Anastasiya Ivanova | Contributor
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay
As a parent, I can say hands-down that parents are generally judgmental and protective people. Judgement and separatism go to whole new record levels when parents have to make decisions on the social education and community involvement of their children. The parenting bar gets especially rowdy when it comes to communities parents don’t associate themselves with directly. One such community is the LGBTQ+ community.
I have heard and read about worries parents have about educating and connecting their children to the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, the biggest concerns leading the my-biggest-parental-fears-parade are religion and morality. However, parents need to recognize that religion and morality are individual beliefs and bring individual fulfilment to people. When they impose their faith and beliefs on their children by condemning other non-violent communities in society, they plant the seeds of violence in their children.
I’ve heard from parents who are not interested in educating their children on LGBTQ+ values that they are afraid their children would become gay. Such fears do more damage to these parents’ children than good. If your child is gay, you are pretty much forcing him or her into the closet, thus stunting his or her development.
Cisgendered parents also believe the LGBTQ+ community would hinder their children’s healthy development and imagination. Clearly, these parents have no Internet. I am the parent who stands against the process of “othering” and discriminatory beliefs. Judge me, but here’s why.
Educating children on the LGBTQ+ community, its values and its practices are invaluable to a well-rounded development of children’s beings. Children learn about the colours of life. They learn to accept the differences in people and lives they encounter, to respect them and try to understand them. They learn that their own views are important, but not necessarily relevant to each person in their lives. They learn not to embrace prejudice and not to harm others for being different.
Children’s identities develop better. LGBTQ+ people give children (and adults) the courage to dive deep into themselves and find the most fulfilled version of them that there is. This community teaches children
about exploring life and self to find meaning without fear of judgement. In my opinion, safety is what LGBTQ+ stands for, identity and love — unclouded, unscarred and complete.
Depriving our children from being educated on different values and views, like the ones of the LGBTQ+ community, deprives them from developing as individuals. There is nothing wrong in being a concerned parent, but don’t let your personal prejudices colour the nuances of your child’s life and development. Our children would build this world with the love that we allow and give them.