Students deserve to be taught LGBTQ+ matters in classes

By Farah Bassyouni Sep 18, 2023

As American society grows, our ideals become more split. Not only are we fighting over issues of climate, economy and governmental interference with American policies, but also we are divided on the subject of social change, as well. There are many aspects of this subject that as a nation we disagree about. One aspect that has caused an uprising in social media for years is that of the rights to educate students on the topic of the queer community. However, there is a rising belief  America’s youth deserve to be educated on the subject of named sexual orientation.

As a modern society, people often like to label things. We like to have names to refer to in order to categorize our world. It’s why the Phoenicians created the alphabetic system we use today, and why we now have a dictionary where you can find the exact word for the exact thought you’re trying to express. Names are important to us. For that reason, teaching sexual orientation is integral in the social understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. After all, we are taught from a young age to describe each other with adjectives like romantic, smart, or  beautiful. Why is the adjective “gay”, “trans” or “asexual” any different? The education of these topics can encourage and create a well-versed society that understands respectful language. We may even create a society that prioritizes empathy and compassion for all types of individuals. Isn’t that an integral part of modern American ideology: that we are the land of the free where everyone is created equal?

Many who oppose this “radical social change” believe the education of sexual expression goes against their rights to preserve their religion. After all, children are very susceptible to what they hear, and what they see. Many argue that the education of “ideals against a certain religion” creates a standard of disrespecting religious identity. This opposition feeds into the American relationship with religion. There are many things in this country that were built on Christianity, like swearing on the Bible in court or pledging loyalty to “one nation under God.” We value religious identity as much as we value individual identity. However, it would be a mistake to prioritize any form of identity over another; religious and sexual identity can both have a place in education. 

I do not know whether the subject of LGBTQ+ education should be considered a “red herring” for other issues in politics. I do not know if we are setting our youth up for failure by not educating them on this subject of diversity. I do know one thing, though: I would much rather be influenced and have gained knowledge than to not be influenced and to have gained nothing. America should give equal opportunity to all children by educating them on all aspects of human life. This should include diversified cultural, racial, religious, and sexual identities. We are a species that seek knowledge. And in the words of Malala Yousafai, “ Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern or Western, it is human.”

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