‘Gay and Lesbian History Month’ to teach tolerance

By Daina Havens
October 13, 2006

October is a month dedicated to some profound awareness causes. In the past, it has brought awareness to breast cancer and fair trade but, according to the recently released 2006 Philadelphia School District calendar, it has also been dubbed “Gay and Lesbian History Month.”

This bold declaration has caused an uprising among parents while creating waves in the once smooth-sailing waters of a late September classroom atmosphere. I can understand the parents’ claims that their young children’s ears are too sensitive to hear such words spoken, but I think they are all being ignorant to the trying times of society.

When there is so much violence on the streets of Philadelphia reported in the news, and there is a 5-year-old girl fatally shot by a stray bullet in her mother’s car, parents should be promoting tolerance and open-mindedness to all races, creeds and lifestyles. Instead, the narrow-minded perspective of the parental figure has transpired into violence against the gay and lesbian community for decades.

Civil rights are constantly transforming and minds slowly open, and that is a beautiful aspect of the American culture. I think of the great advances made in the civil rights movements of past generations and I have hope that everyone else can come out of their own “closets” and get over the stereotypes, intolerance and unwillingness to step outside of their comfort zone.

Being gay is not a choice anyone would choose to make unless it is a powerful part of his or her identity. Who would choose to be looked down upon by society, discriminated and demonstrated against, and in extreme cases have their lives brutally taken for just being who they are.

I think the Philadelphia School district has made a big statement, but they are jumping too far ahead too soon. October should be dubbed “Gay and Lesbian Awareness Month” because intolerant minds need to be unlocked slowly with an abundance of knowledge and empathy.

Who would have thought there would be a Black History Month over 100 years ago? Gay people are people. Women, men and children are people. Teachers, Catholics, movie stars and the homeless are all people. How will we achieve tolerance and end a violent method of thought if we shelter our youth? If you can’t handle the “mommy, where do babies come from?” question, your teen-daughter may learn the facts of life on her own in a not so productive way for society. The words “gay” and “lesbian” are out there and if kids can’t quench their curiosity with healthy parental conversation, they will grow up intolerant and civil society will become stagnant.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Daina Havens

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap