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Gay kids in school : they do not realise how far society has come.

(86 Posts)
Talkinpeace Sun 07-Jul-13 17:09:39

Was collecting DD from an event at school the other day and one of her incredibly camp friends was tease flirting with some of the boys.
And they all just take it as read.
that one is blonde
that one is tall
that one is a girl
that one is gay
that one is brown
and I realised how incredible the change is from 30 years ago when I was at school and Tom Robinson was in the charts.

People may moan about education
BUT the tolerance and acceptance being developed in our children will allow them to get the maximum potential out of everybody without the racial and sexual constraints we faced

which can only be for the good?

SoupDragon Mon 08-Jul-13 09:18:35

Students at Grammar and Private won't be able learn tolerance and acceptance of SEN kids for example because there won't be many (if any) in the vicinity.

Yes, because you can only be taught how to be tolerant and accepting if that person/issue is right there hmm

You do realise that it is perfectly possible to be taught how to be tolerant and accepting of everyone, even people you haven't met, don't you? Being tolerant and accepting is a general thing, not "This is how to be tolerant to gay people. This is how to be tolerant of people with SENs. This is how to be tolerant of other religions"

If people are only taught/shown or learn to be tolerant of only the specific issues they have met at school, that is a huge failing. My children are taught to be tolerant and accepting of other people. All other people.

SoupDragon Mon 08-Jul-13 09:19:19

Also, children mix in social circles other than school.

valiumredhead Mon 08-Jul-13 09:22:46

Not like that at ds's school at all, same old shit that was going on when I was at school, being teased for being fat, ginger gay or whatever.

The kids don't want to wear GAP clothes as it stands for gay and proudhmm hmm

Copthallresident Mon 08-Jul-13 09:54:12

kitchendiner My children are SEN and are at a very selective indie. If you think having SEN equals not being bright enough to get into a grammar or selective indie, then you are not well acquainted with the realities of learning difficulties yourself are you?

And both have been involved with mentoring projects in local schools and community projects working with handicapped children and with the elderly. That is quite apart from the fact that as a family we have lived overseas, and have friends of all nationalities, sexualities etc. Indeed one of my DDs counts amongst her closest friends one who is ASD and one who suffered significant brain damage at birth. Intolerance is learned, usually long before school.

invicta Mon 08-Jul-13 10:03:44

My eldest is a t a selective grammar school, and there is definitely racial diversity, SEN kids, etc that attend there. It's not only comprehensives that teach unity and tolerance.

SoupDragon Mon 08-Jul-13 10:10:28

There is a huge amount of racial diversity as DSs single sex, selective, private secondary - far more than there was at their state primary. There are also children with a variety of SEN and children from a variety of backgrounds (due to a generous bursary scheme).

hermioneweasley Mon 08-Jul-13 10:14:04

OP, glad your DCs' school is like that. Not the same for my friend's DS who is being bullied for being gay and the school (a comp) have told him "not to provoke" the bullies (ie: hide his shameful secret)

Mintyy Mon 08-Jul-13 10:21:10

That is a lovely thing to hear Talkin. I hope my dcs schools will be the same.

apatchylass Tue 09-Jul-13 15:42:38

What a bizarre thread.

OP do you and your DC's fellow pupils accept grammar and indie school children parents for who and what they are too, without judging or labelling? Or do you encourage them to pigeonhole people who are educated differently from you as being narrow-minded, sheltered and judgemental? hmm

The idea that grammars and indies don't accept gay, Asian, Black, SEN children in them will come as news to the happily settled gay, Black, Asian and SEN children at my DC's school and their friends' grammar school. OP, advise us how to break the news.

Mendi Tue 09-Jul-13 22:33:09

I agree with other posters, talkinpeace, very odd sweeping generalisation in your OP. My DC attend a state primary not far from where I think you are (Winchester?) and in my DS' year 6 the boys regularly use "gay" as a sort of generic insult, alongside some more specific nastier homophobic insults. I have strong words with DS if I ever hear this at home but it's obviously common parlance at school.

It's ridiculous to suggest that state schools are all some inclusive place. They're not. There is ignorance and fear everywhere.

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 22:46:15

If you don't think things are better and more inclusive than they were when Tom Robinson was in the charts, that is up to you.

And my OP makes no mention of any type of school.
They are all better.
A million times better.
Year 6 boys have little concept of what the insults they use actually mean.
In the 1970's the skinheads who roamed the streets with impunity did.

Mendi Tue 09-Jul-13 22:52:57

Sorry, your second post, praising comprehensives and damning independent schools. I just don't think you can preach inclusiveness while damning a whole group of people as less inclusive in one swoop.

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 23:04:45

where did I say "independent" in my second post?
I said selective - not the same thing at all

I went to a school that selected on god, money and genitalia : it was therefore by definition not "inclusive"

and if you think things have not improved since the era when
Freddie Mercury could not come out as gay,
or when Rob Halford had to be in the closet
or Elton John was married to a woman
let alone the Jeremy Thorpe saga
I am genuinely surprised

Mendi Tue 09-Jul-13 23:11:04

Not sure why you're splitting hairs here. The vast majority of selective schools in this country ARE independent. You yourself do not live in a grammar school area.

And I have not said that I don't think things have improved. Just that your slightly sweeping generalisation was not well-founded.

Mendi Tue 09-Jul-13 23:12:25

P.S. no one "has" to be in the closet, at any time. Kenny Everett, anyone?

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 23:14:14

vast majority of selective schools ARE independent
Uh no,
most Catholic schools are state funded : they are selective on faith and gender
as are state funded Jewish, Muslim, Hindu etc schools
and many CofE schools in oversubscribed areas
and then there are those that select by exams like the 11+

and any school that has selected is not inclusive

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 23:15:35

Kenny Everett was married and he NEVER EVER appeared with his true partner(s) in the 1970's
LIberace denied being gay all his life

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 23:18:37

remember that until 1967 being a practising homosexual was a criminal offence in the UK
and it only became legal in all of the USA in 2003

Mendi Tue 09-Jul-13 23:20:13

I'm not going to get into an argument on a public forum with you over something as simple as the fact that most selective schools are independent.

Even if that weren't so, you appear to be writing off any school which selects on any basis, which amounts to you dismissing a large swathe of society - which does not promote the inclusive message you appear to wish to promote.

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jul-13 07:22:33

And my OP makes no mention of any type of school.

Your second said that only comprehensive schools teach tolerance and acceptance and all selective schools fail on this. Which is nonsense.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 10-Jul-13 07:27:45

I teach in a school where you regularly hear homophobic insults bandied around, yet we have gay students who are "out", and that is fine, accepted, the way things are. The disconnect in some children's thinking over this is huge.

Arcticwaffle Wed 10-Jul-13 13:55:04

Going back to the OP's main point. I've also been heartened by my yr8 and yr7 dds' experiences of how secondary school children seem able to discuss sexuality/come out/experiment at school. Noone at my school in the 80s would have come out as gay, or discussed it, but my dds have friends who are openly lesbian/bisexual, and a boy who wants to be a transsexual and came to school in a skirt on non-uni day. There may be a bit of teasing, it's not ideal, but it seems that it's far more acceptable in general to be openly gay or questioning at this age.

It does seem that some things have changed for the better. I assume it's across secondary schools in general, there's no reason to think my dds' comp is unusually tolerant.

maddybassett Thu 11-Jul-13 11:54:53


I can't speak for "EVERY school" but ...

my son's school is a selective independent single sex school (so , a different kind of school from your DD's ) but as far I can see the pupils display exactly the attitude you describe and tolerance and acceptance are absolutely part of the ethos of the school.

And yes , it is great and for the good .

Bonsoir Thu 11-Jul-13 12:00:03

A 23 year old girl arrived at our house at 7pm last night to stay for a few days. She is the friend of my cousin's daughter, who has come to stay with me from Australia. Since they are both young and impoverished I am very happy to accommodate them and feed them while they explore Paris and entertain DSS1 (18).

At dinner the 23 year old girl we had never met before mentioned en passant that her older brother was transgender. DP remarked later that the world has come on a long way in the openness stakes since he was young and his own brother couldn't come out as gay to his family.

apatchylass Thu 11-Jul-13 16:32:36

Genuine acceptance of difference is crucial to a healthy society. OP, no one has suggested it's not great that society can accept gay as being as normal as straight. I just don't see how it helps to say in one breath, ain't it great that people are no longer biased and partisan and judgemental, then in the next breath say, except those people, who live in a way I don't approve of.

"Gay' is still a widely bandied about insult in my nephew's state school. Acceptance of being gay has nothing to do with being in a comprehensive school. It has to do with open-mindedness and emotional maturity, which can occur anywhere the will is there.

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