Homosexuality awareness taught to children. Yay? Or Nay?

A couple of months ago I started a bit of a debate on yourface because I wasn’t best pleased with the language used in a couple of comic strips in a daily publication that I normally read and enjoy. My main concern was that younger people and those who may not have the greatest intellegence would repeat the words used or assume that the stereotypes refered to were correct and acceptable  in every day situiations.

Apparently alot of people disagreed with me.

However a community group have taken it upon themselves to make kids aware that words such as ‘gay’ and ‘puff’ can be offensive and harmful with a play called FIT which has toured around 75 schools so far. Well that was until a number of tabloids (The Daily Mail, The Daily Star and The Daily Telegraph) heard about thisperformance and decided that teaching children not to bully was a bad thing and have decided to try and bring this play to an end.

These newspapers were all backers of section 28 which meant that homosexuality could not be promoted in schools, this led to misery for lots of young gay people as teachers were unable to talk about gay issues with their class.

Its all wonderful and lovely that we live in a country with a free press, but it makes me so sad when journalists use the power they have to spread hate or sudo fear of children being some how corrupted. I think it shows a level of contempt and a narrow minded attitude that believes that homosexuality boils down to just sex when infact it doesnt. Being gay in itself is about more, its about knowing in yourself that you can only fall in love with those of them same sex as well as that homosexualty now stands for an array of other issues to do with equality and living in a more liberal society.

And there a fantastic ways of talking about how all children are different, Mr. Small talked about Beautiful People on the BBC which is about a gay teenager but not about the fact he is gay, in Ugly Better Justin is gay with out it being an issue, even frigging Brittania High as much as it rather ham fisted at dealing with other issues when it came to characters being gay it is a complete non issue. Its about time these tabloids wised up and stopped spouting their out dated ideals.

Its because of this type of attitude that events such as Pride need to take place, the meaning has changed alot since the 80’s and its fantastic that Pride is now a celebration of a rich gay culture but I hope that people dont forget its also about recognition and public awareness.

Thank you if you bared with me till the end, I went in a direction I wasn’t expecting to go. But now I think its time to step off my soap box.

What do you guys think?

Is the word ‘gay’ acceptable for people to use to describe something that is bad?

Because of the connection to sex should children be taught about homosexuality at school?

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5 Responses to “ Homosexuality awareness taught to children. Yay? Or Nay? ”

  1. Just been pointed in the direction of this link

    What do you guys think?


  2. I have to say you’re absolutely right. The mistake that many of the gutter press (especially The Daily Mail) is that they keeo spouting Section 28. I remember when this whole charade started in Thatcher’s government. Section 28 was only about teaching gay lifestyle as a norm. As vile as Section 28 is it was never designed to instigate, or prevent action against bullying of any kind.

    The sad fact is that these publications, and the morons that support them, still believe that homosexuality is just a life choice and not some genetic pre-disposition. They cannot comprehend that any 12, 13 or 14 year old could ever be gay and go through the emotional roller coaster ride that the realisation of being gay brings.

    You are absolutely right to bring the pathetic attempts of the national press to block what is clearly an attempt at preventing vicious bullying to the public attention. This is something that needs a higher profile with Parliamentary support.

    The organisers of this play should continue to make it a priority to push these issues into the public domain because it isn’t going away.

    Good on you for posting. I’d love to be kept up to date with progress.


    Chris x

  3. Anything that tries to mellow homophobic kids has got to be a good thing. I was talking to a workmate about the way gay kids were treating at our old schools, and it was agreed that 1. We were evil little bastards, and 2. the kids who were gay or thought to be went through Hell, because kids like us, enduring the awkwardness and uncertainty our youth provided, were after easy scapegoats. The vast majority of homophobic kids chill out very quickly when presented with arguments against homophobia, but we weren’t presented with any till we were GCSE age, and as such we were terrible to the kids who didn’t fit our expectations.

  4. Personally I find it very odd that in an ultra pc world where you can barely say anything anyway, homophobia seems more media evident than ever. And its so rare that certain publications will ever out and out declare comments or actions as abhorent so much as make a statement that inflames the gay community then leave it open to discussion. It seems very clear to me and it seems to everyone else what is racist and unacceptable yet casual homophobia is allowed to carry on far too often unchecked. It is the same thing people! Marginalising or victimising a community on the basis of difference; whether it be the colour of your skin or your sexual orientation is unacceptable regardless of whether it is considered to be the lesser of two evils by some people.
    The sooner that children - as this is really the only way to make the message truly last- understand that being gay is just another thing that can be unique about a person and should be celebrated the better. And the sooner that those educators who think that section 28 still exists are re-educated I’ll be happier.
    Excellent post Blackett; I love when we all discuss…

  5. I must admit that as a youth worker and having to hear stories from young LGBT people day in day out makes me very sad. I have had a strong interest in this issue for years now and personally think that one of the possible ways for takleing this issue within schools is in better training of teachers so that they are better prepared to combat this (in the same way that most teachers/schools have a no-tolerance policy to racism). One of the ways that this could then be used is in the introduction to SRE class’e (Sex, Relationship and Education) being taught at a younger age (simular to the way that Holland teaches it). This way children will grow up with the knowledge of what these words mean from an early age and can start to associate them with people, hopefully role models, who they meet and will not feel there are many differences between them, therefore stemming the bullying before it arrises! If this could be put into place soon then it will have a knock-on effect for future generations to come. Unfortunatly without the backing of media (even if it just means them shutting thier pie holes on the use of the words) then this will not work. Another issue is that with the age of many parents now being younger than it was 10 years ago, a lot of these parents are unaware of the damage caused by the ’slack’ use of bad language, including homophobic slurs, that is used in frount of thier kids. Children are very easly influenced and if something is not done soon to stem this cycle then I carn’t see it ever being able to be turned around. If you would like more information then also check out the Stonewall Education for All website - http://www.stonewall.org.uk/education_for_all/

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