Being Gay or Being Gay: The Brouhaha About the new GES guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education in Ghana.
Good day thinkers. I’ve read the new Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curricula on Sexuality and Reproductive Health Education for pre-tertiary Students (from primary 1 to SHS 3) and would like to share my opinion on it. The crux of the document is to inculcate into young students (the target group are mainly 4-18year olds) a broader understanding and tolerance for, as well as assertiveness and confidence in, one’s sexuality (whether one is homosexual or heterosexual). In relatively simpler terms, they’re trying to let young people imbibe some attitudes that gives room for LGBTQ and not antagonize it.
We have to understand that the world is changing. Whether we like it or yes, we have these LGBTQ people living among us (they have lived among us for a very long time and we knew them right from our SHS). People keep interacting with other people from different places, who have different orientations and perspectives on almost any and everything. This necessitates tolerance for diversity, because one will come in contact with people who have different mentalities apart from theirs. One does not have to be a homosexual at all, especially if it’s against one’s personal cultural and moral orientation, but there is a need for one to understand that others are like that. It is only rational then that one accepts the differences in others and be tolerant enough to be able to live with them—not necessarily befriend them.
Globalization and immigration has made it necessary for all men to have at least some level of knowledge about other people, and to learn how to tolerate and live with them. One may not live forever in one’s primary country and may travel to other parts of the world where these people live freely. How does one then live in such an environment when one harbors animosity in his heart against the LGBTQ community and is overtly bias and acrimonious towards them? Is it not apparently relevant that one gains enough education about this community so as to know how to live with them?
The general uproar among many Ghanaians, especially, as i have observed, religious men, is with the fact that they fear our children will be subtly conditioned to become part of the LGBTQ community. Their major claim is that the idea is against our cultural and religious values? Then I ask, what are those cultural and religious values? Who made them for who? How legitimate is it? And even with the religious aspect, which religious values is the idea against? Is it that of the Traditional African Religion or that of Christianity that was imposed on us by these same ‘propagators of the LGBTQ message’? Do such people realize that that they being incensed with this matter is overtly just as much offensive to others? And that such an agenda also seeks to impose one’s personal moral values on the entire Ghanaian society? The bottom line is, when the argument shifts to moral, cultural and religious codes, which are highly personal, then that of the LGBTQ community also ought to be tolerated because theirs is just as personal. You have the right to promote your religious beliefs just as others can promote their sexual beliefs.
I find it good that our children learn about these different forms of sexualities( no matter how pervert our personal moral values present them) for harmonious living.
The problem comes when there is a subtle agenda to impose on our children a sexuality that they do not identify with at all. With that, the purpose of such education will be defeated and the explanation one can give to this situation is that: the LGBTQ community wants to impose its culture on the everyone.
But we ask another question, why are we ‘scared’ of an education on sexuality? To a large extent, religious morals are consciously taught in classrooms and other places, and its apparent that we’re morally bankrupt, yet we seem to have no problem with that one except for this particular one of sexuality. In the face of your so-called high moral teachings explicit in our curricula, are these children not the same ones growing up corrupt and morally rotten?
This whole issue also communicates to us the power of formal education; that it is one of the most, if not the most, influential methods of learning habits and normalizing stupidity. If we’re wise enough to learn from it, we can structure our formal educative methods to inculcate in young ones virtues that are essential for nation and state building. But we haven’t thought of that and are rather incensed about such trivial matters like who one may have sexual intimacy with!
I’m not looking at the content of the curricula and it’s moral implications whatsoever. No! I’m looking at issues that bothers on a modernized, and not necessarily a westernized, society. The issue of the world being integrated and the essence of understanding different world viewpoints and lifestyle, and the power of formal education and its influence on shaping our cognitive thinking. These are issues that I believe when we look critically at, we will be able to see and hopefully change our fortunes.
Homosexuals are our very own friends and family and they ought not be looked down upon because of their different sexual preferences. We sat in the same classroom with some back in high school and university, we will keep meeting more especially those of you who will be traveling to Europe and USA for further studies, settlement, tourism or business transactions. The earlier you learn about them and how to tolerate them the better. It is a personal choice not to engage in it, especially if it’s against your morals but it is also your duty to respect their difference and tolerate them unless they try forcing you into it.
When infants are schooled on these diverse sexualities, they won’t grow being hateful towards other human beings simply for difference in sexual preferences. I believe strongly that the value of people must be seen in their excellent contributions to the progress of humanity. The various talents that have blessed our world with transformative innovation and bettered livelihoods from antiquity till now have always emanated from awesome intellects from diverse backgrounds – benefiting everyone regardless their physical qualities and sexual orientations. If a gay person gives you a full scholarship to an Ivy League school, you won’t reject it because they’re gay, would you? If you’re hungry and a lesbian give you food, will you throw the food away solely because she has sexual intercourse with females and not males? Will you deregister a course simply because your professor is gay? Will you decide to not buy an item because the retailer is gay? You see, people’s sexual preferences has absolutely nothing to do with their abilities and acts that supports societal transformation and development.
I believe that there are more important issues that we have to look at and allow people to be gay while other choose to gay or lesbians. No matter how fiercely we fight this, the LGBTQ community is here to stay and the earlier we educate ourselves to live with them the better. Thank you.
My name is Enoch Osei Koduah, aka The Sirr Phabby. I’m a Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of History and Political Studies, KNUST.
Source: Mypurefmonline.com/ 957fm/ September 30, 2019.