Although most people support the idea of safe schools, addressing bullying, and making sure that sex-ed is relevant for everyone, there has been a small but organized push-back against teaching about gender identity, sexual orientation, and diverse families.
Most people, including politicians, understand that sex-ed is an important part of promoting the health and well-being of young people. But there is still a lot of public misinformation about sex-ed. Across several Canadian provinces, politicians and lobby groups are exploiting homophobic and transphobic fears about sex-ed to win political points.
The political success of those who oppose sex-ed is a symptom of the increasing influence of a kind of social conservatism that used to be considered extreme. This growing influence and the media skills that come with it are used to win significant policy changes—including in sex-ed curriculums. The classroom has become a venue to attack the human rights of women, girls and LGBTQ+ children and youth instead of a place of learning and acceptance.
Anti-LGBTQ+ organizations and politicians have intentionally misrepresented what students are being taught and have used these lies to gain support and power through the media. Attacks against LGBTQ+ content in schools are said to “protect children” but removing this content does the exact opposite.