The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is undoubtedly one of the most progressive countries in advocating LGBTQ rights, promoting diversity and inclusion. With the PM Boris Johnson in office several ministers from the community have been appointed. It seems that the voices of LGBTQ people will be finally heard and considered nationwide. Positive changes are visible, although quite slow.Starting from 2014 when same-sex marriage was legalized a bunch of new legislation has been introduced to ensure diversity and inclusion of the British society. Even though it was not an easy job, the society has gradually evolved and became much more tolerant to people that are somewhat different. That is more or less true when talking about adults, but what about the younger generation?
Here we have to admit that the situation is much more complicated than it could be seen at a glance. For the adult Brits, most of their lives passed with either ignorance of LGBTQ rights or going stealth to make life easier while struggling not to be themselves, being unable to express their feelings, emotions. The newly adopted legislation was just another regulation to obey for the former and a huge relief for the latter. Undoubtedly serving public good, the laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination and granting their fundamental rights is something never taught in school before. That is why to bring diversity and inclusion to the new level, mandatory lessons covering LGBTQ relationship are to be included in schools curriculum starting Fall 2020.
This fundamental shift is necessary and inevitable. To put it simple, it’s time for early homophobia prevention starting from primary school. The goal is pretty much clear: explain kids from a very young age that all people are different. This includes families of different composition (opposite-sex, same-sex, non-binary and much more…). If taught properly from primary school these subjects will have far reaching implications and will positively affect kids entire life. For instance, it will be much easier to make friends from “two-dads” or “two-moms” family and treat them respectfully regardless whatever. Isn’t it a dream? It is even hard to imagine to what extent teens life would be easier without sexualy-based bullying not talking about reduced rates of suicides. Grown up naturally tolerant, those kids will be able to prevent discrimination at a workplace based on personal preferences. The latter will make working process much more productive with the great minds involved to tackle complex problems that had been previously excluded as the members of LGBTQ community. The revolution in hearts and minds through education is one of the most promising ways to a better society.
However, not all the Brits share such beliefs. The reason is simple, although unexpected: diversity. The British society has been successfully incorporating people of different color, nationality, religious belief from the colonial times. They all brought to the UK cultural differences, customs and traditions of the motherland. Some of them came from the countries with either low levels of tolerance towards LGBTQ people or even those where same-sex relationships are illegal. Some of them have successfully accepted British values while others struggle to do so. It is, however, important to emphasize, that people are not left alone to solve their problems within local communities but are supported by the government that gradually implements new legislation to ensure equality. At the same time, the most conservative part of the society prefer to take initiative for protection of “traditional values”. The examples are numerous but here we mention Anderton Park Primary School where the most active parents keep protesting against inclusive curriculum. Do they have such right? Yes, they do. But it comes not only about themselves but also about their children. Those parents often refer to religious constraints. However, they forget something. Firstly, nobody enforces them to change their beliefs. No way. Secondly, their children are supposed to live in a society that is dramatically different from the one parents themselves were grown up in. Now, the vast majority of protesting parents do so due to religious concerns (as Muslims and Christians). Unfortunately, protests is not the only measure they come up with. While unable to stop the society progress such parents choose radical solution: withdrawal of their child from the class. However, by withdrawing children from specially designed classes teaching about LGBTQ people those parents simple deprive their children from an equal right of being educated. Moreover, they create potential problems for kids in the future. Even though not being taught about LGBTQ rights they will still have to obey existing laws and will be inevitably punished in case of violation. Does it have something in common with caring about your child and ensuring best future for him/ her/they? The answer is 100% negative.