In almost every show or movie involving a high school, there's a scene about a sex-ed class. It's usually meant to be a comedic moment, filled with awkward teachers and uncomfortable teenagers.
But here's the thing: I always thought that was fake. I didn't know that some schools actually offered sex-ed classes until my third year of high school.
My school wasn't one of the ones that offered it, just to be clear. I went to a sort of preppy Catholic high school, and their typical message about sex was basically just, "Don't do it before marriage," and, "You have to do it after marriage and aren't allowed to use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. If you do get pregnant, you're stuck with it. Congrats!"
Apparently, there are some elementary schools that offer sex-ed courses. I've never been in one, but I know people who have. They said they were separated into “boy” and “girl” classes and only watched videos about their own gender and puberty.
So not only did they not learn about the other gender, they didn't even discuss the sex part.
I'm a strong believer in sex education. I think boys should have to learn about girls and their periods, and girls should learn about boys. If that were the case, there would be much less stigma surrounding the opposite sex. For instance, many people who are unfamiliar with periods don’t realize how painful they can be, or how much trouble they can cause. On the other side of the same coin, many people unfamiliar with erections and think that they’re always, inherently sexual, which isn’t true.
I also believe they should teach about sex because that would cause a decrease in abortions better than an abortion ban would. If students are more familiar with how pregnancy occurs, they would be better at preventing it.
When I was in elementary school, there were rumors that it’s impossible to get pregnant while on your period or in a pool. Those obviously aren’t true, but they had no way of knowing that when the only education about sex that had was a simple, “Don’t.”
But the reason I'm writing this article isn't to talk about my lack of sex education. It's to talk about the lack of LGBT sex education in general.
Here's the thing, it's incredibly hard to be a young LGBT person most of the time. Although we have the internet, it's riddled with untruths, and that can make it very difficult for a young LGBT person to learn about how to do anything sexual.
I'm not saying I want highschoolers to go around having sex all the time. But if they're going to anyway — which they might — they need to know how to do so safely.
A common misconception held by the young people in my school was that if you're gay, you don't need a condom. Which is true in a sense. Gay people aren't going to get each other pregnant; however, they still need condoms because they can still get sexually transmitted diseases.
Another benefit to sex education classes, including the addition of LGBT subjects, would be learning about asexuality.
So many students are asexual and think that they're broken, or that they just "haven't met the right person yet." That's ridiculous and untrue, and they would know that if they had gone to an LGBT sex education class. The same sentiment also goes for LGBT students who aren't asexual.
If a transgender or gay kid can learn about who they are in school, they will have less feelings of being broken or weird, and the suicide rate of LGBT youth would probably drop.
I know some people will read this and say, "I don't want my child learning about LGBT people because I don't want my child to become LGBT," or, "It goes against my religion."
An LGBT sex education class won't turn your child gay. That isn't how it works. It's like saying your child is going to learn about George Washington and become the first president of the United States. It's impossible.
Also, the people who always say they want to "put God back in school" are always the people who only want to put their own God into school, and would foam at the mouth at the idea of teaching their children about other religions, so I don't think the argument about it being against someone's religion is valid. Evolution is against some people's religion, but it's still taught anyway.
We know that the only reason we don't have LGBT sex education is that, for so long, being LGBT was criminalized. Now, with the law and the country being so much more open to it (although not completely), we should incorporate LGBT topics into the current sex education classes.
It will make the lives of our LGBT youth much safer, which should always be the goal.