My Kid Educates Others – Before the Haters Get ‘EmPosted: October 3, 2011
My daughter began raising LGBT awareness amongst the playground set when she was only seven.
She has come up with numerous strategies for starting the conversation. Some begin on the swing set with “do you have a pet?” and then lead to her own gay awareness campaign.
Some begin in the classroom when they are doing worksheets with “do you know what gay and lesbian means?” When as is generally the case her listener says that they don’t know what gay means she gives them an age appropriate explanation, “men who love men and women who love women” sort of thing.
Then she moves on to gay rights.
More frequently these days she seems to end this discussion with coming out, if the conversation has gone well and she likes the person. She came out to her friends in second grade too, but only to a couple of her close friends.
She shares with me that she is afraid of being bullied in middle school. Yet she hasn’t reported a single negative word that any of her classmates have said to her. As a matter of fact, after a play date last weekend she said her friends made her promise not to tell anyone who is mean, because they couldn’t stand it if anyone was mean to her.
Is it possible that she is going to educate most of her elementary school cohort before the haters get to them?
It appears that the school is going to abdicate any role in LGBT awareness/sensitivity education other than some broad anti-bullying education. Thus, there is a vacuum that my girl is filling on her own.
She has chosen to do this on her own.* She was born a crusader – the kind of little girl who had a superhero alter-identity from an early age. She wore her costume after school, weekends, and holidays for years. So, being a gay superhero comes naturally to her self-conception.
I sure hope my little queer superhero makes the world a better one for herself by educating her peers, instead of being limited to coming out into a world of haters.
*I have my own queer identity and commitments but it never occurred to me to expect it in my child. LGBTness and queer equality was just a part of our world. Her lesbian identity and convictions are all her, separate from me. She was born this way and was lucky enough to be born into a community where she always had the language to describe who she is and the confidence to be herself.