This month The Guardian newspaper have reported that; in the next school year (2020), children will be taught LGBT+ inclusive lessons. They report that, not only does this give better representation for young people who are still working out who they are, it provides a broader understanding of the different types of people throughout society including the different families people come from. It may provide a better sense of inclusivity for young people who are being told that it is okay to be part of the LGBT+ community. (1)
Members of the LGBT+ community have been found to be at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems which has been linked to discrimination and bullying (2). By informing young people in schools about the LGBT+ community it can create a better understanding of the issues that LGBT+ people go through which will hopefully reduce bullying rates and provide a more accepting community to LGBT+ members throughout their school experience. This is expected to foster a more inclusive society in the future.
Some of the topics which will be addressed in schools are expected to be:
- Understanding different types of families such as the traditional style, blended families with step parents and adopted parents and LBGT+ families with 2 mums or 2 dads.
- Sex education for all types of couples from hetero-normative to homosexual, giving better understanding of safe sex practices with partners of different and the same genders as well as healthy relationships.
- Discussions of gender including transgender, gender fluid and non-binary; showing students that all of these identities are valid.
This educational shift could be transformative in the way future generations view each other, with tolerance and acceptance of everyone’s differences which, it’s hoped, will lead to a reduction in mental health problems in the future.