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Supporting Queer Youth: Advocating for Healthy Outcomes in Education

Supporting Queer Youth

The inclusion of resources in schools that reflect the experiences of 2SLGBTQ people and youth is an important step towards creating a more equitable and welcoming learning environment for all students as well as contributing to overall healthy outcomes. There is a rise in hate crimes, targeted harassment, and online bullying against the queer community, linking to suicide ideation, self-harm and mental health issues. It is more important now than ever for queer youth to feel supported. Unfortunately, there are still some who argue against such resources, claiming that they sexualize children. This argument is harmful.

It is important to understand why the argument that 2SLGBTQ resources sexualize children is harmful. This argument perpetuates harmful myths and stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ people and youth, suggesting that their very existence is inherently sexual and therefore inappropriate for children to learn about. This attitude erases the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQ individuals, and reinforces the idea that their identities and relationships are abnormal or deviant. This can lead to feelings of shame and isolation for 2SLGBTQ students, and can contribute to a school environment that is unwelcoming and unsafe for them.

The inclusion of resources that reflect 2SLGBTQ experiences can have a number of positive benefits for all students. It helps to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for 2SLGBTQ students, who may otherwise feel invisible or excluded. By acknowledging the existence and experiences of 2SLGBTQ people, schools send a message that all students are valued and respected, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can help to reduce the isolation and marginalization that 2SLGBTQ students may feel, and can contribute to a safer and more supportive school environment.

The inclusion of 2SLGBTQ resources can benefit all students by promoting diversity and encouraging empathy and understanding. Learning about the experiences of people from different backgrounds and identities can help to broaden students’ perspectives and challenge stereotypes and prejudices. By exposing students to a range of diverse perspectives and experiences, schools can help to cultivate a more tolerant and inclusive community, where all students feel seen and valued.

It is important to note that the inclusion of 2SLGBTQ resources does not mean that schools are promoting or encouraging any particular sexual behavior. Rather, it is simply a recognition of the existence and diversity of 2SLGBTQ people and youth, and a commitment to creating a more inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all students. By suggesting that these resources sexualize children, opponents of 2SLGBTQ inclusion are perpetuating harmful stereotypes and erasing the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQ individuals.

The alarming rates of rising violence against 2SLGBTQ people, the statistics showing the level of bullying and harassment, as well concern for the mental health of queer youth are all indicative that we need to be doing more to support youth by providing appropriate resources and standing up against willful attacks on these resources and our educations system.

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Related Media Articles:

Advocate urges Central Okanagan school board to do more to protect LGBTQ students and staff

Central Okanagan schools face up to queer youth harassment


Bullying among sexually and gender diverse youth in Canada


Gay-straight alliances contribute to a safer school climate long-term

Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre

ARC Foundation – SOGI 123

Resilience in Minority Stress of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgender People