“Boy or girl?”
Are they the only choices?

Hi,

It’s been said about buses that you wait for ages and then two come along at once. So it seems with training requests at Chameleons. Nothing for a few months and now, there’s three on the go.

Not that I am complaining, I must add. It’s a chance to get out, try and help out would-be allies, and – if we’re lucky – top up the group’s funds a little. Balancing it all with privacy and work is the tricky part. Luckily, Val has offered to help with one of the events, bless her.

I think that education is key when it comes to talking about transgender matters. It’s not just the stuff about terminology – which frankly, confuses me a lot of the time too – but about how to treat a trans person and how you might be able to help them.

With the above in mind, this week there’s been a few articles in the news about LGTBQ+ education in schools. Now, there are some who argue that children should be children and that stories about how people have different relationships can be confusing.

Here’s the thing: you can cure confusion. Spend a bit of time studying the subject, maybe ask a few questions, and what you thought was complex can be unpicked. Plus, there’s no shame in getting things wrong – it’s just an opportunity to learn.

If I look back to my own childhood, I knew I was different from the other kids. Not better or special, just different. Boy or girl? Are they the only choices? 🙂 Perhaps it was (or is) true for some of the other children in my class all those years ago, but if it was, I don’t know.

I do look back – but not with regret – and I wonder, how life might have been different if we’d not had Clause 28, but that we’d listened, discussed, and tried to understood that there a lot of people in the world and not everyone is the same.

When I listen to Wee Man talk about his classmates, the fact that some are in straight or gay relationships is neither here nor there. It’s just an everyday thing for Wee Man’s generation and I think that’s fantastic.

A photo from the Gender Spectrum Collection.

Funny, after all the nonsense about trying to hush schools in the 80s on talking about being gay, here we are again in 2019, with another group of people trying to keep the kids from learning.

A hint to parents who think like this: trust me, we’ve already started on our journey. We already know and sometimes, that’s really scary. Maybe instead of saying we’re not ready to hear about gay people and trans folk, maybe we could learn together and just be there for each other? Maybe we don’t have to make up our minds now. Maybe we might think we’re one thing, but maybe we’re not. It’s okay to change, isn’t it? To grow, to think, to try, and maybe, just maybe, to accept and be ourselves.

L x

17 Comments

  1. Loved the post! Glad to find more content like this that I enjoy and is similar to what I like to write about on my blog. One issue is, now that I found you…where is the button to follow your blog? I can't seem to find it on your page. Take care! By the way, my blog is called shannyncomesalive.blogspot.com if you are interested.

    1. Hi Shannyn. Thanks for the kind feedback on the post. There's a load more blogs on the links to the right too.

      So, following this one: good question. Both Chrome and Firefox have ditched RSS (boo!) as part of the browser.

      You could add this blog's URL to "blogs I like" on your own blog. Alternatively, you could use a site like Blogloving or Feedly. Again, both work by copying the URL.

  2. So there is a "Followers" gadget that works really well that I use, and I see on many blogs. Since I've been reading here, I can see those posts in my reading list, but I usually forget that is there, lol, do if I follow you I would get an email when there is a new post. Happy Sunday!

    1. No worries 😉 . In return perhaps you could return to my blog and explain your Rhianna (non-)reference? I don't know anything about her – or Rihanna either – sorry 😳

  3. Re your comment about Wee Man and his classmates. Schools, authorities and politicians seem to forget that kids talk to each other and operate under the misguided impression that they are controlling the agenda rather than lagging five to ten years behind it.

    1. That does seem the case, Susie. There's that old line: "culture eats policy for breakfast" 😁

      I had a look at some of the books some folk were upset about and I did wonder what the fuss was about. But, hey, maybe I'm one of those metropolitan elites who go around being accepting and suggesting tolerance (with my two A levels and from my house in the sticks 😉).

      Little Miss and Mrs J watched Glee on streaming and the presence/importance of BAME/LGBTQ+ characters in the cast surprised us a little. But, given Mrs J and I are from an era were there was shock! horror! (irony) two women kissing LA Law, it's taken a while for mainstream TV to catch up. Perhaps not too dissimilar to your point about government.

      To Little Miss, however, those characters that would have been groundbreaking in the 90s, were just a non-issue for her.

  4. Just this morning I counted five LGBTQ related titles in the YA section of the local library, including 'So you're Gay, what now?' and Meredith Russo's 'If I was Your Girl' (I'm reading through the latter at the moment). So as long as schools continue to teach kids how to read…

    1. Word of mouth too on a good story. Things get around and books get shared between families and friends. Sure, it's fiction, but if that helps people feel okay about themselves and boosts empathy to others, that sounds okay to me. Just as long as there are no 'just misunderstood' sparkly vampires 😋

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