absence, curriculum, identity, homophobia, school culture, biases, critical education, love
Victoria: I just think, and I think about my own experiences, so growing up in elementary school in the 1970s, but it’s just the absence is powerfully damaging.
Tara: The absence of what?
Victoria: The absence of the honouring, I’ll say of LGBTQ people, families, lives, realities, creates… an absence in the lives of who’s in these classrooms. So for me, you know it’s very interesting coming out later in life, and thinking back “did I ever, was I ever, when before?” right? So where along the way might things have been different for me, if in fact it was a part of normal school, and normal life, and normalcy, and sheroes and heroes etc, right? And it wasn’t something that was not ever talked about, pushed to the side, never included, never brought up. I think that absence creates that, that space where, you know, it just makes me wonder “what if?” Right? And I think for kids right now, where you know, we see LGBTQ people you know, in the world, and they see in the media. So my daughter has been exposed, she knows, she's lived in my house, she knows, you know, even before I came out, right? But that absence in school, and their kids at this age, connecting so much to their peers as well-
Victoria: It creates a space again where, um, it becomes okay for those kids to say those things they say almost, because there’s no, there’s no counter to it. There's no place where they're hearing that you know, that that’s not right, or that’s, that’s you really need to think about how you’re thinking about people. So I just, I just think the absence of it is huge and the inclusion in terms of teachers’ understandings, and taking an active stance towards curriculum that is positive curriculum could make a huge difference for a lot of, a lot of kids who are from LGBTQ families in how they see themselves, in how they understand the world, in how they view their parents.
Victoria: And I think even for young kids, a look at all the biases that they start to adapt from the world around them, and where, where they’re having some moments in time to reflect on that, and think about that, and consciously ask themselves you know, “am I making the world a better place, or am I making the world a place where there’s more hate and cruelty?” And so, you know, just a rigorous program that connects to that kind of work. Not just as the add-on sort of pieces, but the pieces that are at the core of what that experience is. And a lot of laughter, and a lot of love.