Below is a letter I sent by email to the UK’s new Minister for Equalities; Caroline Dinenage- a woman who once voted against equal marriage and has now stated she no longer feels as she did and is now a supporter of the LGBTQ community.
My name is Jayce Carberry, I am 24 and whilst I don’t live in your constituency, your new role is very relevant to my life.
I am a gay man, and obviously, I am aware of your vote to say my relationships were worth less than yours- the equal marriage bill. I have read today that you have changed your mind- I, like many others feel this is a little…convienient?
I have questioned why you were appointed as Equalities Minister when you do, or at least did, have a strong stance against equality. I am pleased that you feel able to stand up and say you revoke your previous thoughts about me and my LGBT family.
My first question to you is this; what are you going to do for our community now that you represent us in government?
One thing that needs to be brought into 2015 standards of equality and inclusion is sex and relationships education- something that I could have desperately benefited from.
I didn’t feel equal when sitting in a class with 30 other boys whilst the incredibly uncomfortable teacher sped through the lesson about sex.
I didn’t feel equal because after being taught; I knew everything about how to have a safe HETEROSEXUAL relationship.
I didn’t feel equal because I knew about they symptoms of female infections. I knew how not to get her pregnant. I even knew all about her menstrual cycle!
I didn’t feel equal when I realised I was gay and knew nothing about safe sex that applied to how I was having it.
I didn’t feel equal when I had to sneak onto the family computer and educate myself- terrified that I would be caught by my parents and they would find out my big gay secret.
I didn’t feel equal when I cried myself to sleep after being taught heterosexual sex education because I had never felt more inadequate or like more of a freak in my entire life.
I didn’t feel equal when I contracted HIV and knew absoltely nothing about how it was going to affect my life.
I didn’t feel equal when I didn’t know how to see the signs of an abusive relationship and how to get out of it.
I didn’t feel equal in 2004 when I was taught sex education.
I was a scared and terrified boy who felt unequal.
You have the power to end that inequality for a generation. You have the power to end that fear for a generation. You have the power to change scared little boys and girls lives forever.
My second questions is, will you be as brave as you were to take back your stance of us, and make the change that is so deperately needed and introduce FULLY INCLUSIVE SRE?