Of all the things I get to do on behalf of Toronto PFLAG, visiting elementary schools is the best. Children in the elementary grades (we present to children from Grades 2 to 12) are so eager, honest and curious.
On October 29th I had the privilege of speaking to students from Grades 4 to 8 at Faywood Arts-Based Curriculum School.For these younger audiences we talk about our own LGBTQ child’s elementary school experience and use it to talk about things we can and cannot change; celebrating our differences; being a role model; and, being an ally in the face of bullying. We always end with questions. The younger kids especially want to hear what happened to our child when they grew up. There are often questions about things they have heard and want to understand better.
And then there are the kids who wait until we are packing up. They appear at our elbows and say in quiet voices, “Miss, I know I am different”, or “How do you know for sure you are gay?” or “Will you come back and talk to us again, please?”
But at Faywood I had a conversation I will never forget.
A young girl in Grade 3 approached me and asked, “How does it feel having a lesbian daughter?” I replied it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. That it had opened a whole new world to me that has enriched my life beyond words. She listened to me intently and said, “I hope my mom feels that way.” And skipped back to her seat.