Rainbow Poems

MEDIA RELEASE: InsideOut Hide Inappropriate Award-Winning Poem

InsideOut has tried to ‘hide’ poetry that won an award as part of Out on the Shelves because many people on social media said that there were potentially underlying themes of sexual innuendo, incest and self-harm.

The poem entitled “Father and Son” was the winner of the Under-16 Poetry section. Despite the supposed theme of smoking, when it was shared on Facebook and users were asked for their opinion on its appropriateness, many parents were horrified by the underlying themes running through it.

Significantly, since being publicised, the poem has been withdrawn from the InsideOut website. These are poems and stories that are recommended to all school students, including primary school.

Problematic lines include “we hastily pull ‘it’ out of our trousers”, “turning the Jesus portrait face-down”, “as it bobs between our lips”, “excess spits out on our dewlaps”, “as the cardinal sin leaves our busted lips in a long, languid, stream of white”, “Two light bringers who’s rather hide in the dark: Father and Son”, “hide the moon shaped marks that still burn against my skin”.

Another award winner in a separate older section talks about a trans ‘recipe’ involving pronouns, binding, and “their sh*t taste buds”.

Other books recommended as part of the campaign for primary age children are also problematic.

  • I’m Not a Girl is about a transgender girl;
  • My Shadow is Purple considers gender beyond binary in a vibrant spectrum of colour;
  • This Is Our Rainbow includes a story about a tween girl navigating a crush on her friend’s mum;
  • The Every Body Book – “When babies are born, one of the first questions people ask is whether the baby is a boy or a girl. They are actually asking about the biological sex of the baby. Biological sex is assigned or labelled, when babies are born, based on the visible parts they have.
  • Alice Austen Lived Here – “Sam is very in touch with their own queer identity. They’re nonbinary, and their best friend, TJ, is nonbinary as well. Sam’s family is very cool with it…”

The Ministry of Education, as part of Pride Week in schools next month, is also recommending a School Journal story entitled Break-Up Day by  transgender author Kyle Mewburn which chronicles his discovery in year 8 that nobody realised he was actually a girl and was in the wrong body – “a girl in a boy-shaped box”.

A recent poll by Curia Market Research found there is strong opposition to gender ideology being taught to young children. Only 15% think primary age children should be taught they can choose their gender and that it can be changed through hormone treatment and surgery if they want it to be, while more than two out of three (69%) say they shouldn’t. Opposition to gender ideology has grown significantly from a similar poll in 2019 where only 54% said children should not be taught this, and 35% said they should.

As with most of the content of InsideOut in schools, when parents are made aware of the nature of the content, they quickly become concerned. It is disturbing that the Ministry of Education is promoting this material also. It is time that the coalition Government delivered on their promise of removing InsideOut material and gender ideology from schools.

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