Allow for LGBTQ Sexual Ed to be Taught at all High Schools in Virginia Beach.

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As an LGBTQ student in the Virginia Beach City Public School System, our current curriculum for sexual education does not adequately teach LGBTQ students proper sexual education as it relates to them. This is a form of indirect- discrimination against the LGBTQ community. My goal is to advocate for a brief, 15- 20-minute lesson to all Health and PE classes at Princess Anne Highschool incorporated into the already existing Sexual education.  By signing this petition, you support and demand the VBCPS school board to allow the teaching of LGBTQ sexual education at Princess Anne Highschool in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

" No, lesbian gay and bisexual orientations are not disorders, " according to the American Psychological Association. Even with this consensus among mental health professionals, people still question if LGBTQ, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community should be accepted. The answer is quite simple yet many people still do not accept people who identify their sexual orientation as something other than straight, even 2017. I believe LGBTQ people should have the same rights as their straight peers and they should be accepted because they did not choose their sexual orientation and they just want to love who they want to love.         

The American Psychological Association has said that to date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy and a person sexual orientation is safe or effective. Throughout Middle School, I had crushes on girl classmates and what I now know where crushes on boys. When I was in 8th grade looking back at the past 3 years of my life I realized I was bisexual. Despite trying to make myself straight out of fear of what my life would be like if I came out, I couldn't deny this part of my life any longer and I began to come out to my friends first and then a couple months later was able to come out to my family. My uncle was able to empathize with me because he himself is gay. This whole experience has taught me to be kind and accepting of others and their differences even if I don't understand them. Therefore I believe that a person sexuality is not a choice and it cannot be changed nor should it be changed even though harmful practices such as conversion therapy a practice aimed at changing one sexual orientation exist.

Ellen DeGeneres, a famous TV show host, arguably one of the most influential people when it comes to LGBTQ rights. She is famously married to, Portia DeRossi, an Australian and American actress, and philanthropist. On her show, it always ends by saying be kind to one another. She's preaching kindness and acceptance to everyone regardless of if you are part of the LGBTQ community. Ellen is part of the LGBT community herself but she doesn't let that become the only thing she is known for. She is famous for her unique sense of humor, kindness, and generosity the latter being why I respect her the most. Yes, she sticks up for herself and the LGBT community when needed including to members of the LGBT community, such as Caitlyn Jenner. She isn't just a lesbian celebrity. She is an admirable, highly-regarded person that is kind to those even if they may be unkind to her. Thanks to people like Ellen DeGenerous, members of the LGBTQ community can take a bypass just being seen as a member of the LGBTQ community but instead be seen as much more than that they can be seen as members of the military, doctors,  lawyers, teachers, business owners and maybe one day politicians. When I first saw Ellen Show, care who she like romantically. She was just hilarious! There's so much more work to be done on this topic but I am thankful for the impact improvement I have already seen so it is one of the people I can thank for allowing me to unapologetically exist just as I am and not fear consequences

No one in the LGBT community chose to be different in regards to the sexuality nor are they trying to achieve anything but being able to love and not be judged for it; as a matter of fact, this should be a basic right! I will not rest until people realize that sexual orientation is not a choice and LGBTQ people are able to love whoever they want to love without fear of consequence. The only way for the world to change by ordinary citizens and people with a platform defending and advocating for LGBTQ people regardless of their sexual orientation. In addition to this, start a conversation about it, put something on social media supporting LGBTQ rights, and if you want brownie points, volunteer to help elect government officials in any capacity who you know will defend and support LGBTQ people in every aspect. If you don't have time to volunteer then just vote for the person and encourage others to because they support LGBT rights. If you have children, let them know, when you believe they've reached an age where they are mature enough to handle the topic, that it's okay to be gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. If I was told at a young age that is completely normal and natural to be bisexual or gay I would have came out a lot sooner. This positive reinforcement may not seem like much, but I am telling you as a member of the LGBTQ community this could change someone's life. If your child, a family member or friend comes out to you, support them in every way possible and let them know that you're there for them. We're almost in the year 2018. I have to seen for so many years the ignorant and bigoted comments about the LGBTQ community, what it stands for, if sexuality is a choice, or how it makes you horrible person just because you're a little bit different. I am beyond frustrated and out of patience for this type of ignorance to live in the United States of America any longer or in any part of the world for that matter. I understand people have different points of view or they may believe that their religion says it is not okay to be gay or bisexual, and that's fine. You can hold whatever beliefs you choose to believe because I believe that you should have the right to, but that same right that I know that you have is similar to the right I have to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am not just bisexual. I am a person who believes in helping people and I want to become a politician one day because that is the best way I know how to help and make a difference. I am unapologetically proud of who I am regardless of who I like romantically; therefore other people should be proud of who they are regardless of their backgrounds jobs, passions, belief, race, and who they love. In life, you make many choices. One of mine will be will be to fight for the LGBTQ people with the strength, courage, and bravery of a thousand men.

- Connor Eppley


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