Jennings, Kevin b. 1963 (Accessed on June 25 2022)]
  3.,2.html Jennings, Kevin b. 1963 (Accessed on June 25 2022)]
  4. Bay Area Reporter, Volume 25, Number 38, 21 September 1995, Page 6 "The Principal Lesson" (Accessed on June 25 2022)]
  5. Warren Throckmorton's website: Remembering Brewster, June 2, 2009
  6. CNN: Ex-pupil defends Obama aide over controversial advice in 1988, October 3, 2009
  7. Washington Times: Obama's elusive 'safe schools czar', Oct. 8, 2009
  8. Alyson Books: One Teacher in 10
  9. Harry Hay, Los Angeles, 1986
  10. - Review of Macho Sluts
  11. Harry Hay's blurb for the NAMBLA book A Witchhunt Foiled
  12. NAMBLA website: Pat Califia
  13. Washington Times: Obama's elusive 'safe schools czar', Oct. 8, 2009
  14. Becoming Visible, 1994
  15. Americans for Truth website: Kevin Jennings’ 1997 Transcript
  16. Video: Jeff Davis at "Respect" Awards Presentation
  17. Harvard Art Museum: Press Release, July 2, 2009
  18. Queering Elementary Education, 1999
  19. Mass Resistance: The "Fistgate" conference
  20., March 26, 2001
  21. Founding Bloggers: Sexualizing Children is Lucrative, Dec. 5, 2009
  22. Promoting Child Porn in the Classroom
  23. GLSEN website: Recommended Reading List