LGBT Education in Schools-Untying the Noose of Hate
It seems there is no end in sight as the debate rages on, regarding compulsory LGBT education reforms. This legislation was passed by the House of Lords on April 24th,
leading to a torrent of
misinformation, that children will be taught to be gay.
However what is being implemented is vastly different to what is being widely circulated as fact.
Ahead of the new syllabus being introduced in all schools in England in Sept 2020.
For primary schools compulsory Relationships Education will include, exploring different family structures. For example families with two mums or dads, grandparents, single parents, foster carers etc.
Perhaps we do our young people a disservice by assuming they do not already have such an awareness.
As they interact multiple times per day in school playgrounds up & down the country. They talk about what they did at the weekend, they go to each others birthday parties & sleep overs. They make mothers & fathers day cards in the classrooms with their teachers & an increasing number of these children, make two.
Ultimately children talk to their friends about their family units. So the horse really has already bolted on that one!!
There are already many children with alternative family structures in schools, talking about their family systems. There are thousands of foster children & those being raised by grandparents, same sex couples, single parents etc.
This is not new information to the young generation, who are more clued up then perhaps we realise.
Children with access to an online world, that didn't exist in their own parents childhoods. Not forgetting many of them raised in the shadow of the bad old days of Section 28.
The fear being propogated is that this inclusive content, will create an epidemic of gay or confused children.
This is as ridiculous a notion as Joe Lycetts Tweet 15/07 wonderfully suggesting that reading Cat in the Hat will create people wishing to become cats in hats nonetheless!!!
The same rhetoric applies to the Relationships & Sex Education syllabus to be introduced in Secondary Schools in 2020.
(As reported in Pink News 16/07/19)
This will be pitched at an age appropriate level for young teens. The content of which goes further to deliver education, around different types of relationships, orientations & gender identities.
Again this is not new information to our demographic of young people in modern Britain. The media is filled on a daily basis to saturation point, with often highly unreliable homophobic & especially transphobic content.
Such attitudes are reflected across social media equally, with memes that ridicule peoples fundamental gender identity & right to exist.
The echos of such content permeate the fabric of our society, including Facebook timelines & conversation around the dinner table.
LGBT inclusive education provides the message that difference is OK, be that in your family of origin, your friendship group, wider community or in yourself.
The bottom line is that currently more than 48% of trans people in Britain attempt suicide & 89% have considered it. These statistics are not paralleled by by any other minority group thankfully.
Many of these suicides are desperate acts taken by young Transgender/GNC people & it simply cannot continue. We have to do something to effect change in our society, to drastically reduce the number of suicides taking place.
The education reforms passed by Parliament are essentially life saving measures, for the small percentage of young people, they can impact for the better. The majority of cisgender heterosexual youngsters will most likely only be impacted with developing greater empathy, understanding & this can do no harm.
Learning about difference, diversity & inclusion does not create what is feared. That being that, children will learn to be gay trans other or different in some way corrupted by this knowledge . People's orientation & sense of self emerges regardless of their environment be it repressive or liberal. To state otherwise is nothing more than scaremongering based upon ignorance.
Having said that is is also very important to be respectful of faith based families in this debate. To afford them the same respect that LGBT families wish to be regarded with.
To have open respectful calm dialogues with each other where possible. We all want the best education & society for our young people to grow up in. As parents, teachers, citizens or just decent human beings.
I hope we can come together & despite differences, we can be on the right side of history.
Where inclusive education leads to a society with greater compassion, so difference is celebrated rather than condemned.
Therapist Writer & Creator