Brock Hendry

My view of whether to integrate LGBT literature into the curriculum is committed, split, and nuanced. The LGBT+ spectrum is long, changing and complicated.

There are studies that have found correlations between lesser amounts of violence to LGBT+ peoples when there is integrated literature and Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in the schools, which suggest to me that integrating LGBT literature into the curriculum is at first a no-brainer. There are, of course, legitimate difficulties in considering integrating them, the first being religious. If my own child were going to a school, I would favour him/her to learn about gay literature in the school so that he/she is more compassionate, understanding and open-minded. For other religious parents however, their opinions differ. I would prefer a variety of private schools with freedom to determine their own curriculum (with certain limitations and requirements) in which curriculum (such as LGBT literature and the 1998 sex-ed curriculum) is not forced upon students whose parents do not agree with the public school curriculum. This way, parents have greater freedom in determining their child’s education. Unfortunately, most parents cannot afford to send them to private schools. Furthermore, since schools are largely monopolized by government, and schools are able to force certain political, social, and religious views on others who do not feel comfortable, it may step on religious and political freedoms of others that could contribute to precedents being set, turning one day, into larger problems. That being said however, I am nonetheless in favour of gay and lesbian literature being integrated into the classroom, and literature challenging gender norms, but I am hesitant towards other aspects of LGBT+ literature such as that surrounding non-binary and the fluidity of gender, among others due to my ignorance and skepticism. I do also though, feel it is perhaps a disservice to the students to not at least talk about these issues. It is not so much the issues (such as violence against LGBT peoples) that I am against integrating, but rather those that are claimed as facts, such as biological sex as a social construction. Indeed, I am very much for the discussion of all social problems in society. This is not, at all, to say that I am firmly entrenched in my hesitancy; however, I feel I am too uneducated on the topics, as they are varied and complicated. Therefore, I also question what literature would be taught: is it merely novels that encourage compassion for its LGBT characters? Or is it nonfiction that promotes the idea that biological sex is a social construction? The integration of the varying different literature is far too broad for myself to assume that all of the literature should be integrated.

In conclusion, my concerns vary from violence against LGBT peoples, to religious freedom, to my ignorance and skepticism of certain aspects of LGBT+ that need be satisfied with more education and discussion; however, I do favour the integration of certain LGBT literature into the curriculum, that I am familiar and more knowledgeable of.

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"Old soul, waiting my turn / I know a few things, but I still got a lot to learn"

— Kacey Musgraves, “Slow Burn” (2018)