The headline on the BBC website states, “Florida lawmakers pass ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill“, and it began to think about a similar thing we had over here in the UK, Clause 28. This law prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities from 1988 to 2003 in England and Wales, (Scotland repealed the law in 2000).
I grew up gay but didn’t know I was. Because of ‘Clause 28’, gay was never discussed, and the only portrayal of ‘gays’ I saw was on television; I put gays in quote marks as even though they were gay, I never understood them to be that as a term, they were queer, faggots, homosexual. I may have heard them being called gay, but it never entered my brain, mainly because I wasn’t like them. I didn’t act like them, I didn’t talk like them, so I wasn’t one of them. Any gays I saw growing up were either camp and effeminate or victims.
Clause 28 meant that I never learnt about gays in school. I learnt from television that same-sex attraction was wrong and meant you were a victim, be that violence or AIDS.
I knew I was attracted to boys when I was very young, 5 years old. It took me over 20 years to accept it. I never learnt that people like me existed (so I hid what I was). I never learnt that people like me could fall in love and have a monogamous relationship as every gay guy on the telly was either a mummy’s boy or promiscuous deviant.
My schooling in sex and relationship education was woeful. Well, relationships were barely acknowledged, and sex was purely heterosexual and purely missionary. I never even learnt about masturbation! And I didn’t have the internet.
No one is talking about teaching primary school children about anal sex, blow jobs and threesomes. We are talking about teaching kids that having two dads is okay, two mums is okay, a mum and a dad is okay. It’s okay to like boys, it’s okay to like girls, but you need to respect everybody. All teaching should be age-appropriate.
Children these days have other ways of learning about being gay. There are some excellent websites out there, but they are not top of the google search. Top of the searches are porn sites. And trust me, you learn nothing about being gay from porn; you don’t learn about relationships, and the sex and bodies you see are not the bodies you’ll see when you start dating or having sex. Cocks are not that big, six-packs are not to be expected, and cuddling can be just as good as sex, if not better.
The concept of a family has changed for many people and gay people now have the chance to be a family. This law is retrograde and won’t help those young kids growing up learn that families come in all shapes and sizes.