Incoming president Joe Biden has made plans to deliver LGBTQ+ rights legislation in the first 100 days. For the sake of 74 percent of his voters, he must deliver.
A large majority of Biden supporters are part of the LGBTQ+ community. According to NBC News, 74 percent of registered voters in the LGBTQ+ community had voted for Joe Biden. It would be fair for Biden to help the community in return for his success. With such a large amount of support from this group, LGBTQ+ history and background should be implemented into school education systems to prevent the violence and ignorance targeted towards those in that community.
Applying a class or lesson that includes the information and past of LGBTQ+ individuals will help educate society and create a more accepting environment.
For instance, take the derogatory slur often used to degrade gay men. The f-word has been normalized and used repeatedly by many people. The slur was first created due to the dark times where people who publicly announced their sexuality were burned and rolled up. Not only were the events terrible, but it creates a stereotype when it is intended as an insult.
In the article made by violencepreventionworks.org, 93 percent of teenagers hear derogatory words about sexual orientation every now and then. Undoubtedly, a large proportion of those who said it do not know the devastating past behind those words. Since people assume the word is a form of slang and use it of their free will without any repercussions. Using slurs made to offend and slander the LGBTQ+ without knowing the reason for its creation is very mindless.
With less ignorance towards the LGBTQ+, less bullying and harassment will transpire against the students who have come out. A large majority of students who openly come out are attacked by peers that do not support or agree with their sexual orientation.
Using these lessons, schools can create a better accepting environment for those willing to come out. High school students across the nation in homes with unaccepting and judgmental families are struggling to find support. Additionally, students who are in a homophobic household will likely be influenced by their parent’s mentality. Using the mindset that comes from their relatives, they could feel stressed and anxious from the lack of support surrounding them. This could lead to detrimental occurrences such as suicide, self-harm and depression. Bad mental health can arise from such an impactful negative atmosphere. If those people know that there are others looking out for them to close by, it will help tremendously. Giving a platform that educates students on a deeper level can help these kids gain an opinion and understanding of their own.
Furthermore, transgender people face a lot of backlash and discrimination from those who disagree with their “choices.” Instead of respecting their preferred pronouns, many people feel the need to harass and violate openly transgender people. There have been many reports and cases coming out to the public about how transgender individuals are being killed or violently attacked on the streets.
According to transequality.org, the number of transgender people murdered in 2020 has surpassed the previous year in just seven months. Moreover, many have been discriminated against by being denied service at restaurants or being publicly refused by stores. These actions are extremely problematic to those fighting for equality. Providing a lesson that includes a description of pronouns and what it means to be transgender can help the transgender community in many ways. Giving people an understanding can make them more open-minded and start supporting transgender individuals as human beings.
As schools are opening up, the United Kingdom is offering a new curriculum that will teach students about LGBTQ+ sexual education. In this, teachers are learning about sexual health regarding those who are queer and ways to teach their students how to be supportive colleagues and friends. They also plan to dispense information on contraception, consent and online safety. Those can contribute to the protection of many since those are major attributes to multiple problems such as teenage pregnancies and rape. Besides being a major power move, it represents a global shift towards acceptance and equality. These classes will help normalize the different sexual orientations and identities. To those struggling, these classes will supply a sense of validation, proving that they are not lesser than others.
In short, placing lessons and classes about LGBTQ+ will demonstrate a more inclusive and friendly state for students who are in conflict with who they are. Around this time period in high school, people tend to discover their sexual preferences. Many students start dating, but for many not seeing a representation of a same-gender relationship can negatively impact their feelings. They might think their emotions are invalid and perceive their desired relationship as rejection.
Now that there is a president who cares for this community in America, hopefully, Biden finds a way to implement LGBTQ+ portrayal into school systems.
A few supportive resources below:
Suicidal thoughts from sexual orientation: (866) 488-7386 or (800) 273-8255
Transgender hotline: (877) 565-8860.
Runaway Safeline: (800)-786-2929
Homelessness among the LGBTQ+: (212) 461-4401
Pride Institute: (800) 547-7433