By ALEXANDRIA DEER
Every year in Canada 300 kids commit suicide.
Many of them are severely bullied for being gay.
Rick Mercer, an openly gay Canadian comedian, recently featured this issue in one of his “rants” on his CBC television program, The Rick Mercer Report.
“It’s no longer good enough for us to tell kids who are different that it’s gonna get better. We have to make it better now,” Mercer said on his show.
On Oct. 25, a 12-minute video premiered in Toronto called, It Gets Better. The video features five gay women in Toronto with inspiring messages of hope directed toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning teens.
But, as Mercer said, are messages like this enough? Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty doesn’t seem to think so.
The McGuinty government is proposing changes to their sexual education program.
Changes that include teaching kids as young as six years old about homosexuality and cross-dressing.
The idea behind the proposed sex ed program is that if kids are educated about homosexuality at a younger age they will be more accepting of it and this will hopefully minimize the number of kids who are bullied for being gay.
The first problem with this program is teachers are already finding it difficult to teach their students everything that is in the curriculum, let alone inform them about a subject matter that is a parent’s responsibility.
The second problem is that some parents and religious groups greatly oppose this program.
With people who are still this close-minded in the world, are McGuinty’s efforts in vain?
If some kids are still being influenced by their parents to believe that homosexuality is wrong, the vicious cycle will continue. Kids will continue to take their own lives because they are bullied for being themselves.
Emma Teitel, an openly gay opinion writer for MacLean’s magazine, said it best in an article. Sexual orientation isn’t a lifestyle: it’s a life sentence.