Me and my rainbow lenses
G’day. My name is Jenny. I have an amazing family. My wife Kel and I have been married for 14 years. We have two daughters, Jorja who is 7 and Summer who is 5. We live a very normal middle class life in a very normal middle class suburb on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.
I am a very proud teacher. I have been teaching for 14 years and have a strong belief in free and appropriatly funded, universal, public education. I have recently become actively involved in my daughters school P&C.I am also a member and activist of the NSW Teachers Federation. Successful education is the sum of all its parts; teachers, staff, parents, community and Government.
Rainbows and LGBTI
LGBTI is an acronym that refers to groups/communities where the members identify themselves as Lesbian and/or Gay and/or Bisexual and/or Transgender and/or Intersex. You might also sometimes see a Q at the end (LGBTIQ) which is Queer or ‘non-mainstream’ sexuality. You will also see the acronym in different order e.g. GLBTI. This is to suit different communities etc.
The rainbow flag has been associated with the LGBTI community since the 1970s. It represents the diversity within the community and how the diversity, together, makes something beautiful. Samesex parented families or transgender parented families etc are often refered to as ‘Rainbow’ families.
The rainbow frontier
Towards the end of the 20th Century, modern western societies began exploring and investigating LGBTI communities and cultures. At the same time, the LGBTI communities and cultures began getting vocal about the inequalities and discrimination faced by members of the LGBTI communites. Through protest, interest and collaboration, many discriminatory laws and behaviours were overturned. In the 21st century we are on the verge of acceptance, shown through things like; marriage equality debates, the legal right to have no defined gender and normalised representation of LGBTI communities in the mainstream media such as modern family.
Schools have always been valued as the place where socities values and mores are taught. It is therefore essential that they keep up with the changing morals and norms. This is what I call the Rainbow frontier . Change is easier said than done. Like other minority groups in the past, there is a second generation of the LGBTI community coming through our schools. My generation of teachers were mostly able to be openly ‘out’. Students began being able to start ‘coming out’ in safer and more accepting spaces. The next generation are the children of rainbow families. Those who identify as part of the LGBTI community but are not LGBTI themselves. (Of course there have always been LGBT families. They are now more common and increasing).
Deconstructing the Rainbow Frontier
This blog aims to help bring about the end of the rainbow frontier. To assist in the ‘normalisation’ of LGBTI experiences. To make schools a safe space for members of all communities, especially members of the LGBTI community.
This blog will:
– Collate resources for teachers, LGBT parents, parents of kids with LGBTI friends/family and LGBTI students
– Give you a perspective of a LGBTI teacher in a High school
– Give you a perspective of LGBTI parents navigating the school system
– Answer any of your questions about the rainbow frontier (asked appropriatly and respectfully of course)