Shepparton News- Editorial
12 March 2016
Right now it’s fair to say that there is plenty of crossover between education and sexual politics.
The proposed Safe Schools program has got plenty of people up in arms, and that’s both supporters and opponents. Terms like sexual expression, Marxism, gay takeover and bigotry are being used, combined and driven apart with passion and vigour.
A school chooses to adopt it and is labelled as dangerous, while another decides not to and becomes the poster child for the proposal’s enemies, even though it seems the reasons the school has for saying no don’t align in any way or shape with groups fighting long and hard against any program which has the stated claim of assisting students identifying as LGBTI.
With that much passion floating around about this topic, let’s hope it isn’t used to attack Alex, the Shepparton student we’re meeting in today’s News. Alex has decided to identify as a male. His school has given its support. His mother has as well.
The decision was not an easy one, and you would imagine that to do this in a small community makes that decision even harder. As well, the decision to go public on this — instead of trying to keep your choice semiprivate— takes a special kind of bravery.
Many in Shepparton and the region won’t like reading this story, seeing it as an affront to their values, traditions and religious beliefs. So be it, to feel that way is your choice.
But Alex and his family aren’t asking for your help; and while many of you will freely express them, they don’t need your opinions and views blasted at them.
Many of you are also likely to be unhappy about reading the story on page one of The News. Again that’s your choice. But stories like Alex’s show that this is a diverse region, no matter how much someone may be opposed to that sort of diversity and the fact it receives any coverage.
For Alex his decision to transition is a brave one. We feel that by sharing that story we also share his support.
But that does not mean that he, or anyone else in the Goulburn Valley who decides to do something similar, should be adopted or highlighted as part of a political or advocacy campaign by either side of the sexual identity argument.