‘Rainbow’ class worries father

Stuff.co.nz July 8, 2012
A father is concerned his son  attended alternative sexuality education classes at school that  explored ideas like transsexuality without his knowledge or permission. However the Rainbow Youth  organisation’s education co- ordinator stands by the presentations, sayings its education package has been evaluated and is  backed up by research. Earlier this year Rainbow Youth  presented two one-hour sessions to the 15-year-old’s class. Auckland-based Rainbow Youth  provides “support, information,  advocacy and education for queer  young people” and has been  delivering education workshops  for more than 10 years. One presentation was about  gender and sexual identity and the  other addressed issues such as  homophobia and bullying. The teenage boy said two of the  presenters introduced themselves to the class as lesbians, one who was attracted to transsexual girls, while the third said he had been a  woman attracted to women but  became a man “with a vagina”. The teenager said the first lesson  was “OK” and the message was that there were multiple gender  identities. But he felt the second  lesson was “quite weird”. It looked  at homophobia and how society  treated people labelled as “other”. The class heard two of the presenters’ coming-out stories, including how one had grappled with  discrimination and deciding if they  were male or female. “[The  transsexual speaker] was saying  things like, ‘it’s legal to have a  physical relationship with your  cousin but it’s illegal to have gay  marriage’. And things like, if you’re  really homophobic you usually  turn out gay.