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Children making negative remarks about being gay at school

(7 Posts)
Zipitydooda Tue 07-May-13 13:20:38

I'm asking for some advice really about what I should do? NB I'm not gay, (I think that's relevant to this.)
I was in the car with my sons the other day listening to the radio and my eldest (8) said "my friends at school say that most pop music is gay."
Me: oh do they, what does that actually mean?
DS: gay means men loving men or ladies loving ladies. It means the music is bad.

We then had a chat about what his friends were implying about gay family that we have and how they would feel to hear such things and how he then felt about it. It seemed he needed me to take his thoughts from the children's comments to his own family. He said he wanted to tell them that they were wrong about gay being bad and that his aunties were gay but he thought they would then be nasty to him. I suggested he try disagreeing with them and see what they say, he's a confident, popular and influential boy and is usually one to defend others and speak up for them so I think he might take this step.

So where do I go from here? I know that children talked like this when I was a child and we didn't really think much about what was being implied. Children dont often naturally take on the perspective of another unless prompted and his friends are not malicious children generally. However, I would like my nephews (still babies) never to hear such talk in school and I think that it should be challenged by schools.

Zipitydooda Tue 07-May-13 13:26:33

I wanted to keep this open so didn't add my own opinion above but I can't leave it like that. My opinion is that I want to say something to the school so they can tackle such issues. I am correct to do this?

Snazzynewyear Tue 07-May-13 13:41:16

I think I would mention to the school that you've had this conversation with your DS and ask what their approach is for tackling 'gay' being used in this derogatory way by pupils so that you can be aware of that when you're discussing it with your DS. They must be aware that this can happen and surely have a strategy for it. Can't see why it would be a problem to raise it.

Snazzynewyear Tue 07-May-13 13:43:04

PS also not gay, simply speaking from parent perspective.

sleepingdragon Tue 07-May-13 13:56:53

Hi Zipity, I think its great that you are wanting to say something to the school about this. A friend of mine who is a teacher talked really positivly about the work that Stonewall was involved with at her school. Stonewall have produced some resource packs for schools that are on their website/ can be ordered, that you may want to suggest to your son's school?

Zipitydooda Wed 08-May-13 13:18:10

Thanks for the tips. I will follow up with school.

My son is on a one-child mission to stop his friends using the term 'gay' in a derogatory way. He has chosen to speak to his friends and was not fussed that their initial reaction was laughing at him.

The conversion bits I overheard on the walk to school this morning lead me to think I might have some questions to answer after school as I heard a (more streetwise; has teenage siblings) friend asking him where they got the sperm for their babies from; DS doesn't know what sperm is yet, he thinks the man gives the woman a seed to use and hasn't yet asked me where his aunties got the seeds!

I asked him what the teachers do at school when people speak like this and he said that they get told off for swearing which he is fully aware isn't correct.

claraschu Wed 08-May-13 13:28:46

I hate this, but there is a lot of it around.

For what it's worth, kids use the term "gay" as an insult without being in the least homophobic, or having any problem with gay people. My teenaged son sometimes uses "gay" as a term for nerdy (I yell at him), in spite of having gay uncles, a gay friend, several friends with two mums, etc.

It is almost as if "gay " has three unrelated meanings: 1. Jolly, frolicsome 2. Homosexual 3. Uncool, "wet"

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