As we delve into celebrating queer history in the UK, the histories that we embody and reflect on daily throughout this month have still not seen the light of day in many schools across the country despite changes last year; Scotland being the first country in the UK to embed LGBT education into the classroom and Stonewall has reported that from 2012 to 2017, the number of people being bullied for being LGBTQ+ are more likely to be accepted by the curriculum they're taught.
In her report, Stonewall Scotland's Campaign, Policy & Research Officer, Megan Snedden said that for them
"LGBT people were taboo" in their school.
"For me, the memory of high school is still all too raw, and I have carried these experiences with me in to my adult life."
2019 for me, as a queer person has to be when we begin implementing this education further. Doing so will help continually repair the damages that legislation such as Section 28 caused in the negative and carelessly ignorance towards LGBTQ+ people and their respective rights to freedom, love and education without the fear of bullying and attack.
We've begun to see these changes and the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people across the UK, with a report coming out this month that roughly 55% of people in the UK identified as something "not specifically straight"; something that is definitely a positive thing to hear going into 2019.
Yet despite the unprecedented number of people who are no longer conforming to heteronormativity, we still have years and years ahead of us depending on if we choose now to begin building a better and healthier curriculum to tackle the still rampant bigotry and harassment of LGBTQ+ people, specifically nowadays those from the trans community who still face severe persecution in no only society but through our own legal and educational systems.
While 2018 saw worldwide changes such as the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India and Trinidad ), and with 2019 seeing Angola declaring old colonial laws flawed (bringing the list of 75 anti-gay countries down to 72) it is clear that through education in the modern age that the more that is discussed and taught about LGBT people in international curriculum, the more people are better able to understand this community.
Even as of writing this piece, rulings are set to go ahead in places such as Kenya and Botswana, two countries known for problems with homosexuality in the past - so now, more than ever we must begin bringing LGBTQ+ education into our schools, so that our youth can appreciate and learn about the history of a community that has long been suppressed by religion, by culture and by bigotry.