From the moment we are born the learning process begins. Human beings during their lives are exposed to many situations and learn many lessons. As a result, we form habits and life perceptions based upon those lessons learned. The lessons we learn guide our lives until a new lesson or better understanding of what we learned replaces that which was engrained into us at a prior point in our lives.
As children, we were always asking questions, wondering why things were the way they were. There was an inherent desire to explore the unknown and to better understand the world around us. As children our minds perceived the world around us with very few filters We had not yet learned the prejudices and pre-conceived notions of our parents and other adults that circulated amongst us.
As we grew older, the innocence of youth and the natural curiosity of the environment around us as seen through our own eyes becomes more distant. We start to be influenced by peer pressure, and the opinions and worldviews of others rather than perceive our lives through our own filters as we did as children.
In terms of our sexuality, instilled in us at a very early age are lessons on the “appropriate” gender roles on how boys and girls are supposed to act and function in society. We were taught that boys wear blue and girls wear pink, that boys are not supposed to cry or show emotions, along with all the other stereotypical nonsense that society feels should be engrained into our consciousness in order to be “normal” boys and girls. Mother Nature, many times, has a different plan.
Due to lessons learned in the past, there often times is an unwillingness to accept different worldviews from our own. Some people become unable to embrace differences in people, and accept the fact that not everyone falls into a neat and tidy gender role. If a child is not encouraged to bloom as he or she was intended, and told to repress their feelings and deny their true essence, their very core of who they are meant to be, internal conflicts arise and cause one to fabricate a life that is not their own, simply to suit the will and desires of someone else and that which society dictates. We create a life that is premised on false assumptions and the guilt that arises from being told we are not “normal” or that there is something wrong with us.
As adults we have a responsibility to care for our children, to nurture them and to protect them from harm. However, along with this responsibility comes an obligation to not unduly influence and hinder their growth and development into the people they are meant to be. We cannot instill in our children lessons of life that do not apply to them.. We cannot falsely engrain into a child who is queer, that they need to get married and have kids, when it contradicts the very essence of who they are and the feelings they are experiencing for others of the same sex. It is one of the worst travesties of life for a child to grow up thinking that they are abnormal; that there is something wrong with them because they don’t fit a neat, tidy model of what others think they should be.
We, as a society, must begin to teach our children that it’s ok to be who they are, and that they will be loved no matter what. To do otherwise, will simply cause internal conflicts, and perpetuate the false premises upon which society’s lessons are built. We have an obligation to reject past lessons learned and embrace new ways of thinking, based on acceptance and understanding of the differences in people.