Let’s get (non) Binary, Trans* Queer sex ed on the map

Let’s get (non) Binary, Trans* Queer sex ed on the map

Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is dramatically failing the LGBTQ community. It seems ridiculous that in 2015, a government who has legalised same-sex marriage within the last year cannot produce a SRE policy that sufficiently informs young individuals of LGBTQ issues.

Sex education within schools serves to properly inform students when they experience changes to the body and new emotions. It was put into place in order to reassure school pupils everything they are feeling is perfectly ‘normal’. Therefore,  the government failing to properly address the issues of sexual identity is outwardly suggesting it is not ‘normal’ to have a different sexual orientation. How can we expect young people, easily influenced, that being gay, bisexual, transgender or any other form of sexuality is just as acceptable as being heterosexual if their learning environment does not directly express that it is?

Having read the SRE policy recently published in October 2014, I was shocked to find that within the fifteen page document only three clauses, totalling one hundred and ninety seven words, were dedicated to sexual identity and sexual orientation. One of the clauses did not even include the topics that should be taught. Instead it was concerned with the care that schools should take in not upsetting parents during its teaching, with the two other points remaining extremely vague in their dealing with the issue.

It is safe to say that this is highly unacceptable. The government seem terrified of causing offence of what in recent years, and to this day, can be a very controversial topic. What they are seemingly unable to recognise is the offence and harm they are causing to all parties involved.

We should be educating children from the start that any sexual orientation or sexual identity is perfectly fine, then maybe we can begin to eliminate any prejudices towards the LGBTQ community.

Anti-bullying policies to prevent mistreatment of any vulnerable individual will remain redundant if the issue is not combatted at the source. Through the lack of education provided about the LGBTQ community, the government are allowing and condoning the belief that anyone who does not fit into the heterosexual guidelines is different. We are in control of our own bodies and are entitled to enjoy the pleasure it can bring in any way we please. Everyone should be entitled to information regarding this to form healthy relationships. Correct sex education is key to this.

How can we expect young people, easily influenced, that being gay, bisexual, transgender or any other form of sexuality is just as acceptable as being heterosexual if their learning environment does not directly express that it is?

It is not only the teenage community that are drastically affected, but also the younger generation in primary schools. After the introduction of the Same-Sex Marriage Act in March 2014, same-sex parenting is becoming far more common. However, when their children reach schooling age they are thrust into an environment where the happy, family dynamic still revolves around having a male and female parent. Their children, and their children’s peers, must be informed that any family as long as they are supportive and happy are completely regular, regardless of the genders of their parents.

In my eyes, any relationship that is happy and loving is a relationship that I would want to have. Unfortunately, I have had to reach that conclusion by myself without the guidance of my education. This needs to stop. We should be educating children from the start that any sexual orientation or sexual identity is perfectly fine, then maybe we can begin to eliminate any prejudices towards the LGBTQ community.

Jessica Bradley

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