You can help make sure all kids get #BetterSexEd, yes you! 🍌
Use Level Up's free online tool to easily respond to the government's consultation on LGBTQ+ sex ed
Level Up. #BetterSexEd
Okay, let's just take a moment here... take a deep breath in, close your eyes — wait stop, that doesn't work for an online article...
Still. Imagine yourself if you're able to, back at school, aged around thirteen, probably with a ridiculous haircut, having some kind (if any) of sex education class...
If you're a millenial like me, yes, you probably had at least one hour slotted in somewhere during those 16 or 18 years at school dedicated to rolling condoms onto bananas and being shown particularly detailed images of genital warts with the odd tampon thrown in here and there if you were lucky... but that was it.
And as for queer sex? Absolutely not, kids.
In fact, many of us reading this were probably educated, at least in part, under Section 28, the 1988 amendment which stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".
“I went to a north London comprehensive in the 00s where, as far as I know, not one kid was "out" as LGBT," remembers Anya Pearson, guitarist for queer punk band Dream Nails.
"Homophobia was rife, something which no doubt contributed to me not coming out til relatively late. We were told that homophobia was "wrong" but none of the sex education or PSHE lessons, as they were called then, reflected the fact that some of us might be queer ourselves.
“Though section 28 was repealed in 2003, I felt its shadow for a long time at my school. My teachers were still unsure what they could and couldn't legally say, and so said nothing...”
Growing up under #Section28 🍎 Thirty years since the introduction of Section 28, @DIVAmagazine's staff writer @daniellejournal looks back at her school days under the controversial amendment of 1988 🏫 @DiversityRM #lgbt #lgbtyouth https://t.co/rWWxIY4xkr pic.twitter.com/6ZtM88Txsw— DIVA Magazine (@DIVAmagazine) 24 May 2018
But today, we all have an opportunity to change sex education for the better.
Right now, the UK government are holding a consultation on sex education (RSE) across the country, and YOU can have your say — including having your say on LGBTQ+ sex education.
And that's where Level Up come in, a new, feminist organisation who are currently focusing all of their bloody femme-tastic energy on making LGBTQ+ sex ed is at the forefront of the consultation.
One crucial way that they're doing that, is the free, online tool they've created which makes it super simple to respond to the consultation (much easier than the government's website, which appears to be almost deliberately obstructive and long...)
“I grew up in a violently homophobic home, I would do anything to turn by the clocks and get a decent sex education at school for me and my brothers and sisters. And now’s our chance," Bryony Walker, Campaign Director at Level Up told DIVA.
"We have a small window of opportunity to change things, for the first time in a generation. At Level Up we’ve created a hack that makes it easier and quicker to have your say, especially if you’re a young person. So let the government know how you feel, it’ll take five minutes.
"Providing young LGBTQ+ people with the information they need to have happy healthy relationships is essential, not optional.”
Imagine if everyone in our community, and our many allies, took just a few minutes out of their day to respond to the consultation? We could really make a difference for the next generation of queer kids being educated here in the UK.
Instead of bananas, let's make sure the next generation have aubergines, peaches, watermelons, avocados, the lot.
(Oh, and frank and open discussions about all kinds of sex would be great too, thanks...)
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