In preparation for this blog discussion, view this week’s Start Seeing Diversity video sections on “Gender” and “Sexual Orientation.” Additionally, spend some time reviewing two or three items from the following categories of media: children’s books, cartoons, comic books, television shows and/or commercials, toys or games, toy stores, product packaging, video games, children’s songs/music and/or observing children on playgrounds or in early childhood settings. Then, thoughtfully consider messages a young child might glean. Also, consider experiences you had as a child and have had as an adult related to homophobia and heterosexism. It may also be helpful to listen to the following optional resource found in this week’s Learning Resources to guide your thinking: NPR audio story “Two families grapple with sons’ gender identity: Psychologists take radically different approaches in therapy.”
Share your response to at least two of the bullets below with your colleagues: (You will only pick to bullets from below); you did not have answer all of the bullets-
- Some of the ways you noticed that homophobia and heterosexism permeate the world of young children including books, movies, toys, stores, culture of early childhood centers, and schools
- Your response to those who believe that early childhood centers should avoid the inclusion of books depicting gay or lesbian individuals such as same-sex partnered families
- How you would respond to a parent/family member who informed you they did not want anyone who is perceived (or self-reported) homosexual or transgender to be caring for, educating, and/or interacting with their child
- If you have ever used or heard homophobic terms such as “fag,” “gay,” “homo,” “sissy,” “tom boy,” or “lesbo” as an insult by a child toward another child? Or, by an adult toward a child? Describe what occurred. How might these types of comments influence all children? (Note: if you have not had a personal experience, ask a family member, friend, or colleague)
- Any other related situations, thoughts, concerns, questions, and/or areas of discomfort you would like to share related to children, gender, and sexual orientation
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