Target: Alex Greenwich
Goal: Thank legislator for defending the rights of LGBT youths.
Going to school is, for many kids, the first time that social interactions outside of the family are conducted and friendships are built. Sadly, school is also a place where many children are made aware of their differences and chastised for them endlessly. For those who are part of the LGBT community, school can simply be hell on earth.
Recently, it has been revealed that many private and faith-based schools reserve the right to discriminate against any current or prospective students on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status. As a matter of fact, in some private schools and faith-based institutions, ‘coming out’ is adequate grounds for expulsion.
Not only are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning students encouraged to ‘keep quiet’ about their sexualities, but in many of these private schools they are given controversial ‘conversion therapy.’ Although the practice has been outlawed by many states and frowned upon by psychiatrists, somehow private schools are exempt and, as a result, perpetuate homophobia and transphobia on these grounds.
A case of a former private school student, Beci Jay, recounts a heartbreaking story as she states:
“I tried to convert myself to heterosexuality by going to church and praying about it. Of course, nothing happened. It’s like holding your breath to change your eye color. Even if you really want it to happen, it won’t. I was gay.”
Independent Australian legislator and LGBT activist Alex Greenwich hopes to stop private schools and faith-based schools from reserving the right to deny or expel any student that identifies as LGBT. If Greenwhich’s proposal is passed, private educational authorities will no longer have the right to be prejudiced towards LGBT identified students and will be prohibited from practicing conversion therapy.
A prominent, openly gay male, Greenwich is the first same-sex married politician to be part of parliament in Australia. His support and promotion of initiatives like the Safe Schools Coalition and Proud Schools shows commitment to preventing homophobic and transphobic bullying by private schools and encourages a more holistic approach to education. By signing this petition, you’ll thank Alex Greenwich for his fearlessness and support of LGBT youths.
Dear Alex Greenwich,
I am writing you today to thank you, unconditionally, for bringing the LGBT discrimination and prejudice in private and faith-based educational institutions to light. Your endless lobbying, support and activism deserve to be praised and, because of this, many LGBT youths can fear school less, knowing that there’s a politically progressive individual who has their interests and well-being in mind.
School, as I’m sure you understand, is a tough place for lesbian, gay, transgendered, bisexual and questioning students. As a society, sadly, many of us are taught to rid ourselves of inherent humility in exchange for rigid structures of ‘normality.’ When we are face-to-face with an individual who doesn’t fit into our narrow ideals, instinctively we point out differences and make fun. Taking into account the feelings of the other person is disposed of when it should be second-nature.
Standing up for the youths who attend private schools and are exposed to conversion therapy is a commendable act, and I truly hope that the initiatives you support move on to become law. No one deserves to be bullied for their sexuality or discriminated against because they are not a part of the gender binary. I am glad that you recognize the damaging effects of homophobia and transphobia on LGBT youths and I stand with you to protect them from further anguish.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: quil via everystockphoto