Do you remember what it was like to be young and understanding more about the complexity of being human? The crushes and excitement? Even just the noticing the differences between different people - different body shapes and colors, different hair colors and styles, different forms of expression, different structures of family? And yet still all so very human.
Our diversity is a part of the beauty of our species. Our sexuality isn't a problem or a disgrace; it's the catalyst to there being generation upon generation of us. To acknowledge the reality of sexuality isn't pornographic; it's just reality.
When we actively deny any aspect of being human - or any type of human - we create conflict where there needn't be any. We can choose, instead, curiosity. We can choose, instead, to honor the great variety in which we are created.
Teachers and librarians are faced with a high enough hill to climb without threatening them with laws that penalize them for acknowledging our great complexity and beautiful diversity - laws that are built to terrify them into choosing only the most benign and therefore least useful teaching tools.
Kids will find the information they're seeking - and more. When teachers and librarians provide those materials, kids are less likely to run across the truly pornographic, the truly confusing, the truly horrific that can be so easily found online. When teacher and librarians provide the materials, kids are learning in safe contexts where they can ask questions and gain clarity rather than making up stories about what they stumbled upon that was meant for adult eyes.
SB 656 wasn't ultimately written to protect children. It was written to shape our collective narrative around a tiny few people. To imagine that it's a moral imperative shaped for protection or ethics is to buy into a ploy for power and control. It's shameful and a deep shame.
For these reasons and more, I oppose SB 656.