LGBTQ: The Kids Know Too Much and Too Little
We all view children as naïve, funny, innocent, and adorable. It’s really hard to link something as taboo as LGBTQ towards the discussion with children. When I ask adults, if their kids have any knowledge about the LGBTQ community, they will give out a good laugh, and said that “my kids don’t even know if that exists.” The truth is, children, know and understand more than we think because of their surroundings and the people involved in their lives. Since children are obtaining more information from society, it’s important for parents and family members to educate them about these controversial topics. This is mainly because outside influences can provide negative connotations to the subject matter. It could lead to prejudice and misinformation. That is why it’s important for parents to discuss the LGBTQ topic with their child.
Kids in elementary school already have some ideas about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender gender community. When asked about the LGBTQ topic, they have a pretty good foundation to initiate a meaningful conversation about it. Children often associate the word gay or queer with something negative. For example, if the person acts strangely or looks inappropriate, we often tease, bully, and mark them as gay or queer. Because of all the negativity around the word gay, kids often view it as something negative and a failure. For example, when a child has a family member who is gay, they are often made fun of. Other students, peers, even adults will go up to that kid and say “don’t grow up doing that, it will mess up your life.” This can cause the child to have a negative perception of the LGBTQ community. They would believe that having a relationship with the same gender would be a dishonor.
Some kids hear the word gay over and over again on the bus, they will bring the topic home. The parents would elaborate on the definition. Usually, the kids will have a basic understanding of it where it’s two man or two women having a relationship or love each other. Some kids would think that gay people are born with this preference or that they are different. There are kids out there who have gay parents. They either have two fathers or two mothers. Sometimes these kids would get prejudice stares and bullied such as “don’t do what your parents did, that will ruin your life.” They would even get sympathetic stares and people feeling sorry for them. Kids whose family member are gay, tend to have a deeper understanding of the concept. They view the LGBTQ topic as normal. They believe that being gay or lesbian is a normal preference. They claim that these individuals have normal lives and have normal preferences just like everybody else. kids with a deeper understanding of the topic often find it insulting that others would use the word gay nonchalantly to describe something negative. These kids would further educate others about the normality of LGBTQ. They often bring up good controversial discussion about certain prejudice. For example a tomboy is viewed as a tougher girl, however, a tom girl is viewed as being gay, and they question that.
Children with a deeper understanding often look up to people like Ellen DeGeneres, Who is a lesbian celebrity. The most amazing part about Ellen is that she is genuine about her sexuality. She even exhibits confidence about it to the whole world. This is the person that children should look up to. It gives them a way to see how beautiful confidence can be. They will be able to handle the many interpretations involving the LGBTQ topic. Some children have households that are more conservative and will view the gays, lesbians, bisexual as something taboo and stay away from it. This will cause children to be more prejudice and have less tolerance for the LGBTQ community. Children with a more liberal household, tend to be more open-minded to the idea and can often get bullied and insulted by their openness. This is why it’s important for educators to discuss the topics in class with these children.
The open discussion allows kids to express their thoughts and perspective in the classroom. This can help other kids to understand where each of their ideas come from and how to comprehend it. This allows the kids to all meet in the middle regarding various beliefs about the LGBTQ topics. For example, conservative students will be able to understand that gays and lesbians are normal people like you and me. More liberal students will understand that even though these topics are normal, but it’s best to take into account that other people might view them as taboo. Unfortunately, because of the controversies involving these topics, teachers aren’t doing anything about it. They tend to shy away from the topic. Whenever they hear kids use the word gay, they will walk the other way. If we kept these discussions hidden, there could be a lot of misunderstanding and bullying in school. Kids would be made fun of and hurt, and there could be a lot of unanswered questions.
If the schools are willing to create a class for sex education where they talk about condoms, std, safety, abstinence, puberty, and anatomy, then it should be OK to create a class for subjects involving LGBTQ. That way our children will be more well informed and educated for the future. After all the work force contains a diverse group of people. It would be beneficial for our future generation to be able to adapt to these types of variety. In order to have a successful relationship with those around us, it’s best to start with the basic understanding of various preferences in different people. What gays and lesbians do might seem strange, but if we learn to look at it from their point of view, it will all make sense. By adding an extra curriculum that educates children about the gay community can increase appreciation and awareness.