Editor: I have just read the Langley Times article, “Being LGBTQ is a choice, say parents” published online June 1.
I went to school in Coquitlam and I knew that I was gay when I was 12. I came out to my family — who were wonderful — at 14.
Even though I had a very supportive family, I chose not to come out in school because it was not safe for me. I enjoyed school and was an excellent student, but I spent my entire public school life hiding my sexuality.
I remember sex education in middle school. I remember it being useful, but I also very clearly remember that it omitted any information on sex that wasn’t heterosexual. More than just leaving me less prepared than some of my peers, the omission reinforced for me that I was different. It left me feeling isolated.
You’re making a step towards making schools safer and it will have real and important impacts on kids like me who are paying attention to how the adults in their life talk about sexuality and gender.
It matters what stance an institution takes, and when the Langley School District takes the stance that children should learn that “gay” is a different — but normal — kind of sexuality, those children like me feel safer.
So thank you for taking the stance you have and thank you for standing behind it in the face of criticism. You’re doing the right thing. And if those parents are not clear on the value of this kind of education, at least you can rest assured that their children will be.
I observed that one of the parents asked, “Why not incorporate parents into this part of education?” I happen to agree with them—I would fully support educating parents on diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity. It is clear that at least some of these parents need it.