It’s true- Scotland became the first country in the world to require and incorporate LGBTQ+ history and inclusive education as part of its curriculum for schools. This is incredibly powerful and an important move that can guide and influence the rest of the world that has so far failed to recognize the necessity of acknowledging oppression and erasure of the LGBTQ+ community for all of history and for honoring and valuing members of the LGBTQ+ community especially as children. The change was led by a committee developed in 2017 to improve the lives and educational experiences of LGBTQ+ youth. They have previously implemented political change on many issues related to LGBTQ+ rights particularly in schools including identity affirming standards like allowing students to use their chosen name and their pronouns as well as access to gender neutral bathrooms on campuses.
These set of actions and all the resources developed in its course are extremely huge successes that so many will benefit greatly from and will hopefully reduce ignorance of so many before it can form to begin with.
But this isn't the only impressive move the Scotland government has made againstt social ignorance and injustice. This summer Scotland also addressed decolonizing their school curriculum and teaching the facts about racial justice and equity as well as accurate historical information about the marginalization of people of color and colonization overall.
Both of these are extremely admirable adjustments that can be applauded especially from where we are standing in the US. This year when we wanted more racial justice and accurate history taught in schools like critical race theory, many states actually banned critical race theory to perpetuate and reinforce racism. Moves like this have clearly reinforced"color-blindness" and systemic racism starting with the youth and malleable minds who could still learn better.
We must acknowledge something really noteworthy is happening with Scotland on these new legislative actions. Just so we don’t forget, it was only last year that Scotland became the first country in the world to make menstrual products free and accessible. A huge stride for menstrual equity and menstruators around the globe.
But it’s clear we have something to learn. Scotland is making progress on many social issues that we as activists in America have been working to resolve for years. Why is it that we are seeing such limited progress when it is clear that change is possible?
Another question, why did it take even Scotland so long to address and make these changes?
We need to spend more time reflecting on the strategies that we’re used in Scotland to implement these changes so we can mimic those efforts and create more global change. The question becomes will we be second to implement these changes? 3rd? Or last …
I myself have never been to Scotland so it’s difficult for me to make any generalizations or comparisons between us and them,
Is it simply that we are more apathetic?
Does our country have more hateful ignorant people fighting against change than other countries?
Is it our legislative process?
Or does it also have to do with the fact that we haven’t engaged enough of our activists, feminists and bright minds?
It’s time to ask ourselves what we are each doing actively to make a difference on the issues that matter to us. If you aren’t sure where to start, you may consider taking a look at feminist freeways first course “Activists Roadmap to Making an Impact” where I line out the ways to get started on an activism project of your very own even if you have no experience,
If this isn’t something you’re interested in or you have some other strategies in mind I encourage you to get started on something, each of us needs to step up and be a community member, the work we are doing is not easy and it is so easy to get burned out. Sometimes even our own isolation from each other can prevent us from getting started but it’s never too late to start working together and facing our burnout and weariness as activists.