Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gay Students at school

What a wonderful article written by a young gay student
We're here, we're queer, we're still in high school
So different from when I was at school , there was no internet and homosexuality was never discussed and unfortunately it is even different today from some church schools which are suppose to provide a caring environment judging from some of the comments.
In my occasional work at state schools, I have seen openly gay teachers chatting about their situation with their students. Of course anti-discrimination and support is the official stance in state schools and the teachers' union but I am not sure if it is always the case in practice. I was able to be completely open in a senior Catholic school in the 80's but it was difficult. However I still receive some messages of thanks from gay students of that time. Some I knew and could counsel, others remained hidden and only now are able to speak openly of their situation.
The comments are also interesting. Only a few show anti-gay prejudice.


Davis said...

Very heartening to read this lovely piece. Amazing isnt it? that kids can be so brave and come out like this and yet so many older folks are so fearful.

Thanks for posting this!

HUC said...

Most interesting - and heartening - that you should post this. I have just had an email from a friend who describes a conversation with a colleague who had just been told by her sister that her 15-year-old nephew, the sister's son, was gay.

I am writing from Canada, where protection from descrimination based on sexual orientation has worked its way through the legal system in varioius ways, we have had prominent gay politicians and same-sex marriage is a legal reality.

Despite all that, though, the son has several gay friends who have each attempted suicide, according to the 15-year-old,and my friend, who is in his 40's, assured me that the pressure on gay teenagers can still be that strong. He went on to point out a small example of it which was that,while talking to him, every time the colleague came to the word "gay" she would whisper it. "He told his mother that he is **gay**." The inability to say it out loud is a denial of our existence and our equality, he said, and it sends an insidious and powerful message that we are bad. And kids get message, loud and clear. It can lead to addiction, self-loathing,suicide, and self-isolation or withdrawal.

So I'm glad to read that things are looking up.

Brian R said...

Thanks for your comment lifthineeyes. Things are looking up but still there is a long way to go. It is still very difficult to be a gay teenager even in the most liberal societies