“I realized that my children are queer, but ‘lesbian’ felt like a filthy word at school.” An intergenerational Q&A about LGBTQ+ knowledge in education

“I realized that my children are queer, but ‘lesbian’ felt like a filthy word at school.” An intergenerational Q&A about LGBTQ+ knowledge in education

An intergenerational Q&A about LGBTQ+ education in schools.

Claire Dowie and Rachel Watkeys-Dowie is a mama and child who both determine as queer. Claire are 64, was raised in Birmingham making a lifetime career in playwriting, stand-up comedy and gratification. Rachel is 28, was raised in London and performs as a TV music producer and stand-up comedian.

As an element of all of our inclusive training promotion, we wanted to understand what school was actually like for LGBTQ+ individuals from different years. We set-up a Q&A between Rachel and Claire to learn just how much – or exactly how little – got changed whenever it concerned learning about LGBTQ+ identities and problems in school, 35 age aside.

Her solutions showcase exactly how transformative a truly comprehensive education could possibly be, and how little assistance and assistance most LGBTQ+ young adults posses whilst in school. Help us offer most LGBTQ+ kiddies and young people the beginning in life they have earned by giving to the fundraiser.

Claire, do you realy remember being trained everything about queer individuals, or problems, in school?

No, not a thing. Subsequent question!

There was absolutely nothing – even more thus because we visited an all-girls’ class. There clearly was no chat of things untoward.

Claire and Rachel for the backyard.

Do you learn anything from colleagues when you happened to be youthful, or was it perhaps not before you are a grownup that you began to realise just what it could suggest to be LGBTQ+?

I think I spotted The Killing of sibling George on telly. And I also think, ‘Oh, that’s what its all about’. Before that, we never ever heard things. Apart from people kind of muttering – about blokes, largely – being somewhat effeminate or ‘good to his mommy’. There is little blatantly apparent.

It was particular acknowledged for women to reside along subsequently. It was discussed because they happened to be spinsters whom could not bring a person – but there was never any concept about becoming lesbian or homosexual, and certainly not queer.

There was clearly no education in institutes or in community. Even although you had visitors like Kenneth Williams on radio talking Polari, you didn’t imagine it getting gay. There was clearly never ever any discussion men and women in lovers. So Kenneth Williams was actually an effeminate guy, you’d never that is amazing suggested the guy maybe in a relationship with another man.

There clearly was no studies in schools or perhaps in customs.

And moving on to whenever part 28 had been brought in. Do you ever keep in mind exactly what the climate felt like after that? Achieved it feel just like a rollback?

No. in the past, you’d ladies liberation, gay liberation, dark liberation, all coming across times, across the late 70s, early 80s. It was fantastic getting women stand-up next because every blokes needed to tune in to you the very first time ever, given that it ended up being trendy.

It decided area 28 came into being because individuals happened to be supposed along side most of the newfound versatility, people were heading alongside ladies liberation, dark liberation. Immediately after which the organization gone: No, we’re not having that. As well as clamped upon it-all.

As soon as you’re having young ones five years afterwards, were your contemplating exactly what it would be like on their behalf in school, or did feeling it could nevertheless be a lot better than it was individually?

Genuinely, I found myself a lot more worried about myself! I happened to be freaking down because I became quite a butch dyke before after that. I managed to get through college are a comedian and a small amount of a bully.

Within my class party, everyone danced beside me. As you female said: you’re the only real kid for the strengthening, therefore everybody desires to dance along with you. We decided I found myself in heaven.

So I believed: easily have through college OK, very would they.

Claire and Rachel watering their own plant life.

Do you consider what you would say to Rachel and Mike about getting from a queer household, or was it something which failed to should be discussed clearly?

Claire: it had been never something. To tell the truth, I do not notice it by doing this and it never ever starts for me. I always think: why must We declare my personal sexuality, with regards to kind of varies in any event?

Rachel: i recall one of my personal college family said, ‘Oh their mum’s a lesbian,’ and I ended up being like, ‘just what?!’. I understood that my children were queer but ‘lesbian’ felt like a dirty word in school. That was fascinating since it had not started converted to a problem in the home, and so I had not equated those two keywords earlier.

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