I was totally unaware that this ‘Smear the Queer’ game was a thing. I am just in absolute belief that schools allowed it to be played (although not entirely surprised) and incredibly mournful for the kids who felt oppressed and attacked by it.
The level of victimization of LGB children in schools is far higher than what I would have expected it to be. While I’m aware of the issue, I didn’t know there was so much of it. It makes me question what is being done, if anything, because if something were being done, if students were being told off for their bullying, these numbers would be much lower theoretically.
I found the exclusion of celebrations like Mothers and Fathers day from schools in an act of queering interesting and am unsure of how I feel. I believe that it is important to celebrate our guardians, but also understand that not only do some children have parents of the same gender, but also that there are children without parents or a single parent. But, often times children have little awareness of the timing of holidays and their parents are too busy to help them create gifts. School is often the creation ground for hand made trinkets for these holidays. But it simultaneously puts the spotlight on children who don't celebrate one or both of them and separates them from their peers, which is a problem.
In terms of statistics, I think it’s important to acknowledge that by changing people into numbers, we are stripping them of their humanity. Numbers can create an emotional impact, of course, but being one of ten thousand makes you feel small and insignificant. I think it’s important to focus on stories and experience rather than simply giving numbers and statistics all the power.
My first big interaction with this topic was when a friend of mine came out as trans when I was in grade 10. It wasn't so much saying outright that he was trans though, more like that I noticed little things like his facebook name changing and his user id and Mii character for Nintendo as masculine. I wasn’t sure how to react other than to just say alright and go with it and started calling him Cai instead of Chloe like he requested. Talking to him later, most people didn't give him as accepting of a response, so I’m very thankful that I reacted in the way I did.
As teachers, how do we approach these issues without stepping on anyone’s toes? And how do we shove aside our own beliefs and teach what we are expected too, even if we do not agree with it? (Whether this is anti or supportive of any topic, not just the LGBTQ+ community?)