Students that attend public schools in Illinois will learn of the contributions LGBTQ people have made in society. Signed into law on Friday by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the bill is scheduled to go into effect in July 2020.
Introduced as House Bill 246 by Representative Anna Moeller, the bill states the teaching of history will include a study of the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in the history of this country and Illinois. The bill was heavily supported by Illinois’ largest queer civil rights advocacy group, Equality Illinois. Hoping the curriculum would bolster students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting, the bill received support in both the Senate and House earlier this year.
Illinois Senator Heather Steans said “One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints.” She continued, “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history, but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.” Steans has been noted as “one of the General Assembly’s most vocal and passionate supporters of full equality for LGBT people.”
The bill details what changes can be expected to history curriculum for the state’s students. According to Equality Illinois, topics that will be added to public schools history curriculum include details like the nation’s first gay rights organization. The bill states all textbooks will include the roles and contributions of those protected b the state’s Human Rights Act, and must be non-discriminatory.
Expressing her hopes that the bill will benefit future generations, Steans said, “LGBTQ children and and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”
Would you like to see other states enforce similar bills?
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We Support Black Queer Youth. Including Zion Wade.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union supported their son, Zion Wade, at Miami Pride and there’s something I need our community to understand — Until you value ALL Black lives, you don’t believe Black lives matter.
Growing up as the daughter of a Black man who stated he would disown me for my queerness, I celebrate the love and support Dwyane and Gabrielle shower Zion with. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and something that should be afforded to everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community indiscriminately. However, several troglodytic, backwards people believe that rather than protection, Zion deserves correction.
At 11-years-old, Zion Wade has expressed ownership of his identity. I applaud him. When I was 11, I was a victim of the same ridiculous banter all children hear. “Look at you and [random heterosexual boy], y’all are so cute together. I can’t wait until y’all grow up!” The same people who push children into heterosexual relationships without question are currently asking “How old is Zion? Isn’t he too young for this? How does he even know he’s gay?” as if queerness ebbs and flows like the tide. As if his identity comes later in life like a Pokemon evolution. The level of homophobia in the Black community during a time when we are losing more children to suicide because of their queerness and our community’s refusal to accept them is baffling.
It is difficult enough in this country to survive as a Black person without the added stress of being shunned by your own community. So many queer people find themselves without unconditional love, which results in them fleeing hostile living conditions and facing homelessness. And we have the audacity to wonder why children like Jamel Myles die by suicide at the age of 9.
If you are unable or unwilling to show up for queer Black youth, you’re just going to have to square up in 2019.