Saying ‘gay’ won’t make your children gay

Recently, Florida government passes a bill that will prohibit the discussion of sexuality and gender identity

Audrey DeAngelis

Recently, Florida government passes a bill that will prohibit the discussion of sexuality and gender identity

Primary school-aged children are at one of the most impressionable ages. These young students are constantly watching their teachers to figure out which behaviors and responses are acceptable and which will be scrutinized. 

There are certain adults that fear how the presence of LGBTQ+ relationships in the media will affect their children. Yes, young children are impressionable, but that is not an excuse for your homophobia. Why are heterosexual relationships okay to be blasted all over film and TV, but when it comes to two guys holding hands suddenly you are horrified about what your children are watching?

On March 28, Florida governor Ron Desantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law, now dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents. This legislature, which will go into effect July 2022, will prohibit all discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in primary schools from kindergarten to third grade. 

Now, of course, these concepts can be complex and should be taught cautiously, but that does not mean children should not be exposed to them. 

The senators that passed this bill must not realize how primary school students are actually taught. No one is going into your child’s first grade classroom and teaching them what gay sex is with visual aids. That is not happening. 

What many don’t realize is that this bill is not just banning teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ related topics but also banning children from doing so. 

Most primary school classes are based around discussions about the students’ lives and experiences outside of school. Many Mondays are spent talking about what they did over the weekend with their families, so what happens when a student has two moms or two dads? Do they have to pretend like they have one of each? Are they even allowed to discuss it?

What if another child asks an adopted student why they don’t look like their dad? Are they able to explain that they have two gay dads and are only related biologically to one, if not either?

In addition to affecting students, this bill prohibits LGBTQ+ teachers from sharing their lives with their students. Children are innately curious and are bound to ask questions about their teacher’s personal life. If teachers are not able to even tell their students about their partner or spouse, there may be a strain on the important bond between student and teacher. 

School counselors will also be required to inform parents if their child comes out as gay in school. This could harm the student’s mental and physical well-being, especially if their family is not accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. There is a reason that some children don’t come out to their families, especially at a young age, and having a counselor betray their trust could put them in harm’s way. 

But in the end, no matter what you teach in the classroom, children will find out what they want to know. Being gay is not something that is taught or influenced, it is just something you are. It is not a choice people make because someone mentioned back in second grade that they had same-sex parents.