Mother fears transgender son’s identity ‘won’t be accepted’ after changes to sex-ed curriculum
Kathryne Miller’s 14-year-old son Lance Miller made the choice to identify as a transgender male two years ago; a change she says was made easier due to the 2015 sex-ed curriculum.
“Coming into junior high school — I guess Grade 7 and 8 — what he was provided for was gender-neutral bathrooms, which was very important for him, and they were working on gender-neutral change rooms. He was listed in school under his chosen name of Lance — they respected that he identified himself as male and it was never a problem,” said mother Kathryne.
It’s something Miller fears will change, now that Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum will be reverting this fall to the previous one from 20 years ago.
“I fear [what] is being created by Doug Ford is an atmosphere where he won’t be tolerated, his identity won’t be accepted, and his peers won’t be learning about it, therefore, they won’t understand it, therefore they could fear it, and that’s where intolerance is bred,” said Miller.
The sex-ed curriculum that will be taught, will not include topics such as same-sex marriage, online safety, consent, and gender identity — what many say is not a reflection of our current society.
“We’re going back to a curriculum where kids aren’t being kept safe, given the risks that are out there in terms of social media and I don’t want to play up the risk of predators, but we should have children be aware of what risks are in the community,” said Dr. Blair Niblett, assistant professor of the school of education at Trent University.
Miller thinks the only avenue for change is when people stand up and make their voices heard.
“This thing is not going to go away because we don’t talk about [it] — just because kids don’t learn about LGBTQ people in the class doesn’t mean that they are not going to exist anymore — it’s ridiculous,” said Miller.
The new curriculum was rolled out by the Liberals in 2015, and at the time was met with some opposition. During his campaign, Doug Ford said that many parents were not consulted.
However, many argued that this was, in fact, a piece of the curriculum which had the most consultation.
On Tuesday, former premier Kathleen Wynne spoke out saying about 4,000 parents and child-development professionals were given the chance to weigh in on the updated curriculum.
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