FUSE48 — True Colours!

People in glass churches shouldn’t throw stones

This was a tough editorial to write. I do try to stay level-headed when it comes to ultra-conservative Christian voices, but I have to admit it has been difficult over the past few weeks. I need to constantly remind myself that no matter how loud they are, they’re a very small minority within the broader Christian population.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have probably heard the uproar about the Safe Schools Coalition. Conservative right-winged politicians and Christian ideological crusaders have been quite busy spreading lies and unfounded fear about what Safe Schools actually does.

Straight off the bat I want to put a few things right. There is no such thing as a ‘rainbow agenda’, it’s called equal rights people. You can’t be made gay — or straight for that matter — we’re simply as we are. As for claims that Safe Schools promotes queer sexuality, encourages cross-dressing and teaches students ‘gay techniques’ (whatever they are) — it’s not only absolute rubbish, it’s all about creating a culture of fear and confusion about the real facts.

The Safe Schools program is a world-leading, evidence-based program to make schools safer environments for same-sex-attracted, intersex and gender-diverse students (SSAIGD). It helps protect kids from bullying, homophobia and transphobia, while providing young people, educators and parents with the resources they need during what can be challenging times.

When it comes to claims that the program is ‘grooming’, ‘indoctrinating’ or ‘harming’ young people, I really don’t think people in any kind of glass structure should be throwing stones. We considered calling Cardinal George Pell to get his thoughts on the subject, but apparently he’s way too busy to come to the phone.

Many kids struggle at school, and young LGBTI people often have it much worse — statistics show that one in six have attempted suicide and one in three have self-harmed.

When I attended school there was no such thing as a Safe Schools program. I was bullied at school continuously during my high school years. On reflection, I’m sure it affected my mental health and most certainly my ability to learn effectively. I can’t help but wonder how different those years may have been for me if there had been appropriate resources and someone for me to talk to about my feelings and what I was experiencing.

I’m deeply troubled that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull caved in to ordering an investigation into the Safe Schools program under pressure from a minority of zealots.

Inclusive schools are not harmful to young people and do not turn kids gay. In fact there is plenty of evidence that the Safe Schools program makes kids feel safer — and I’m absolutely sure that’s what any fair inquiry will show. If we lose Safe Schools it will be a very sad day for many struggling SSAIGD kids who are in desperate need of compassion and support.

Alexander

FUSE48 : True Colours (Boy Cover)

FUSE48 : True Colours (Girl Cover)

David Sedaris Jan23 Canberra

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