Proselytize - verb - to promote or convert.
I went through 13 years of education at Mossneuk Primary School and Duncanrig Secondary School respectively. Homosexuality was never mentioned in an educational context - not once. It was all about Mummy and Daddy, Peter and Jane. Everybody in storybooks and textbooks were generally white, Christian and heterosexual.
When I started to realize I was not interested in the opposite sex, I was absolutely terrified. I was a young child with absolutely no clue what was going on in my brain. I thought I was perhaps unwell. I used to play along with the others, for fear of being noticeably different - “Yeah she’s really hot...” *cringe*
Then in the playground I heard the word “gay” for the first time. I didn’t understand what it really meant, but I knew I was “it”. I used to lie in bed at night and mutter under my breath until I would fall asleep, “I don’t want to be gay...”
Yet here we are. I worked it out eventually. I’ve lived as an openly gay man for nearly fifteen years without ever being “proselytized.” (Apart perhaps from an unhealthy teenage obsession with “The Golden Girls”) I’m happy, and proud of the man I’ve become, through the support of family and friends and the experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have.
But to get there, and to realize and accept that I was gay (and that that was OK) was horrendous. If I’d had ONE piece of mild guidance as a child it would have perhaps saved me more than a few sleepless nights and dark thoughts of self loathing.
You cannot be promoted or converted to homosexuality - least of all by a storybook. Wake up and realize that homosexuality is not a choice. Your children need guidance. Guidance towards holding an open mind that not all families are Mummy and Daddy and Peter and Jane. It might just make their childhoods, and all of our futures, a more accepting, bright and harmonious place.