Gay Rights: The Forgotten Movement

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Let’s face it, the British education system could be worse, granted we have had some ‘interesting’ characters attempting to ‘improve’ it but in all honesty the average person on the street would make more an improvement than Gove ever did. In fact, here’s something I think would be worth adding to a specification in education – I call it the forgotten movement.

We are taught two major equal rights movements in school; Black Civil Rights and Women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. We are encouraged to remember those who struggled to achieve them such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Emily Pankhurst but one such movement that is denied much exposure is the Gay rights movement.  Are we to assume that people who fought for gay equality such as Harvey Milk and the Wolfenden Committee (a group I am certain a number of us have never even heard about) are not as important as the names we can all recall from our history classes? 

I must make clear that I do not believe that teachers are to blame for this overlook as I am perfectly aware that they already have a tough enough job being expected to teach troublemaking students and dealing with irate parents who do not understand that teachers cannot be blamed for their children skipping school and getting bad grades. I blame the education sector itself! Perhaps it is due to Thatcher’s introduction of Section 28 in Britain which banned the teaching of homosexuality in fear of promoting it in 1986 until its long needed abolishment in 2003 which has left a gap in the education sector. However, can we truly accept that such a major movement is still being ignored in all history specifications for over a decade now? With the upcoming release of Warchus’ Pride this year, could there soon be a change to this in the classroom?

Organizations such as Stonewall seem to have been just that; ‘Stonewalled’ out of children’s education and instead they have, under Gove’s ruling, been indoctrinated into the Church of England through the introduction of King James Bibles throughout British schools. It seems to me that rather than children becoming ‘corrupted’ for learning about homosexual liberal rights they have been forced to accept religious doctrine in school. The smell of hypocrisy is stagnant.

Shouldn’t we be enforcing equal rights in school? It is no wonder so many people remain in the closet for so long. Just because homosexuality is not as obvious to see as skin colour or gender does not mean it is not just as important. In fact, it is quite significant because of the fact that it can’t be seen. We can’t allow our children to grow up the repressed and naïve way we did. We all know someone in school that was bullied for being different, some of us even were that kid so surely the possibility to educate kids about what it means to be gay and what homosexuals have fought for in order to prevent just one kid from being verbally abused with homophobic slurs is worth the change.

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