Over the past month I've been witnessed to outrage over LGBTQA+ Pride month. People asking why teach our children about gay and trans people? It’s like asking why would we acknowledge that some children are born with brown eyes, some blue, some green and many some where in between? Well, because raising our children to be compassionate, socially aware humans that love themselves and others is our duty. And children should know that humans don’t come in one homogeneous form, despite how media often portrays them.
Humans, as all natural beings, are diverse. That diversity is what keeps us evolutionarily hardy, beautiful, and interesting.
Are we also hesitant to acknowledge that people have different textured haired?
Different skin tones?
Different physical and mental abilities?
That being a boy or girl or somewhere in between can be expressed in unique ways both on interpersonal and physical levels?
The fact is, some kids have a mom and dad at home. While others are raised by single parents or have two dads or two moms or blended families. The goal is to provide a loving, stable environment for our children, however that is created.
10%+ of the human population self-identifies as somewhere on the queer spectrum. That means however we identify, we’re ALL connected to people who identify as something other than heterosexual and cis-gendered. Children should feel comfortable talking about their loved ones and to explore their own unique ways of showing up in the world.
In these conversations the topic of attraction and sex and how we are supposed to introduce the concepts to children inevitably arises. There’s a different way to discuss sexuality with people at different maturity levels— but it’s never too early to teach a child:
It’s okay to be drawn to whomever we’re drawn to.
The anatomical names of body parts.
That some of those parts are extra pleasurable to touch but should be done in designated, private safe spaces.
That no one, child or adult, no matter the relationship, gets to touch them ANY WHERE without expressed permission which they can rescind if they are no longer comfortable with it.
That they don’t have to touch any one, any where if that makes them uncomfortable.
They must ask permission before touching another.
If they ever feel uncomfortable, they should come seek a trusted adult before moving forward.
And from my perspective I believe that while their bodies are still maturing, it’s best they explore their bodies and those spots for themselves and wait until they are mature to let other’s do any exploring on them.
If we find it difficult there are great resources to read and watch to help prepare us for these discussions.
For tips on how to speak to children about these topics check out these resources:
However you show up in the world, know that you are LOVED!
It can sometimes get lost in the glitter and fanfare, but the pride parade is a sparkly form of protest. It’s essential to show people that no matter how or who we peacefully love or how we lead our lives, we are allowed to safely, joyfully, and proudly exist.
We’re climbing on the shoulders of those who pushed for equality and equity and picking up where they left off. It’s our task to ensure that we and all future generations have ownership of our own bodies, equality and equity in all realms— legally, economically, politically, and socially.
May today and every day we embrace love, bodies, and brains in all their forms and let go of thoughts of expected norms. And let us take this time to remember all of those that sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their lives, safety, careers, and comfort to allow the next generations to live an open, healthy and peaceful life.