Gender, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

I have been working in the early childhood field for many years and it was not until starting my master’s program and looking at bias and diversity that I noticed that centers do not have books, posters, or any materials that show same sex couples. Since we are seeing more same sex partnered families I think it is wrong to allow these children to remain ignorant or contribute to the stereotypes of the LGBT lifestyle. It is becoming more common and children need to be exposed so that they can be aware of the differences in family structures.

When you look at books, movies, or toys there is an absence of same sex couples. I have noticed by talking to others that there is still a great presence of homophobia in today’s society. I have and still work with ladies who are lesbian professionals within the educational field although it is not known to many. They do not talk about their home lives very much and it is not made known to the families in the center whether this is intentional or not.

This is something that I believe educators need to also learn more about so that we know how to address the questions of the children if they arise. As an educator, I would honestly be stumped if a child started to ask me questions about homosexuals or transgender people. I do not want to portray any misconceptions because I do not know how to properly speak on their behalf. As I continue to learn more about bias, prejudice, and “isms” I hope to help others understand misconceptions and stereotypes. To say nothing in defense of something is just as if I condone the actions or words that are hurtful and harmful.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leslie
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 20:57:21

    April I’m feeling you. I have a hard time trying to explain homosexualiy to my grandson. My daughter is a teenage and I’ve already had “the talk” with her. There is so much going on in the world today, it is better to teach a child about their gender and what God/Bible tells us that to let them experience some tramatic event or to learn from someone other than thier parents about “sexuality” and “homosexuality.”

    Reply

  2. Edilma Spikes
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 21:03:30

    April,
    I think your Blog raised a very good point ,and that is we as early childhood educators should continue learning about same sex families, just in case like you said ,if we ever get asked about it from a child ,we will not be in an awkward position. Having an uncle who is gay and who has a partner (I consider him my uncle also) I feel like I can relate to children from same sex families. I feel like there is still more I can still learn. This is a topic that I think we will be dealing with in our field and especially with our specialization.

    Reply

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