Australia has an international reputation as being increasingly open to gender and sexuality diversities (GSD). GSD subjects are frequently visible in positions of national leadership and form part of the everyday in the media and popular culture. Despite this presence in the broader social milieu, silence and invisibility in relation to GSD inclusions prevail in schools.
Many factors contribute to this critical absence. These include a dearth of curriculum direction and leadership, conflicting discourse in policy and histories of public moral panic about GSD inclusions in education. Thus, teachers avoid broaching GSD-related content in the classroom for fear of negative repercussions from parents and community. However, what parents actually desire for the education of their children is under-researched in Australia and unknown to teachers and schools; avoidance of the topic appears to be based upon an assumption that parents would disapprove.
This chapter draws on research that asked parents about GSD content inclusion in the curriculum. Three key themes are discussed here. These include the importance of GSD-inclusive education in terms of safety and ethical practices, the complexity of parental and child rights in respectively participating in and accessing such education and the various challenges for practice.