I have come away from the LGBT Youth Scotland Reception at the Scottish Parliament feeling really upbeat.
The event was brilliantly compared by 2 MSYPs, C-Jay Quigley and Owen Brand, each of whom gave some testimony of their work. The opening performance by a group of young people highlighting the battle to repeal section 28 was atmospheric, thought provoking and PINK!
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary Repeal of Section 28
I have to say this bit did make me feel old as I spent my student days campaigning against the introduction of clause 28, a fight we lost in 1988. It was a shock hearing Thatcher’s voice squawking out of the ether proclaiming it was for the safety of the children – there are similar parallels to the current claim by some that transgender women’s rights need to be curtailed for the safety of “the girls/women.” It was brilliant hearing the stories of those who were on the frontline of the repeal in 2000.
I was a Secondary Teacher in London in the 1990s and Section 28 always hung over us. Because we knew that we had gay and Lesbian young adults in our classes, and we knew that we were failing them, in what we did not teach them, isolating them and failing society as we were creating divisions that still remain today. I was a trained Sex Education teacher, I wrote the year 9, 10 and 11 curriculum for my school. It did not mention the words Gay or Lesbian! I was radical though as the law said that we could not promote a gay or lesbian lifestyle, so I mentioned it in passing. I would mention using extra strong condoms and a water based lube for anal sex. And we discussed rimming!
Now I am a primary teacher and rimming is not mentioned. Well, not by me anyway and I would wonder what online age inappropriate videos are being watched online by the one or two boys (always boys) each year that want to discuss this or other more niche (can I say that?) practices.
Thank you to #LGBTYS for putting on a great, thought provoking event and taking me down (bad) memory lane.