Sydney’s Burwood Girls’ High School has gained public attention over controversy about showing the documentary ‘Gayby Baby’ made by former student Maya Newell who was raised by her mother and her mother’s lesbian partner. After a reported backlash, the school assured that seeing the film about same – sex parents was optional, even though they assured there hadn’t been any complaints. According to “The Daily Telegraph”, that wasn’t the case.. According to Mamamia, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli came out and said the airing of the film during school hours was inappropriate.
Opponents such as the local Presbyterian minister has worried that the school was pushing a ‘political agenda’ and promoting the ‘gay lifestyle’ onto students.
I’ll be honest, I’m not against the opt – out option, like they have (or at least did have), for Special Religious Instruction (SRI). However I do believe that PUBLIC SCHOOLS have a responsibility to not discriminate against people based on sexuality or gender identity of either the students or their families. I’m pretty sure it’s in NSW law for public schools not to discriminate against students, staff and families based on factors like sexual orientation.
Also, LGBTQI+ students NEED to feel safe in school. A conversation about non – straight students need to happen. I feel very strong about this because it can be isolating. It can be frightening for a young person to realise their not straight. and that’s even BEFORE bullying actually occurs!
I’ve got to comment about the whole ‘lifestyle’ comment before it drives me crazy. NOTE TO CRITICS: THIS IS NOT ABOUT SEX!!!! The whole obsession with sex has hijacked the debate. People who are same – sex attracted are not all sex – obsessed! It’s a lot more complicated than that. In my asexuality blog, I write quite extensively about same – sex attracted people. I deliberately use phrases like ‘LGBT+’or ‘same – sex attracted’ because usually, I’m talking about more than just the gay community. Same with this. I don’t doubt that asexuals in homoromantic relationships, biromantics, etc are in the same situation and I believe that their voices should be heard too.
Look, I know this is all controversial and will undoubtedly make people feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t make this any less important. Agreement won’t always be possible, doesn’t mean that things like LGBT+ people and families should be ignored.