Homophobia explained to children

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The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is celebrated on 17 May. The choice of date, in fact, commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization decided to permanently eliminate homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. 

In this article

  • What is homophobia
  • Homophobia explained to children
Read also: Fables against homophobia in the schools of Venice

What is homophobia

"Homophobia" is a term coined by the psychologist George Weinberg, to define the irrational fear, intolerance and hatred of homosexual people by the heterosexist society. The term "Homophobia", of Greek etymology, uses the suffix" phobia ", synonymous with fear, together with the prefix" homo ", which here loses its original meaning of" same "to become the abbreviation of" homosexual ". In general the clinical term "phobia" indicates a fear, an inability, a personal limit that the single individual finds himself living and that he tries to overcome in order to lead a fuller existence.Homophobiainstead, to quote Weinberg again, we are faced with a "phobia operating as an injury". This characteristic implies that the negative effects are felt not only (and in this case not so much) by the one who is affected, but by those towards whom this prejudice is directed: homosexuals, in fact. 

Homophobia explained to children

But how to explain this day to the children? Talking to the little ones early helps! Children are born without prejudice. They don't see the difference between love or color. They see the diversity of a game that a partner has and that they would like. There are no schools and villages courses or lessons on the subject up to high school, where the topic is in any case entrusted to the initiative of individual teachers or school management. And not very popular, if it is true that the films on the subject are chosen and projected in school hours only in 2% of the classes, despite the appeals of associations such as Arcigay Giovani and Famiglie Arcobaleno, the group born on the initiative of some homosexual Milanese parents. .

So starting with some reading can help.

  • Fabulous Families (Salani), a children's book written by Francesco Maddaloni and Guido Radaelli. It is a collection of fairy tales in each of which the protagonist is a unique animal family in its own way; to unite them all there is love and affection that unites the components. Among these we find, for example, Carlos and Ferdinando, flamingos who wish to become fathers, or Susie and Alberta, who raise their puppies together. The nice peculiarity of this book is that all the stories derive from facts that really happened in the natural world, revisited with just enough sweetness to make them stories to tell the little ones. 
  • In other words. Minimum dictionary of diversity by Fabrizio Acanfora (effequ). Words contribute to the construction of the world we create around us: choosing them in the right way means not making anyone feel excluded. For this Acanfora is dedicated to the construction of an emotional dictionary, which does not explain the literal meaning of some words, but the effect that these have on others. Whether it is neurodiversity, or cultural, sexual, gender, or physical functional differences, understanding the words that characterize them is a useful exercise for everyone in order to create more equitable communities capable of enhancing diversity. 
  • Anesthesia (Feltrinelli Comics) by fumettibrutti, the last chapter of an autobiographical trilogy that began with the explicit city and continued with P. La mia adolescenza trans. These graphic novels focus on some moments that have marked the author's life, including the transition process, as well as the experiences and discrimination experienced as a transgender woman. 
  • One life (Garzanti, translated by Giulia Vallaqua), the biography of Megan Rapinoe, considered one of the strongest footballers in the world. Rapinoe is part of the national team of the United States and, among the many successes in sports, counts the winning of the Ballon d'Or and the Golden Foot in 2022. Rapinoe is also known for being an activist and spokesperson for LGBTQ + rights, as well as to deal with equal opportunities and social rights. In this biography she is told, starting from the discrimination suffered for her sexual orientation, which in any case did not prevent her from pursuing her dreams and that they taught her to oppose injustices. An attitude that led her, for example, to join Colin Kaepernick's choice to kneel during the national anthem in protest against the discrimination of the United States police, and which led her to reject Donald Trump's invitation. at the White House during his tenure.

Article sources: Arcigay Association, Gay Help Line

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