February 23, 2014
Blog 4 (august)
After printing this article, “Safe Spaces” by Gerri August, I cannot lie, I was not the happiest after seeing how many pages came out of my printer, but read it anyway. Knowing how mind-opening the first pieces were, I could only imagine after reading more about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community within our schools and community what would be running through my head. The introduction tells how it’s not all about verbal, text or email, but even the nonverbal communication about LGBT that shows when it is unacceptable. The main argument August is trying to get out is that although people don’t say it they act towards LGBT in negative ways. August uses heterosexism as an unconscious spread from adults. Being straight I can see where most problems come from; at least I thought so until reading this. And august argues it’s not only coming from peers, but family, media, and everything in between. So what august really wants to change is how others Expect LGBT in the community, Explore LGBT in the community and Embrace LGBT in the community.
With this becoming more and more of a bigger deal not only in school setting but throughout life, you see on TV now more people, athletes in particular, “coming out.” Seeing this on TV as I kid I always wondered what’s the big deal? Why does this matter? I’m straight and you never see people going on TV advocating it and preaching it. But I was just being “oblivious” or using my “blinders.” This is heterosexism, me expecting that everyone is straight, that is why it is never being announced on TV, because throughout my day on TV, books, or anywhere I look all you see is straight couples or men being attracted to women and vice versa. But it’s not only me, when you think about it, you expect a person to be straight, unless you stereotype them for something they are wearing or how they act. Like august is saying, we need to not expect everyone is straight, but expect everyone to be different. I myself had this experience before this where I went up to someone and asked how they felt about someone and they replied with “I don’t go that way” it was probably one of the more awkward situations I’ve been in, but I replied with I’m sorry. But it made me think more about this piece and it could go either way. Could he of been happy I thought he was straight, or did he get really offended by me just expecting him to be straight.
Another aspect of August’s argument is embracing the LGBT community. With celebrities and athletes “coming out” and telling national TV about their sexual orientation, it shows that even people we think the highest of are in the LGBT community. This allows younger students to see that it’s not certain people but that it could be anyone, this is giving them another way to show the children and youth that embracing LGBT students is fine and they are not different. Like August says sexual orientation topics are absent in majority of classrooms, but since kids are bringing their experiences from home into the class, they can communicate about how more and more “famous people” are also Gay or Lesbian. But not only communicate about the celebrities, but accept the fact that since there are famous actors and athletes that are accepted, that even people in the community that are LGBT should also be accepted. With more people coming out, I feel this is giving more and more ways of exploring the LGBT community within the classrooms. Seeing nowadays it is becoming more regular for someone to come out rather than holding to themselves, it allows students to talk about it, and the students that are within the LGBT community to feel more accepted and having more people to relate to.