What the Actual FUSD is Going On, Northern Arizona?!

I’m back, back, back again, Secular Fam!

What can I say? It’s Pride month and I’ve been on a whirlwind tour of all things fabulous, and unlike those evangelical extremist ghouls, I EFFING LOVE RAINBOWS!

So scream it from the mountaintops, all our LGBTQIA+ members and allies! Secular AZ will stand up for your religious freedom to be your true selves, no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity.

I know I spent an entire Substack on rural spaces last week, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout out to the Rim Country Pride folks. Last week, I got to celebrate a friend’s birthday in Heber, so I decided to carve out some time for the Rim Country Pride event in Pine, Arizona.

Pine is a small community with a population just shy of 2000 people. The town was founded in 1879 by four Mormon families. The median age is just under seventy and it’s over 96% White, just so you can form a picture in your head of the vibe. Also, the median age is so high because in the past few years, Pine has suddenly become a retirement destination. I can see why because it’s absolutely beautiful in Rim Country.

One of the organizers of the event told me about the online threats they received in the lead-up to this event. In one Facebook group, someone joked about how the Pride in Pine event would be perfect for some “target practice.”

Click here to read more on Secular AZ’s Substack. 

Jeanne Casteen, Secular AZ Executive Director

JEANNE CASTEEN has a bachelor’s degree in human communication and history from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU and a master’s in education, also from ASU. Jeanne has over 11 years of experience teaching in Maricopa County’s public schools. In 2011, Jeanne completed the Emerge Arizona program and in 2012 became a school board member of the Creighton School District. She served as Board President from 2016 through 2020. In 2020, Ms. Casteen ran for Maricopa County School Superintendent, and came within 12,000 votes of winning. She has been awarded the Arizona School Public Relations Association Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Political Contributions to Education as well as the Arizona School Board Association’s All-Arizona School Board Member Award.

Author: Jeanne Casteen, Secular AZ Executive Director

JEANNE CASTEEN has a bachelor’s degree in human communication and history from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU and a master’s in education, also from ASU. Jeanne has over 11 years of experience teaching in Maricopa County’s public schools. In 2011, Jeanne completed the Emerge Arizona program and in 2012 became a school board member of the Creighton School District. She served as Board President from 2016 through 2020. In 2020, Ms. Casteen ran for Maricopa County School Superintendent, and came within 12,000 votes of winning. She has been awarded the Arizona School Public Relations Association Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Political Contributions to Education as well as the Arizona School Board Association’s All-Arizona School Board Member Award.