Christine A. Yared has been practicing law for over three decades. She has consistently been an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as an attorney, writer, speaker, educator, and activist. Christine has fought against discrimination based on LGBTQ identity, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and against sexual harassment. As a writer, public speaker, and trainer, she has shared her expertise and experiences with social and nonprofit organizations, educators, students, social service professionals, religious groups and businesses.
Christine obtained her law degree from Stetson University and her undergraduate degree in business administration from Michigan State University. She has taught courses as an adjunct professor in constitutional law, LGBTQ law, civil rights history, cultural communication and diversity at Grand Valley State University.
She has engaged in community service for national, state and local nonprofit organizations and professional service for legal and educational associations. She serves on the council of the Michigan Bar Association's LGBTQ+ Law Section. Yared is also a member of the Authors Guild and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Christine has had leadership roles with nonprofit and professional boards and committees, including:
Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Grand Rapids chapter co-chair, Board
American Civil Liberties Union, West Michigan Chapter, Lawyers Committee
Lesbian & Gay Community Network of West MI, President, Board of Directors
Healing Children of Conflict, founding board member
Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Grand Valley State University
President's Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues, Grand Valley State University
Faculty Advisor, student LGBTQ organization, Grand Valley State University
Michigan Bar Association and Grand Rapids Bar Association, served on numerous committees
Private Love, Public School - Gay Teacher Under Fire
Gerry Crane had hit his stride. A talented high school music teacher, he was loved by students and parents—lauded as one of the best teachers at his school. Gerry had reconciled his conservative religious upbringing with his identity as a gay man, finding an affirming spiritual home in a local church. He enjoyed a close circle of loving friends and had found the love of his life. In October 1995, Gerry and his partner exchanged vows in a private commitment ceremony.
By the time Gerry returned to work the following week, word had spread that he had married a man. The once loved teacher was vilified. Parents removed their children from his classes. Most of his colleagues ostracized him. The school board publicly declared that “individuals who espouse homosexuality do not constitute proper role models as teachers” and pledged to investigate and monitor Gerry. Ministers and churches joined the fray, proclaiming contrasting views about Christianity and homosexuality. As these events unfolded under the glare of the local and national media, Gerry’s life became agonizing.
Disturbing and deeply moving, Private Love, Public School recounts the true story of what happened when members of a midwestern community demanded that their religious beliefs be imposed on a public school—and the school followed suit.
Awards and Recognition
- Private Love, Public School – Gay Teacher Under Fire, named as a 2022 Notable Book by the Library of Michigan
Press and Media Mentions
- Ortega, Brenda, "The Toll of Attacks on LGBTQ Rights: Echoes from history of the worst kind," MEA Voice Magazine. Michigan Education Association (MEA), September 29, 2022.
- The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin, January 29, 2021.
- Announcement of 2022 Michigan Notable Books, Detroit Free Press, January 2, 2022, Ellen Piligian.
- Stateside with Cynthia Canty, Michigan Radio interview, Story of gay high school teacher to illustrate lack of civil rights protections
- “Gay teacher: Gerry Crane's story,” - Between the Lines, Carol Tanis
- "SCOTUS ruling 25 years too late for ousted W MI teacher,"Barton Deiters, WOOD TV, NBC affiliate
- "Lesbian is Equitable Parent of Her Non-biological Child," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Traci R. Gentilozzi,
- “Mother seeks justice following daughter’s assault at school,” Between the Lines, Drew Howard