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FEATURES 7

will forever be scarred because of order to fill the gaps in their sexual identities and orientations develop a in the curriculum in place, but will en. For some time, they thought
that.” education left by educators in their positive self-concept.” While prog- hold a question and answer period they might be a trans man, until
According to the Ontario Min- lives. According to a report by the ress became evident with the 2015 to answer any questions students they discovered gender identity as
istry of Children, Community and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educa- curriculum, it still erroneously listed still have. “I am offended that the a spectrum and came to identify as
Social Services, women know their tion Network, LGBTQ+ youth “male” and “female” as gender iden- minister is even calling it the 2014 non-binary.
attacker in three out of four sexual were more likely to have searched tities instead of sexes. curriculum,” she says. “It’s a curricu- Wang then came out to their
assault incidents. Goldbloom makes for health and medical information The 1998 curriculum does not lum that was designed 20 years ago.” younger brother, who had been
up one of the many youth who online compared to non-LGBTQ+ mention any relationships or iden- taught the newer curriculum. When
youth (81 per cent vs. 46 per cent). tities other than cisgender hetero- they told their brother, he already
“Google is great, if you know what sexual ones. The word “gender” knew about trans identities and
to look for,” Jardine said. But with- comes up only once, in the phrase what it meant to be non-binary, and
out any prior knowledge on various “gender roles.” This excludes several was completely accepting of it.
topics, it becomes difficult to know identities and orientations, which, if “It was really crazy to me that my
what to search and what to trust. included, could have validated what The Ford government announced brother already knew these things
didn’t realize that sexual violence Section C.1.5 of the 2015 cur- many students were going through. that parents would be able to report that I had to learn on Tumblr or
isn’t just something done by strang- riculum states that “by the end of “If you see yourself in the curricu- teachers to the government if they just the internet in general,” Wang
ers in back alleys. A fourth-year find that their child is being taught said. “I feel like I would have just
McMaster student told The Eyeopen- the repealed curriculum. been okay with myself growing up
er,, “I didn’t know what happened to Whether or not this will result [having been taught the new cur-
me was considered rape because it in consequences for the teachers riculum] … I would have just been
was done by an acquaintance.” They remains unclear, as the elementary like, ‘Oh, I feel this way because I am
felt so guilty and confused that they teachers union has gone forward non-binary.’”
told their boyfriend they had cheat- with a court challenge against the
ed on him. “snitch line” calling it an “abuse of
Logan Cerson, a Ryerson film power.”
studies graduate, said they didn’t re- Winnie Wang always had a small
ally know about the idea of consent chest. It was the root of the bully- I didn’t have the
until their second year of university, ing they experienced growing up. words for why I felt
when it was brought up in a conver- Peers would make fun of them for
sation. They just thought it was a this, but Wang oddly felt compli- what I felt
“physically violent thing where you mented by what was intended to be
didn’t know the person.” an insult.
“The amount of trauma that was “Why aren’t I offended by this?”
perpetrated on me,” Goldbloom they would ask their friends, who
said, “because I didn’t have the lan-
guage to say ‘stop’ or ‘that’s not okay’
is never going to be fixable.”
would never know how to respond.
Wang didn’t realize it at the time,
but it was because they wanted to
I n middle school, Goldbloom
started to develop feelings for
one of their friends. But one day,

I n first year, David Jardine was
flirting with someone that he
met at a pub event on his birthday.
present as less femme.
The fourth-year University of
Toronto student, who studies neu-
she told Goldbloom that they were
being too clingy. Goldbloom recalls
it hurt “so bad.”
After spending some time togeth- roscience and cinema, said that in “I didn’t know why I felt what I
er, Jardine ended up going back to their first year, they discovered felt and I didn’t have words for why
his place. When they started hook- what non-binary gender was, while I felt what I felt,” Goldbloom said.
ing up, Jardine didn’t think a con- they were simply scrolling through “And I think it escalated from there
dom was necessary, but his hookup Twitter one day. “I was finally like, because I kind of assumed being gay
explained that they needed to use Grade 8, students will demonstrate lum,” Jardine said, “and your teacher ‘This makes sense, why didn’t I was a negative thing. A sin. It wasn’t
one because STDs were still trans- an understanding of gender iden- is teaching you about something know about this.” something you could be or were
ferable. tity (e.g., male, female, two-spirited, that you are, that means what you Wang felt disconnected dur- even allowed to be.”
Jardine, now a fourth-year com- are is real.” ing their sex education classes in While some teachers are com-
puter science student at Ryerson,
assumed it wasn’t needed because
he had only been taught in school If you see yourself in
T he Eye spoke to a Grade 8
teacher at a Catholic school in
Mississauga, who requested to re-
elementary and high school. They
were taught that a woman is some-
one with a vagina, but Wang didn’t
batting what’s ahead for elemen-
tary students, Goldbloom added
it’s not enough to just teach kids to
that they were used in heterosexual main anonymous in this story. She relate. “I felt so distracted, confused, understand these concepts. “These
relationships to avoid unwanted the curriculum, that said that she will still find her own queer kids are at such a risk of be-
pregnancies. Jardine was lucky it means what you are way to implement important con- ing kicked out of their homes,
was pointed out by someone more cepts in her teachings, in spite of rejected by their families, of liter-
knowledgeable in safe sex than he is real the potential consequences from the ally being homeless, murdered, not
was. “I could have very easily caught provincial government. She plans feeling safe in their own surround-
something from that interaction.” to teach her students about mod- ings,” Goldbloom said.
Jardine found himself turning to ern topics like sexting and consent. alienated, the whole time.” Wang From middle school to today,
the internet in search of what other transgender, transsexual, intersex), “I will use that language, I think it’s said they didn’t even know about Goldbloom still struggles with be-
information he was missing to keep gender expression, and sexual ori- incredibly important, especially in the existence of transgender people ing a pansexual non-binary person.
himself safe and informed. entation (e.g., heterosexual, gay, the older kids. It’s dangerous not to until Grade 10, from searches on the “If I had had that education at an
The internet has been a vital tool lesbian, bisexual), and identify fac- teach them these things.” internet. But they still thought there earlier age, then I wouldn’t be going
for many queer people to turn to in tors that can help individuals of all She plans to teach what is outlined were only trans men or trans wom- through this.”

July 11 Aug. 1 Aug. 7 Aug. 14 Aug. 22
Ford 21 advocacy NDP, 1,800 Snitch line Elemen-
announces groups send a health care announced to tary teach-
repeal of sex- letter to PCs workers send report teach- ers’ union
ed to the 1998 calling for re- petition to PCs ers using 2015 protest at
model consideration in protest model Queen’s Park