Accept different family types

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Upon reading the article on the proposed school counseling curriculum (Jan. 16) I was infuriated by Chris King's comments. True, the state of Alaska does not grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Yet the state has no policy against two people of the same sex being in a relationship, nor has it passed any laws making it a crime for a homosexual or transgender couple to raise children.

Secondly, if by saying that the curriculum shouldn't plant seeds of curiosity she meant it wasn't appropriate for children to be curious about homosexuality, perhaps she should consider that some of these students may have questions about their sexuality. This curriculum is part of a draft designed for grades K-12 and questions of sexuality may arise at the middle and high school level. Approximately 5 percent of the U.S. population is homosexual, although some sources claim the percentage to be 10 to 15. This means that anywhere from 285 to 855 (out of a school district of 5,700) students may be homosexual. The number of children with homosexual parents could be a little less than half of that. These students deserve to be educated in an environment where they are accepted for the amazing and individual people that they are. Also, the friends of these students need to feel like they won't be socially ridiculed for being associated with a homosexual person. The peers and friends should be given an opportunity to talk about their feelings about the student's or the student's parents sexuality.

Homosexuality and transgender people will not disappear, and they shouldn't be made to feel like they should disappear. Being homosexual or transgender or coming from a family where the parents are not "straight" is one of a million ways to live. Just as students are being taught tolerance of their Alaska Native peers, they also need to be taught to accept sexual orientations different from their own. Everyone is a valuable person that deserves respect, love and acceptance, even people that may be different from what our society labels normal.

Maya Pisel

Juneau



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