I have a question to ask you: should children be taught about the LGBT+ community in Primary school?
If I’m going to be completely honest, I was surprised to find out that most parents, it seems, are against the idea (based on what I have seen and read personally). Come on, it is 2019 and while we have quite a way to go, daily I see a lot of diversity in the way that parents are raising their children these days.
Despite all the positive things that I constantly see and hear, it seems that for the most part the voice of the public is against children learning about diversity, equality and acceptance in school. I don’t get it at all?
I admit, while I don’t know the full extent of what these classes would consist of, I have heard that they will completely be age appropriate by starting off by simply reading books that feature same-sex families. Who can say that is too much for a child? A book that represents real families?
These classes aim to teach children that people come in a range of shapes and sizes and will (hopefully) teach them acceptance. One of the reoccurring arguments is that they are far too young to be learning about the LGBT+ community and it isn’t something that they need to learn right now. Why, because children don’t have a sexuality, right? Most LGBT+ people know or have a feeling that they are not like their peers, from a young age. Imagine how amazing it would be as a child to learn that there are people out there just like you? To have that kind of representation in the classroom? Surely this would only teach them to be themselves and teach their classmates acceptance and understanding. Surely, we want our children to feel this and to be valued?
You may believe that children are far too young to be learning about sexuality and wish to preserve their innocence by ‘letting them be children’. But how often do parents ask their 3-year-old boy if he has a girlfriend, tell their young daughter that she will have the boys running after her because she’s so pretty, tell their son that he will break all the girls hearts and ask them if they play kiss chase? But, don’t worry, you continue being a hypocritical prick.
While you maintain that children should only read ‘child-friendly’ books, make sure that you carry on reading them Snow White, Cinderella and other fairy tales that mention murder, non-consensual kissing, harming others and so much more. But, hey, it’s sexuality that’s the problem, right? That’s the line? Keeping someone locked away for their entire life is a good theme for a children’s book, but not two people who love each other?
The other arguments that I hear are that it should be taught at home with the parents in complete control. But how many children actually live in homes where their parents will bother to teach their children equality and diversity? School is fundamentally there to teach and prepare children for life and this has to be part of it.
There are even ignorant parents out there who believe that teaching children all of this will encourage them to be gay. I’m sorry to tell you, but if your 10-year-old comes home one day and tells you that he thinks that he doesn’t like girls, he was gay already. It wasn’t the book that did it, but it may have given him the confidence to talk to you about it after learning that people like him exist and it’s more than okay.
Whether we like it or not, children are learning about sexuality and gender identity every day. Whether it’s coming from what they are watching on TV, see in films, read in books, hear in the playground or even overhear from you or others, they are learning about the world around them in every way possible.
As soon as I knew that I was going to be a parent, I knew that I wanted Joshua to grow up in a house where he would always be accepted and valued. I knew that I wanted to create a home where he would have the freedom to express himself and never be judged, and hopefully I have done just that.
So, let’s get rid of our out-dated views, books and sex ed videos. Let’s bring in more relevant teaching materials that show our children that we should accept everyone regardless of race, sexuality, gender and religion.
That’s got to be a message worth teaching?