The Importance of Having an LGBTQ+ Elective Class

by Lucy Sokol ’21

Ah yes, June is Pride Month, and yes, there are still many ignorant people in this world. The question is, how does homophobia take root in people? Well, it could be from one’s religion that taught them that homosexuality was a sin, or it could just be pure ignorance. While 2020’s society continues to expand human rights, there are still many adolescents that grow up with homophobia solely on stigmas and stereotypes rather than factual queer eduaction. 

According to GLSEN, an U.S. education-based organization that works to end discrimination, only 19 percent of U.S. secondary schools provide curricula or supplementary sex education materials that are LGBTQ-inclusive. Not to mention, fewer than five percent of queer students have health classes that included positive representations of LGBTQ-related topics. This lack of sexual education creates ignorance and discrimination towards the queer community as it happened during the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. 

Some people might question how a LGBTQ school elective class would give awareness when the people joining the class already support the community. It is important to understand that people change people. Giving students the opportunity to learn about queer history and queer culture encourages and enables students to open other people’s mind up to a different view on the LGBTQ community. 

Homosexuality and gender idenity has existed for as long as humans existed, but homophobia and transphobia hid it for several centuries. Awareness towards the LGBTQ community continues to lead society in a progressive direction. The future is now and everyone deserves equal rights.