In the past year 100’000 people were diagnosed with HIV in the UK. 50% of these people were gay men. With such an astoundingly large number (which is more likely to increase rather than decrease in the years to come) it really begs the question – why are so many gay men getting aids? Is it because when people step out of the metaphorical closet they forget to bring condoms with them? No. Is it because all gay men are sex crazed idiots? No. Is it god’s way of “punishing the queers for taking it in their rears”. Cute rhyming “ChristianChick1990” but still, no. It’s through a lack of communication.
We are taught from as young an age as eight that sex is what happens when two people love each other very much and that babies are a result of sex. From the age eleven we continue our journey to become safe sex masterminds by learning that condoms can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy, or to stop the spreading of STIs. Great. Fantastic. But what if the two people in love are both male or both female – a couple that can’t get pregnant? The general assumption is that if you can’t get pregnant, then you can’t catch a STI. The general assumption is completely wrong. Something must be done. And soon. My recommendation? Implement a stronger, more obvious education about homosexual relationships – both sexual and non-sexual in schools.
Now the reason I say there should be a stronger education, rather than ‘the start of an education’ is because I believe there is supposed to already be LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) references in sex education. References. I remember being fourteen and my sex education teacher, a reserved 64 year old man, briefly touched on the subject of HIV muttering “gay men … more at risk … condoms good” whilst looking uncomfortably around the room and fixing his gaze on me. The sad part is that im lucky to have had those seven words muttered at me.
There are people in the UK who would be jealous of me and my reference to gay sex education. People like Luke Alexander, an 18 year old who went on UK morning television show “This Morning” blaming the lack of sex education for getting HIV. He states that these classes never mentioned gay relationships or any precautions gay people should take. If Luke had received an unprejudiced education about gay relations he could be free from HIV. And I bet many others could be as well.
Luke Alexander – A victim of poor sex education?
If implemented correctly, I strongly believe there could be a drop in the amount of people with aids in the UK. If schools made children aware of gay relationships and gay families from the age we learn about heterosexual relationships, then a lot more can be achieved than aids prevention. Children learning that gay relationships and gay families are completely normal and equal to their heterosexual counterparts could potentially realize some of the stigma around homosexuality, especially among young teens. A usual insult among young teens is too call somebody gay (“gayboy/faggot/dyke”), as though it’s something negative; something to be ashamed of. Children being taught about gay relationships can potentially stop young people giving homosexuality negative connotations as well as giving homosexuals negative titles.
Of course I feel I must talk about the negative reactions that gay sex education would invoke. Prejudiced parents might think that since little Jack and Jill are being taught about gay relationships, it will increase their chances of turning into ‘a gay’. Oh bless those dum-dums. As a survivor of an heterosexual sex-ed curriculum – I can confirm that afterwards I didn’t want to shred my fabulous glitter – encrusted skin and transform myself into ‘a hetro.’ In fact, I can confirm that objecting to gay sex education will only increase: the amount of ‘a gays’ with HIV; the amount of homosexuals unaware of safe sex; and the chance of prejudiced parenting and teaching surviving yet another generation.
I believe that gay sex education is vital for society. It can be a huge step in the UKs fight against aids and HIV, educating over 50% of potential sufferers on how to stay safe. It can also be a huge step in squishing the stigma around homosexuals, as long as the parents remember that just because they didn’t use a condom … doesn’t mean your child can’t know that gay people should.