AN OPEN LETTER FROM CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE ABOUT SEX ED
Hey, everyone, it’s me Childhood Innocence.
It’s so awesome that so many of you feel the need to defend me when people talk about sexual education. As you might expect, because I’m not an actual thing, I don’t really have any way of talking about what I’d like best so it’s crazy to hear that I play such a big role in these discussions.
So again, thanks folks.
But you know what? I feel as though maybe you don’t fully understand me. Or maybe you think I’m a little less resilient than I actually am. I’m not as easy to break as you think though and wouldn’t mind if you’d stop using me as your argument against teaching diversity, consent and sexual health.
I’m still going to hang out with your kids at the baseball diamond even if they know that they have a penis or a vulva. I’m not afraid of those words, not even a little.
I’ll hang out with them as they do their Math homework even if they know that their friend is being raised in a home with two dads. Science projects are way too cool for me to leave just because they think a couple of guys are sharing love with their kid.
When I see a friend who dressed like a boy last year but is now dressed like a girl and whose name is now Sarah, not Steve, I can still play hopscotch. I’m more agile than you think and I want to play with my friend.
I solemnly vow that teaching your kids that they have autonomy over their own body doesn’t scare me. It feels good to say no and for people to listen to it.
Knowledge and I get along really well actually. I find it much easier to play soccer when my kid thinks their body is amazing. It’s much easier for me to hang out with my friends knowing they are aware that my kid doesn’t give a shit (excuse my language) if they like girls or boys or if they just want to play with frogs.
I know this is going to baffle some of you too, being that I’m the embodiment of innocence in a child, but I know about pornography, I hear swear words, I know that people have sex before they get married. Me and Real World hang out in places you might not expect. We meet in playgrounds, at sleepovers, at the family laptop at homework time and probably 689 other places.
We can co-exist because Real Word is good people. But, you need to know Real World if you want me to thrive with it. We can, we do all the time. We love Knowledge and we can process it from the time we find a little nook in our child’s heart.
Basically people, I’m lonely when I have nobody to hang out with. Too often people build fences between me and Real World and Knowledge. I can handle inclusiveness, I can handle knowing anatomically correct terms for body parts. I can’t thrive when I’m separated from my friends because you think I need to live forever.
I won’t live forever. But if you give me the chance, I can grow from Childhood Innocence into Acceptance.