By Jonathon Van Maren
This comes as no surprise to those of us who have been following the LGBT takeover of culture over the past decade or so, but it is still worth noting: Activists now feel comfortable enough to say the quiet part out loud. That is, as I’ve written in this space before, they are no longer pretending that the education (or re-education) of children is not the goal of their movement.
Writer Anukriti Prasad says as much this month in an article titled: “How children’s literature can help in the move to normalise queerness.” This can be difficult, Prasad says, because many parents are still homophobic and dedicated to “heteronormativity.” As such, it is important that the education children receive at school be designed to subvert the upbringing they might receive from such parents. An excerpt:
Nandini Choudhury, relationship expert and meditation mentor at a Kolkata-based wellness organisation called Crystal Minds, believes this cycle runs on modelling. “Being especially impressionable in their formative years, children often emulate their parents’ exhibited behaviour. Along with adopting demonstrated vocabulary and mannerisms, they also inherit the biases they hear most often. How they witness elders, whether at home or in school — the two most crucial sites in children’s lives — approaching various topics, defines the formation of their own responses to these concepts.”
It is important, Prasad writes, not to “perpetuate” the “generational prejudices that we inherit from our elders.” In other words, certain views of sexuality and gender are outdated and must be dispensed with. It is the task of educators to ensure that parents do not pass their beliefs on to their children. An important aid in that, says Prasad, is children’s literature, which has the power to “endow their young readers with lifelong values.” That is to say, lifelong LGBT values. Books with LGBT themes, she says, can promote “LGBT+ allyship.”