With laws about marriage and marriage equality currently being debated in the community, schools have been discussing with students issues relating to gender and the LGBTQ community.
In August Bonnyrigg High School held a meeting organised by the student councillor Amy (surname not available) and the subject was the LGBTQ community.
The councillor said there were about 30 students at the meeting which was to raise student awareness and also to provide support to any students who may be struggling with issues of gender and sexual identity.
Australian research shows between 7 and 11 per cent of young people are attracted to others of their own sex or are unsure of their sexual attraction.
One of the guest speakers was from headspace, the national youth mental-health foundation.
The headspace website states: “Australian research has shown that between 7 and 11 per cent of young people are attracted to others of their own sex or are unsure of their sexual attraction.”
We all deserve an education says the American Human Rights Campaign, which states: “Youth need and deserve to learn in settings that are inclusive of their experiences and that give them the education necessary to stay safe and healthy.’”
They state there many students whose “teachers and textbooks fail to appropriately address their identities, behaviours and experiences”.
It was reported on news.com.au that the Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that the suburbs of Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Chippendale, Redfern, Darlington, Erskineville, Alexandria and Newtown had many LGBTQ residents.
ABS statistics for 2011 showed that same-sex couples comprised 1 per cent of the national population, and their most common religions were Roman Catholic, Anglican and Buddhist.
It’s yet to be seen how Australia will vote at the current postal survey.
There are students who struggle to fit in, unsure of where to turn during rough times.
Despite some community opposition to the LGBTQ community and marriage equality, some in the government – and schools like Bonnyrigg High School – are trying to help struggling students better understand and deal with their questions and problems regarding sexual identity.
- Support is available at: headspace Liverpool, level 1, 50 Macquarie Street North or 8785 3200; Kids Helpline, 1800 551 800; or QLife counselling, 1800 184 527 (3pm-midnight) or chat online at qlife.org.au.