English schools have faced backlash for their LGBTQ+ inclusive curricula since a protest in Birmingham early last year.
The anti-LGBTQ+ protesters were initially fighting against an inclusive anti-bullying program called No Outsiders, but are now protesting the required addition of inclusive lessons about different types of families—including LGBTQ+ families—in primary school.
During a radio program discussing the protest, a 72-year-old trans woman named Kerry called in to talk about how ridiculous the protesters talking points were.
She began the call with a powerful statement.
"I am trans, I exist."
One of the common claims by those opposed to children learning about LGBTQ+ people is that it will confuse children. Kerry didn't think so.
"Do we teach children that dinosaurs existed 65 millions years ago?"
“Should we not be teaching something else, because maybe that would confuse them that dinosaurs aren't real things."
“But yes, they did exist and they are there."
Kerry hid her identity as a woman for years, but that didn't make her less of a woman.
"I've always been this way, but I'd been hiding it for years… I knew it was there, built in me, I couldn't stop it."
The host, Maajid Nawaz, agreed with Kerry and made another great point about the assertion that just learning about trans people with somehow make kids trans—a ridiculous, but unfortunately common, talking point.
"This is why I think it is a bit primitive in the brain for anyone to think you can catch this. These aren't viruses. These are internal traits that somebody feels inside themselves."
"By talking to you Kerry, I'm not going to suddenly go home and scratch myself and wonder if I am trans."
Many on social media agree that the new curriculum is incredibly important, and a big win for civil rights.
All schools in England will be required to teach LGBT-inclusive Relationships & Sex Education from September 2020.… https://t.co/jZ7MX2zGF1— akt (@akt)1554131328.0
This is so important! As a trans woman, I believe that LGBT people would be much more accepted if in school, talks… https://t.co/L5p3HH6huF— Mary Docean (@Mary Docean)1567879622.0
Kerry told Nawaz that she recently had gender confirming surgery, just 3 days before her 72nd birthday. She highlighted the importance of children learning about different identities when they are young.
"People who are trans are born trans, indefinitely trans, they might not know until a later age, but to be taught it a young, there is nothing wrong."
"So what is happening in the world right now - not only in this country, religious zealots state side - there is a great erosion in the LGBT rights right across the world, especially in the United States and we don't want to see that in this country."
"People have to get real. We exist."