By Matthew Yung
Homophobia is taught; the things we teach our children are the things they believe in the future. I wrote this poem with how I was raised in mind. For a long time I struggled with accepting my own sexuality and coming to terms with who I truly am. It’s not easy going against what you grew up learning and honestly I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t been exposed to so much negative prejudice about the LGBTQ+ community when I was younger. However, it’s important now more than ever to change the stigma and people’s minds about queer people, which starts with our leaders of tomorrow. A slippery slope argument I see a lot against this is that “we’re shoving LGBTQ+ propaganda down our children’s throats, before you know it my kid will become gay”. But learning to be tolerant and accepting towards different groups of people does not at all result in becoming queer. Quick fun fact – gay men/straight women often have larger hypothalamus’ than straight men/lesbian women!
In short, how we educate our children on these topics can directly affect their morals and values in both negative and positive ways. I hope this poem brings some light to how we can teach kids toxic behaviours. I fully believe that if we work together, we can bring about change for the future generation of people in the LGBTQ+ community so they won’t have to relive the awful things that have happened in the past. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy 🙂
I Was Only 10 I used to run in the rain without an umbrella Looking for a boy with bright red boots When I found you we held hands And headed to your house for bananas with nutella I was only 10 when I learned I really shouldn’t express my feelings Just shake it off like a real man It was all about what people thought And doing what others saw as appealing I was only 10 when I learned I can’t play with Barbie and I shouldn’t cry Because those are things girls do Holding hands with you was weird Since the adults said we’re both guys I was only 10 when I learned Boys aren’t supposed to like other boys The world loves you unconditionally But only if you’re on the straight and narrow Fitting in and not making any noise I was only 10 when I realized On a day just like any other day Searching for my best friend, We locked hands and you said: “I’m not allowed to hang out with you anymore, My mom says you’re too gay” I finally put the pieces together And walked away