LGBTQ spectrum, allies, supportive school, TDSB, closeted teachers, TEACH workshops, human rights, LGBTQ students, gay marriage, acceptance, multi-parent family
Tara: What has changed in fifteen years that you think is making your son’s experience a little bit different?
Jess: Um, I think awareness and, um, maybe the -I know there’s teachers in his school that also identify in the LGBTQ spectrum, so to have allies in the school has really helped, um, helped as well. I’m not sure what [unclear].
Evan: Yah, I mean, I think, because I went to school like in the TDSB at the same time that my daughter was going to school, ‘cause I was a high school student. And, I mean, I remember, I remember teachers coming out to me and they weren’t out. Like it was, you know, “just so you know I’m gay, but, like, don’t tell anybody” and I think that, um, I think for teachers it was difficult so even the people in the community who had been our allies couldn’t be our allies because it would pull them into questioning and their jobs at stake. I also, I mean I think it was late 98-99 when the TDSB was first put out, um, like the support booklet on how to deal with LGBT youth in the classrooms and teachers were just ignoring them and I think that there’s been a lot of awareness raised through the years at the board level about, sort of, human rights stuff and what it means to have LGBT students in the classroom…
Evan: I also think, I mean, gay marriage radically changed the political landscape in general around acceptance.
Jess: I think the idea that families aren’t always, you know, a four-person family with a mom, a dad and two kids, that families look completely different now, with, you know, divorced parents, stepdads, stepmoms, and now, you know, it’s acceptable to have a third parent, and it’s almost celebrated.