This ridiculously offensive ad popped up in my twitter stream tonight.
I’ve written about this before, first lauding the proposed changes to the physical education and health curriculum, then expressing my disappointment when the provincial government caved to the complaints of those who’d prefer their children not learn that theirs is not the only way to live in this world.
Talking to kids, even kids in junior kindergarten to grade 3 about sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and healthy relationships is critical. And you don’t have to just take my word for it. I showed the ad to my daughter tonight, because I was curious about her opinion. Currently a grade 4 student, her class was visited by a social worker last spring to talk about just these issues. She gave me her permission to transcribe her thoughts:
Do you agree with that ad?
No, I do not agree with that ad because kids should learn this sort of stuff in elementary school so that when they’re older and they don’t know what this stuff is, then that will be a problem.
What do you mean, it will be a problem?
‘cause if teenagers and adults don’t know about this sort of stuff, then they basically won’t be able to, you know, go through parts of life.
What’s “this sort of stuff?”
Like, the meaning of lesbian and gay and, sexual attractions. It is totally okay if you’re say, a boy and you feel like a girl or if you’re a girl and you feel like a boy.
So. There you have it. She also told me that all of her classmates were happy to have a forum to have this conversation, and all of them felt safe and supported in doing so. They had a chance to ask questions and clarify misconceptions. They did so with their peers in a very relaxed way. For these kids (and, full disclosure, she goes to a bit of a hippy arts-based alternative public school, so most of the parents are pretty liberal to begin with), having a conversation at school about sexual orientation and gender identity was just … normal.
Because it is, in my Canada. Normal. My Canadian cultural norm represents the diversity of my community. My Canadian values are directly influenced by my cultural norms. It’s normal for my children, in a way that hate and discrimination are not.
Oh, also, once again, shame on you, National Post. Shame, for publishing this.