LGBTQ + MATTERS ADDRESSED IN OUR SCHOOL?!
IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO US!
During English class we read the book “Everyday“ written by David Levithan which is about A, a genderless soul taking over the life of a new person each day and falling in love with a girl. Which you can imagine is very queer. Not “queer“as in “weird“ but as in LGBTQ+.
Now you may ask yourself: What does “LGBTQ+“mean? Fear not my dear reader, for I have the answer!
It stands for:
Q ueer / uestioning
+ more sexual orientations and identities that are not heterosexual
Since we do not normally talk about these matters in class, we invited an expert: Vincent Maron a transgender man who works for Schmit-z which is a meeting point for all people belonging to the queer community. Aside from being a bar they also offer workshops, counseling and have a youth center.
And what did we do?
First Vincent asked us if we came across this topic before and most of us did not until we read the book. We then played a game where we had to arrange cards with terms describing gender identities, biological sex and sexual orientation on the board.
Afterwards we wrote anonymous questions on pieces of paper which he read out loud and answered. Vincent was very open minded, told us about his personal stories and gave us advice.
So? What did we learn?
Life is far more divers than we actually think! Gender is a spectrum and there is a huge difference between biological sex and your actual identity. There are not only men and women in this world. Have you ever heard of intersex people? Or maybe non-binary? What about genderqueer? Same thing with your sexual orientation. Not everyone is heterosexual. Your own neighbor could be homosexual or bisexual, maybe even pan- or asexual. How could you know?
The most important thing is to have an open spirit and educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask question as long as you don’t hurt anyone
It was such a wonderful, eye-opening experience that we wish for everyone to have it. Especially younger people who still try to find themselves and don’t know where they belong to yet.
LGBTQ+ matters should be compulsory lessons in our curriculum, since students spend so much time at school they should feel like it is a safe place for them to be open. It should be something we can talk about freely and it should be regarded as something totally normal.
With that in mind don’t forget: love is love, gender is a social construct and you are free to be who you want to be.
(Jessica Kimmlinger, Paula Harlin and Lara Bermes, Year 12)