lesson plans

We Should Be Teaching Kids About Gays and Lesbians. Well, Here’s How

When you mention the possibility of teaching — in schools! — young kids about what The Gay is all about, some people freak out and, like a mother throwing her arm around her child sitting shotgun in the car, get all protective. They think even a conversation about homosexuality means seven-year-olds will be learning about anal sex. And yet somehow, when a teacher posits a “boyfriend and girlfriend split the dinner check” to explain an arithmetic problem, or tackles the whole “how babies are made” question, the possibility of telling kids about penis-in-vagina sex isn’t such a big concern. But it turns out, there is a way to talk to young people, even grade school kids, about gays. And not only is it possible, it’s crucial.

Sure, there are some television ads that can help the anti-gay adults change their feelings. But core values — like selflessness, personal responsibility, and racism! — are instilled in youth, which means familiarizing little boys and girls with The Gays might one day keep them from being on the giving end of a gay bashing.

Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. They’re often more perceptive than we. And as the film It’s Elementary shows, we’d be doing a disservice not to engage them in responsible conversations about queers. This isn’t about indoctrinating anybody into the homosexual lifestyle. This is about fostering a generation of Americans who disavow hatred, vitriol, and intolerance aimed at friends and loved ones.

Just don’t send a screener of It’s Elementary to this school, k?