Cory Jennings-DuBois | News Editor
As of October 17th, Republican representative Mike Johnson introduced the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act”, which is now relabeled by the public as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This act prohibits the aid of government funds for development and education of any sexually-oriented discussion, literature, or event for children under or of the age of 10. This act has raised extreme emotions within the LGBTQ+ community, and rightfully so.
This act targets the youth of America, which is bound to have detrimental consequences. Children develop personalities and senses of self as early as the age of 3, and exposure to all forms of identity is critical for their growth. Eliminating this exposure, which the “Don’t Say Gay” bill intends to do, will impact the up-and-coming generations acceptance of this community, as it enables these children to grow up in a close-minded manner.
“Stop the Sexualization of Children Act”, which is a disgustingly inaccurate and harmful name in itself, hinders the children of the United States’ own ability to discover who they are. Self-discovery is a critical, ongoing event that a person goes through while growing up, and this process starts very young. If these kids are taught that certain things, such as attraction to the same gender or deciding that they have different sexual needs, wants, and desires as the majority of society, is bad, then that can lead to harmful inner speech as they grow. These kids, if taught these things, will potentially start seeing other aspects of their lives that are also completely normal as bad and wrong.
This “Don’t Say Gay” bill has a very self-explanatory name, though it does not just mean the erasure of conversation about same sex couples. It also includes conversation about transgender, asexual, non-binary individuals, and more. It is immensely important for children to be exposed to these ideologies and ways of life, as it allows them to explore themselves in a way that is not the societal norm.
Exterminating these conversations with the youth grows a toxic environment for them to grow up in. 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ adolescents attempt suicide due to the unaccepting nature of a majority of society. When talking about transgender individuals, 26% of Americans who identify as transgender report the abuse of alcohol, depression, and attempted suicide. Finalizing this bill will only make these numbers go up.
This bill will not have the impact that representative Mike Johnson intends. This bill has and will continue to cause riots, and the LGBTQ+ community will not settle until it is nulled. The bill, which intends to have long term effects of limiting the amount of LGBTQ+ individuals starting with the young kids of America, will not prevail in that area. Analysis on homosexuality shows that 87% of sexual orientation is genetic, and the numbers are higher when it comes to transgender, nonbinary, and other sexual orientations. This bill cannot change a genetic makeup of a person, only bring people to discriminate against it.
Many things can and should be done in order to speak up against this bill. People are allowed to have their own opinions, but when it comes to basic human rights, nothing should be deemed as “wrong” or controversial. Our country is the country of the free, so why does freedom only apply when an individual fits into the expectations of society?