Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let the Kids be Glad to Be Gay

In a recent article in the Toronto Star, I came across this breathtaking statement:

But there is a time and place for everything, said Rondo Thomas, of the Toronto-based Evangelical Association, but there is no “time and place” in an 8-year-old’s mind to try to make them conceptualize something beyond “tying their shoes.”

Really. So this is what these religious "leaders" think of the intellectual capacities of eight-year-olds. It makes about as much sense as their claim that the McGuinty government's new anti-bullying legislation is tantamount to pro-gay education. Logic is clearly not Thomas's—or his comrade in fanaticism, Charles McVety's—strong suit. (But then these are the same kinds of people who believe that pre-marital sex leads to dancing.)

But even if it were true—even if anti-bullying education of necessity raised the issue of homophobia (the word is mentioned in the new legislation) and other fears of difference, even it if raised it with eight-year-olds, or five-year-olds, for that matter—so what? When you have teenagers like Jamie Hubley and countless others still taking their own lives after being bullied for being gay, clearly anti-bullying education must tackle homophobia. Kids are never too young to "conceptualize" hate. Or love. Which concept comes to predominate in their thinking about themselves, and others who may be different from them, depends to a large degree on the way in which they are raised and educated.

So yes, bring on the anti-bullying, pro-gay legislation. In fact, I urge schools to hold a special pro-LGBT assembly every year, for kids from grades kindergarten to 12. I humbly suggest that the theme song for such an assembly be this classic by Tom Robinson:

(See also Separate Schools for LGBT Kids? and  Breeding Tolerance: Is it Possible.)