I find it astounding that not only is the school doing little to tackle homophobia but is also refusing same sex couples at prom. Rather than let them be lazy towards the issue, I thought doing something about this issue may make a difference. I wrote a letter to the Senior Management of the school, and I hope to attach this petition along with it to demonstrate how many others want something to be done about the issue. Here is the letter..
Dear Senior Management,
I am writing as a pupil concerned with the homophobic attitudes that are prominent throughout the school. On a regular basis, I witness many of my homosexual friends experience torment when simply walking from class to class. I find the ignorance that dominates the minds of many in our school to be astounding.
Something desperately needs to be done about this issue. How would you feel if you could not walk around the school without having your sexuality used as a weapon against you? It’s not right, and I feel as if the school is lacking in effort to tackle this appalling attitude. Lesbian, gays and bisexuals are also 4 times likely to commit suicide. Not only does it have an impact on their perceptions of themselves, but it wrecks the experience of education. The National Gay and Lesbian taskforce found that those who are not straight are 5 times more likely to miss school due to feeling unsafe. 28% will even go as far as to leave school completely.
Throughout my education, the only part that focused on the subject of sexuality was one lesson in 5th year PSE. A video named “FIT” was shown, and although this video was both educational and entertaining, its impact is clearly minor. The fact that it was shown to 5th years, who have already molded their minds and formed their opinions and not 1st years who are in the process of learning about others and designing their views, is a great flaw. Education on the issue of sexuality so far on is blatantly going to have little impact. Not to mention, the briefness of the issue. To improve the problem of homophobia, it must be caught before it can be created. The stubborn mind that many teenagers claim will cling to the views they create early on and remain adamant to adjust. Prevention is key, and I feel the school is doing little to prevent this.
In addition to this, same sex couples being banned from prom also adds to the homophobic hysteria throughout the school. I find it completely shocking that students are not allowed to attend their prom with who they want to due to others feeling uncomfortable. In one case, a certain person missed out on attending their prom altogether due to this uncalled for rule. Prom is a night to celebrate the growth you have made through the duration of high school, but how can you celebrate the end results of your persona if some people aren’t allowed to merely express who they truly are with the people they truly care about? If same sex couples make people feel uncomfortable, then that is their personal issue and it should not prevent others from experiencing prom to the fullest. Nobody is asked to stare at these same sex couples, if you disapprove then simply keep your nose out and stay away. The Criminal Justice And Immigration Act 2008 grants freedom to express sexual orientation and by not allowing same sex couples the school is denying freedom to express, not to mention increasing the insecurities of many homosexuals in the school and encouraging more of these homophobic attitudes.
In allowing same sex couples for 2014, we will put a dent in homophobia and allow people to experience this event the way they want to experience it. We will promote expression of sexual orientation rather than restrict it and demonstrate the important fact that sexuality is merely a label, and it should not create boundaries or insecurities. With the concern of lack of education, I suggest perhaps an assembly on the issue for the entire school so we can come closer to broadening minds and killing the disease that is homophobia. Perhaps a group should be created in the school to offer education on issues of sexuality and support for those who are victims of homophobic fiends. I volunteer all my help on the issue, and I am sure I can find a number of others who would be willing to help. 97% of high school students report hearing homophobic remarks regularly. Something needs to be done, and it must start now.
Jon Meacham said “If a person is homosexual by nature - that is, if one's sexuality is as intrinsic a part of one's identity as gender or skin color - then society can no more deny a gay person access to the secular rights and religious sacraments because of his homosexuality than it can reinstate Jim Crow.” I could not agree with this statement more.
So yeah, sign if you agree and hopefully something can be done :)