Participants: Karleen; Advice; Homophobia; Love; Policies; Sexual education; Taboo
Tara: How about advice for teachers?
Karleen: Um. Well, I mean, at first I would say, like I, I realize that any kind of sexuality is a huge taboo, and the teachers are scared because they’ve been taught to be scared. And they think that bringing up any kind of LGBTTIQ2S issues is going to lead to a conversation about sex.
Karleen: So I would want them to know that no, they don’t have to have that conversation. No, maybe if they are teaching sex-ed or something, they might. But that is, they do not have to have, and they can simply say “Hey that’s not what we’re talking about here. I’m talking about love and identity and you know, these other pieces” and that’s you know, whoever they are as a person, figure out what they, you know what aspects they are comfortable speaking about. They should know that the law is on their side to speak about these issues. Um, in fact it’s more illegal to not speak about these issues at this point, which they don't realize, “Oh I don't wanna, you know talk about these issues, you know I’m going to end up in the Blue Pages!” No actually, this is a better chance of you not ending up in the Blue Pages. Uhh, um… they should be humble and admit the things that maybe, you know in a judged way like, “Oh well I didn’t know about this, or I grew up saying these things, so I didn't-” so any kind of humility that you can bring to this really helps, because I think they think “Oh well I think gay people were born being like social justice advocates” but it’s like I grew up saying fag every five minutes, you know, I grew up with the boys, we were all saying that, all the time! We were so homophobic. And often when I say that, then everything changes because they think, “Well of course she knows, but I could never do this kind of work because you know, I don't know all the answers.” So I think being honest about that and being okay with the fact that they’re going to say the wrong thing and that’s not the end of the world is really helpful. They should know that there's just millions of resources these days-
Karleen: You know, at the touch of a button. The board policies support them, the board has resources, the union has resources. It’s not a question of resources! It’s a question of being willing to bring them in, and um, as long as they can point to those policies, then if parents call, they have the policies, and the fact is, the other thing I say is, it’s not them! They need to just give the policies to the principals. The principals got the call, they can, the principals just want to be able to point to it. I say they get paid for it, let them deal with it! Anyway, they always think there’s going to be mobs of parents, and I go, “The parents don't really have time for you, they’re working, they don't actually have time to mob you,” occasionally they do, but not very often. So, I don't know, I just spend a lot of time trying to reassure them, and make it um, possible um, for them to do it. I think they should practice doing it.