Talking Points- Comprehensive Sex Education
October 27th 2015 at 10am
My name is Bryan Ellicott. I am a transgender/ bisexual identified man and LGBTQ advocate/activist born and raised in Staten Island & attended all NYC public schools K-12.
I am here to speak in support of comprehensive sex education in our schools and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression. 50% of all New York public high school students have mentioned they have had sexual intercourse according to the ACLU…this statistic doesn’t say whether the students identified as homosexual or heterosexual.
Almost 75% of NYC public schools report not learning about LGBTQ its 2015…where we have marriage equality across this country, were our Governor gave an executive order to The Department of Human Rights to include Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people under the Human Rights Law. Celebrities and Icons come out almost every other week
Its time to discuss Sex Education in an affirming way that includes all identities that our children may identify with and continue to review and expand as does our vocabulary for expressing our selves and our potential partners.
These are things that I didn’t learn when I was in school whether it be middle school or high school, that I feel, my teachers should have given me would have benefited the feelings I had about my own gender identity and expression as well as my sexual orientation.
Many people in the LGBTQ community know how they are at a young age. I knew that I was transgender in middle school but didn’t have the words to describe how I felt (I was in fact looking for the word Transgender or Female to Male).I knew I was attracted to both men and women (Bisexual) in elementary school/middle school the word existed but the teachers didn’t know what to do with that knowledge.
Sex Education to youth when they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth and are attracted to the opposite gender is hard.That’s because you’re a kid and everything is a joke and not taken seriously, they are kids it is to be expected.
However sex education when it comes too youth who may identify or be curious if they are LGBTQ is even more difficult. (Not because they aren’t interested or curious) but because they are looking for the words to use.
We need to empower them and give them the tools to figure things out…if we don’t give them the tools we have already set them up to be in situations that can be avoided.
It’s not until you step foot into a LGBT service provider or youth drop in center that you are taught about safe sex and real discussions. I had sex way before I was properly educated on the subject
- Consent and Healthy Relationships
- Reproductive Health
These are the things I wish I knew about, and that I had an adult that I could talk to at school that may have had the words that I was looking for. My journey may have been a little different and my transition would have started a little sooner.
I want our New York City school children to be more knowledgeable and the ability to make better choices an than I was, more able to possibly live in their own skin more comfortably
Feel included in the classroom…that the most important part to not live a student wondering where do I fit in this conversation. I want our youth to have trusted and trained adults who feel comfortable talking about.
These are just some of the reasons why I am supporting the need for comprehensive sex education in our schools and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics including Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression.