LGBTQ+ is a topic widely discussed when it comes to acceptance in Trafford. There are many stigmas and misconceptions when it comes to accepting those – like myself – in the community. I am here to address these fallacies.
What is LGBTQ+
LGBTQ+ stands for ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning your own sexual identity/Queer plus’. The + sign represents the spectrum of different sexualities and genders. Though there is growing acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in the UK, some LGBTQ+ people still have fears and stigmas do still exist.
Being LGBTQ+ is something that is seen differently by different people. Some might see it as something that is a part of their unique identity, and something which makes them who they are. Others might see it as something which is completely normal and may prefer to think that it does not make them ‘unique’. You can choose to see being LGBTQ+ or any other sexuality however you wish but remember that you can be proud of who you are, just like anyone can. Anyone, whoever they are, whatever their sexuality, should be valued and treated the same!
Unfortunately, in today’s society, some people who are LGBTQ+ do still face some difficulties.
They may struggle to accept themselves
They may feel pressure from the community or from family
They may be more susceptible to mental health problems
They may fear coming out to people
Stigmas and Misconceptions
One of the most dangerous and destructive things in the world is shame. Shame can burrow into you so deep that it shrinks the brain and constricts the heart. Right now, a “row” – although it is not a row, which makes it sound harmless – is continuing between the teachers and parents of certain primary schools in parts of Birmingham and Manchester. The issue is that sex and relationship education is now part of the curriculum, with primary school children taught about healthy adult relationships and sex education compulsory in secondary schools, including LGBTQ+ relationships. Some parents have objected to this. WhatsApp groups have been set up. Loudspeakers have been bought.
There have been objections, too, to a programme called No Outsiders, which challenges homophobia. One parent, Amir Ahmed, told BBC News: “Morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have.” At the current count, five schools have pulled lessons as a result of protests.
This is heartbreaking. This is wrong. There are kids in these schools who are LGBTQ+, or who will go on to realise that they are LGBTQ+.
Some will say: Oh, I knew at the age of four. Others will fall in love with a mate at 50. I do not have a definitive answer to the question when it is asked of me. It does not matter. I couldn’t care less about the length of someone’s index and ring fingers. Labels do not have to matter either. What I know for sure is: it is not a choice. Who you love, who you are attracted to, who you share morning cups of tea with, who you pray for the safety of.
This is exactly the type of message the sex and relationship classes, and the No Outsider sessions, are designed to instil. They are there to say that different types of love and attraction are valid. They are there to cut out the shame at source. They are there to stop the word “gay” being thrown around as a playground insult, or as an adjective for crap trainers. To stop the word “f*ggot” from ringing in small ears and stay ringing there into adulthood.
However, some of these classes have led to miscommunication amongst young children leading to reluctance to talk about it which is the opposite point of the cause. The point of the classes is to encourage acceptance and welcoming warmth to those of all sexualities especially the LGBTQ+ community – not to encourage disgust or reluctance of the topic and rather to be proud of it. Hence this month - Pride Month from 1st June – 30th June it is the month to embrace our features, qualities and personalities and celebrate all things unique.