A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Kids About Gay Rights
There have been many developments since the late 1990s concerning the LGBT community, many of which have been groundbreaking and seen as controversial. Kids and teens have felt this change just as much as adults but have been largely unable to handle or even discuss the ramifications that come from treating those who identify as gay or bisexual as different. Many children don’t understand that being gay is no different than being a different color or nationality, and should not be the basis upon which one human being judges another.
To younger children, who are typically without prejudice unless indoctrinated at a young age, there is no difference between a person who identifies as gay and a person who identifies as hetero. To teens the issue is a bit more complicated as during the teenage years many kids have numerous questions about sexuality and what it means. For children of all ages though it is important to impart the belief that all persons are equal no matter their color, gender, or sexual orientation. Below are a few ways to go about teaching kids about gay rights in a way that might make more sense.
1) Identify what being “gay” really means.
The term “gay” is thrown around as a personal insult, an adjective, and used in many other instances to describe or deride an action or an object. Explaining what it means in terms of how people live can help younger kids to better understand that it is a description of sexual choice. In removing the negative aspect of the word it is possible to teach children and teenagers that belonging to the LGBT community does not justify the denial of certain rights that are available to anyone else.
2) It is important to teach respect for others without citing their differences.
Members of the LGBT community are just as human as any other individual. Their life choices do not make them bad people, and it is important to allow children and teenagers to know this. The rights afforded to other individuals are a necessity for everyone, not just those who are compliant with how others believe that people should act. In the most basic terms the laws of the land are supposed to apply to everyone, or they will apply to no one.
3) The rights of every person should be the same.
As adults we know this is not always the case, no matter that it should be. In the mind of a child fairness is always necessary, and in describing this issue it will soon become clear that not everyone is given the same opportunities. By allowing children to ask questions and discuss the reasons behind why the LGBT community are not given the same rights it can open up a discussion that can help to answer questions and broaden their horizons. If the point is made correctly it could go a long way towards inspiring future generations to remedy the faults of their predecessors.