Our society drives on fear. I am watching a recording of Monday night’s QandA. Transgender children and Safe Schools. As a teacher in a public, urban high school, I have encountered transgender children. My understanding of the Safe Schools Program is that it aims to inspire, through education, compassion, empathy and understanding to reduce bullying and nastiness.
Anything different or anything that supports difference must be annihilated and forced to conform. Because society is scared.
We are all different at our core, I think. We may want the same or similar things but who we are has a unique quality, largely unquantifiable, and true to just us. When we, meaning society, provide the perception that this quality is wrong, we cause depression and anxiety, and increase the rates of self-harm and suicide. That isn’t good.
I’ve always felt different. I am sometimes scared to be me wholly. I fear judgement and I fear persecution.
On Saturday morning I felt fear. My natural instinct is to help others. There was a conflict at my neighbour’s home. Someone screamed for help. I debated what to do. Fear told me that I needed to be careful – something bad might happen. Even ringing the police didn’t feel right. We are lead to believe that if we stand up we will be shot down.
Eventually (a few minutes), I got dressed and went out. I offered help. Followed my natural instinct. Gave support. Fought the fear. Another of my neighbours came out too.
I don’t know when I became scared of being a part of a community. Maybe the conflict triggered memories and earlier fears, I don’t know, but I’m glad I went out. I’m glad that even in my fear I was able to step up and be me.
But it wasn’t easy. I guess that fighting fear isn’t meant to be.
I think we may have a transgender student at the moment. I don’t know.
But I will be reading that Safe Schools Program thoroughly because I don’t know how to approach the situation. I do not want my actions, fuelled by ignorance, to hurt another human or to marginalise them or to cause discomfort.
Every child should be encouraged to be who they are (unless they are a psychopath or afflicted with something that may cause harm to others). Every teacher and every parent needs to be enabled and empowered to foster this.
Safe Schools seems to enable this.
It is through fear that stems from ignorance that permits evil to thrive.