A familiar story for a lot of us, this is why we need a sex ed curriculum that gives kids ALL the facts they need. For other stories, see the full article here.
“The sex ed I got in my small, northern Ontario public high school around 2001 included NO mention of the existence of homosexuality that I can recall. It may have been in printed literature but my Grade 9 health and phys. ed teacher didn’t mention it, that’s for sure. I didn’t get any before that in public school apart from a nurse from the public health unit showing us how to put a condom on a banana.
There was only one openly gay person in my high school of around 1,000 people. When I was in Grade 10, he fatally shot himself with a shotgun. Nobody at the school officially acknowledged his death (perhaps because it was suicide) but the message was that nobody cares about gay kids. I literally felt like I might be the only one left after he died.
However, my outdoor education teacher in Grade 11 told us that as many as 10 per cent of people are LGBTQ. He said that in our class of 25, at least a couple of us would be gay and that was normal. (At least two of us are, I later found out.) Even though I had read that fact many times before online, hearing a teacher say it gave it legitimacy and made things a lot better for those of use who were in the closet or still figuring out our sexuality.
We should never underestimate how important it is for teachers in particular to talk about this stuff, because a lot of well-meaning parents are too afraid to get into it, or don’t have the facts. Mine didn’t.”