He referred to the position as being in support of safeguarding, despite many in the community warning of the dangers of outing any LGBTQIA+ child to their parents.
Nadhim Zahawi, the UK’s Secretary of State for Education of the United Kingdom has essentially issued a threat on the lives of all transgender youth in the UK. This by arguing that children should be outed to their parents by teachers, even if they come out in confidence.
Zahawi is working alongside the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in drafting guidance for teachers so that they can feel “supported and informed to deal with trans issues” according to The Telegraph.
According to Zahawi; “Parents have to be front and centre of this. And that is my message to the front line is to say: you have to involve parents in this. You have a duty to safeguard those children and parents are very much part of that”.
However common safeguarding practice is to not out children to their parents, specifically because of the abuse risk this carries. With regards to parents and family members LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness Charity the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) report:
- Just 13 per cent of LGBTQ+ young people surveyed felt supported by parents or stepparents while homeless.
- One in six (16 per cent) of LGBTQ+ young people who were happy to answer, were forced to do sexual acts against their will by family members before they became homeless.
- Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of LGBTQ+ young people who were happy to answer felt frightened or threatened by their family members before they became homeless
- Half of LGBTQ+ young people (50 per cent) who were happy to answer said they feared that expressing their LGBTQ+ identity to family members would lead to them being evicted
These are frightening statistics and paint a very clear picture of the dangers involved in outing children to their parents. To use the language of “safeguarding” in defense of a position which is antithetical to the very concept of safeguarding LGBTQIA+ children is, quite frankly, a slap in the face to organisations such as AKT.
Community solidarity has already backed this abhorrent Government into a corner on LGBTQIA+ rights following the collapse of #SafeToBeMe and #BanConversionTherapy protest action. The community needs to organise around this issue and show the Government this straight up attack on some of the most vulnernable members of our community will not be tolerated.
I for one won’t mince words on this issue; what Zahawi is advocating for will result in children being abused for being LGBTQIA+. This is nothing short of child abuse.