Johann Hari comments in the Independent on the posturing that there is a ‘gay agenda’ dominating UK politics. He elaborates that this is clearly false, as the suicide statistics show in regards homosexual kids.
Prejudice has no place in society. Lets accept that as a given. One LGBT charity proposed that there is ‘homosexuality orientated’ lessons in schools, and I think the idea is excellent.
I’m a straight male, but I’m someone who is strongly against bullying, prejudice and all the despicable things that human beings sometimes get up to. Anti-homosexual attitudes, do not develop in a vacuum. I remember that at school being called ‘gay’ was an extremely strong insult. I have no idea what that did to my homosexual male friends. We live in still a very homophobic society, the lack of an openly gay Soccer player in the Premiership is one example of this. Gareth Thomas’ bravery in Rugby Union and League is extremely heartening, I believe he is the first openly gay Rugby player. He is also quite frankly one of the best professionals I’ve seen in the modern game, as evidenced by his record for Wales and the Lions.
So lets examine the proposal mentioned in Hari’s article.
They [Schools Out the LGBT charity] gave out a voluntary information pack in which they suggested that, to mark LGBT History Month, teachers acknowledge the existence of gay people in their lessons. They could teach in history about how Alan Turing played a vital role in saving the world from the Nazis and paved the way for the invention of the computer, only to be hounded to death for being gay. They could learn in science that homosexuality occurs in hundreds of species of animals. They could – yes! – maybe even look in maths lessons at the census data, figuring out how prevalent gay people are.
It sounds an excellent suggestion, Turing is a tragic story of what happens when prejudice takes one of a countries finest minds. It is also an example of how we can’t change how we actually are. Perhaps that is the most important thing to actually teach – that our sexual orientation like our hair colour is genetic and innate. Teaching I believe should fight some of the prejudices that students come in with, in Physics we challenge the naive Aristotle-ism that students have and introduce Newtonian Physics.
The persecution of Oscar Wilde could serve as an interesting discussion in English or History classes, students form self images on their own. I think it is obvious that such policies would go a long way to getting rid of ugly prejudices.
So we absolutely should teach about homosexuality in schools, we could teach that between 3 and 10 percent of all societies are homosexual, we could also teach children how to spot homophobic arguments like those put forward by some of the Daily Newspapers in the UK. Now THAT would make the world a better place.