From year 5 until you finish compulsory education you always get taught about puberty, what the sexual organs do and what they are, and how to practice safe sex. When I was in school I was taught sex education in three different schools, two in Wales and one in England and I never got taught, let alone spoken about LGBT sex education.
I never knew how HIV was an epidemic, I never learnt how to practice gay safe sex, I never knew how lesbian sex worked and I had no idea on what intersex was, these are just a small minority of the things that I didn’t get taught in school, I had to teach myself these issues.
There is a lot of controversy that that teaching a young person about LGBT issues may turn them gay, I can stand here, and honestly say that it is impossible, yes teenagers may experiment but what’s wrong with that? educating someone on how gay people have sexual intercourse, clearing the myths that are attached to LGBT sex and simply educating young people about these issues can cause more good than harm, bullying could be reduced, sexual transmitted diseases/HIV/Other infections can be reduced due to knowing what is safe and the taboo towards the issue could be taken away.
General LGBT education:
When we did lessons during tutorial which was PHSE (Personal, social, health and economic). PHSE taught us a variety of different things and throughout the whole of my high school experience, all I learnt about was the different forms of bullying which was in year 7, from year 8 upwards I cannot remember what I learnt, but I know for a fact that LGBT issues we not spoken about, which sucks. Terminology, genders, sexuality’s, role models, black LGBT members, LGBT and religion, LGBT and disability and more topics were not spoken about. In different lessons within school you learn about how Rosa Park stood up to racism, you learnt about why Hitler killed millions of Jews and you learnt about different disabilities in science, but being LGBT was never spoken about, which makes it even more taboo because it isn’t in our basic education like other protected characteristics.
Sometimes its not just students who need to be educated on LGBT issues, its staff as well who need to learn the different sections within the community and what LGBT+ terminology means. In my experience staff members and students had no idea on what being transgender meant, which cause a huge amount of stress for myself because I had to educate a school full of 1,000+ people and nobody knew how to cater for me, doing my sports GCSE was tough, using toilets was always a constant battle and being misgendered left right and centre was something that I should have never experienced.
If I learnt about LGBT issues when I was in school, I wouldn’t have felt isolated, alone and utterly lost. Maybe I wouldn’t have suffered bullying, maybe fellow students could have accepted me for who I was and maybe I could have had a much easier roller coaster ride throughout school, but sadly that isn’t the case. The government and education department need’s to understand that being apart of the LGBT community is normal, it is okay, you are accepted and you have allies wherever you go. Going through puberty sucks, but not knowing who you are and feeling as if being your true self isn’t worth living is sad, and it needs to change soon.
Teaching a child about LGBT issues isn’t going to turn them gay, it’s going to inform them that everybody is different, and that is okay!
I have been nominated for an award!!
I have recently been nominated for the positive role model within the LGBT+ Community, which is awarded by the national diversity awards here in the UK. If you would like to vote for me, check out the link here.