“Gay Kids – Gay People Were Young Once Too” is a book for children attending elementary and secondary schools and the first of its kind in Norway to address love between persons of the same sex. Adults may find it difficult or even embarrassing to talk about love between women or love between men to children and teenagers. Teachers often avoid gay issues at school. Most children and teenagers are therefore quite ignorant concerning what it means to be a gay man or a lesbian woman. Without proper educational support, they are left to their own resources – scrambling together whatever they find of information about the LGBT-minority from peers or the social medias.
“Gay Kids – Gay People Were Young Once Too” provides an excellent tool to counteract the above-mentioned challenges. The artistic approach makes kids talk and help them to make sense of lesbian and gay related issues in an age-appropriate way. According to UN Convention on the rights of the Child, Chapter 17, “society shall ensure the child has access to information, and especially information which creates understanding, social skills, moral and spiritual well-being and mental and physical health.” Whether gay or straight – when children hit puberty – they have a right to be prepared for the facts of adult life.
Belonging to a community is of importance to us all – but especially important for children and adolescents. Therefore constructing communities with room for tolerance and diversity – including diversity in sexual orientation and family forms – is of the uttermost importance. The basis for an inclusive and tolerant society is founded in the formative years of its citizens. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have a right to protection, including children and adolescents for whom falling in love is quite similar but somewhat different from the majority of the population. I am so pleased with the Gay Kids project. The book is a most valuable contribution to children’s wellbeing and upbringing and to a Norwegian society appreciative of the true virtue of love between women and love between men.
Secretary-General, UNICEF – Norway