Monday with Ms. Marvel: LGBTQ+ History in Schools


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan's Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Staff Reporter

Earlier this August, Illinois passed a bill that requires public schools across the state to include members of the LGBTQ+ community in the history curriculum. Four other states, including Colorado, New Jersey, California, and Oregon have passed bills similar to this one, marking a great step forward for the LGBTQ+ community. While these pieces of legislation have predictably caused great controversy, history has proved that education is the best way to fight ignorance and rhetoric. 

Hatred isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something that is taught; facilitated by harmful rhetoric and misinformation. And the only way to stop hate, is to teach our kids tolerance from an early age. 

When you look back at crucial times in history, times of the Holocaust and the Civil Rights movement in America, you start to notice a trend. Before any discriminatory laws are even passed, support for them are garnered by the spread of prejudiced rhetoric. Hitler spread misconceptions about Jews before he even rose to power. The KKK made up lies about black people before Jim Crow was even established. And all of that, all of those vicious lies played a huge role in clearing the way for millions of minorities to be killed and oppressed. 

The LGBTQ+ community has seen their fine share of harmful rhetoric. One doesn’t have to look that far back to remember the AIDS crisis in the 80s when hundreds of thousands of gay men died before any action was taken

AIDS was labeled the “gay disease” and it took years for the public to realise that straight people, and people of any sexual orientation could contract the disease too. It took Princess Diana shaking an AIDS patient’s hand to put a halt to the misconception that the disease could be spread by touch. It took years of television programs and public campaigns made by influential people. It took education.

So let’s put a stop to the ignorance before it even has time to marinate in the minds of this young generation. Let’s teach our children about influential LGBTQ+ people and their accomplishments, people like Alan Turing and Billie Jean King. People who did so much for not only their community but for the world. Writers, artists, engineers, and others who accomplished so much while also facing discrimination for who they loved or who they were. If we do that, then we can raise a generation of of accepting and caring citizens who can leave discrimination as a thing of the past.