Eek it’s been a tough week in the media, with a lot of haters.
Read this – The Age
then this The Australian
then this news.com
then read this Ginger Gorman on News.com
The first three articles are fear mongering, biased pieces with a slim grasp on facts. The last article is beautiful piece from a journalist and a mother who just wants to stop the fear and hate.
Like all things transgender, the more sensational the details, the more the media clamours. Joe and Jenny Public are eternally fascinated by the weirdness of being transgender. It is, for so many people, an experience that is so far out of their ordinary that they lap up salacious details and want justification to not be educated because that may be uncomfortable. Such is human behaviour.
I am only one small voice – but I hope always that my voice will be joined by other small voices to become the insistent voice of love, acceptance and right.
Safe Schools has always been an LGBTIQ focused service, in that their information sessions are aimed to educate teachers about LGBTIQ specific challenges in their student population. The first three above articles are evidence that LGBTIQ education is needed, because the fear mongering in mainstream media is just that, fear mongering.
Jeremy did not have the benefit of schooling with teachers who received Safe Schools inservice training. I have told his story here, as it unfolded in heartbreaking episode after heartbreaking episode. His education has suffered, his future is not the rosy tertiary educated future I always imagined. I have often pondered how different his future would have been if Safe Schools had had the resources to get into his school that year, if then he could have hung on the final two years of formal schooling instead of floundering with distance education.
What I have heard over the last couple of years is story after story of successful inservice sessions at schools around the country that teach teachers that LGBTIQ students need some adult understanding in the form of modelling positive behaviours. For transgender children, this layer of protection is vital. It lifts my heart to hear parents telling stories of their transgender or gender fluid children attending school and learning and playing and growing. So when you deny Safe Schools the opportunity to demystify being transgender, you deny a child safe education. Because those adults that are up in arms are raising children who get up in arms and those children outnumber transgender children significantly.
This is what I know:
- having your child go to school with LGBTIQ students will not affect your child
- having Safe Schools come in to deliver inservice or talk to students will not make your child LGBTIQ
- having teachers who have received training from Safe Schools leads to school environments where all students accept each other and get on with learning
- Safe Schools do not teach your children how to be gay or transgender
The fact is that your children will express their sexual preference at some point. If your child is transgender then they will also express this at some point. How you deal with that is your choice as a parent.
What I find distressing is that there is a need for Safe Schools at all. I recognise that their need is vital as evidenced by the tsunami of inaccurate and hateful articles proliferating in Australian media at the moment.
Finally, a word about to the Australian Christian Lobby. Real Christians have gay and lesbian and transgender and intersex children. Real Christians love those children, treasure them and recognise them as the mighty miracles they are. God does not make mistakes, therefore these amazing children are not mistakes, they are part of the diverse panoply of human existence and are loved in God’s eyes.