Do you remember sex education?
Do you remember? It was most likely in the early years of secondary school. A teacher may have put on a video. There was probably lots of embarrassed giggles and may a few red faces. And bravado. Lots of bravado.
But you watched the video. You listened to the talk. And you most likely learned a few things – admit it, you didn’t know everything back then!
And you would have left that classroom with your bravado and embarrassment and a slightly less red face and continued about your day.
The ‘Other’ People
You were probably unaware that in another building, not too far away from that classroom, there sat many people, some younger than you, some the same age, some older. People going through the same or similar physical and biological changes as you. But nobody showing this group a video. Nobody giving this group a talk on what’s what and what’s not.
You probably didn’t know that some of this group were getting “special” medicine to minimise the impact of these changes.
Unfortunately, they didn’t know either.
It most likely did not enter your thoughts that somewhere so near to you, people of similar age to you were confused about what was happening to their bodies. You may have thought that if you knew, everyone knew, right? Sadly, no, wrong. Not everyone knew. Some people never knew because those who ‘knew better’ believed this group of people did not need to know or they would not understand.
You probably didn’t know that no-one would ever talk to that group of people about relationships, or babies, or sex. Sex education was not really an option for ‘that’ group.
But why you ask, why did nobody tell that group? Surely they deserved to know this important information too? Well yes, yes they did deserve to know. But that group had a diagnosis that set them apart from you and the rest of their peers. A diagnosis of disability.
And many experts of the time believed this meant they were asexual. And therefore did not need to know. Or want to know. Sure they didn’t need it, this sex education thing, did they?
And many more, the liberals, thought “of course ‘they’ can have relationships and sex, just not on my shift”.
But now we know this is untrue. Now we know that everybody needs to know. And everybody has the right to an intimacy of their choosing.
You probably didn’t know or care about all this back then.
But now you know.
And I hope you care.