Topics of gender identity are not permitted in Lithuanian textbooks

23 Members of Parliament addressed Minister of Education Dainius Pavalkis, inquiring about a newly published textbook of the Lithuanian language. The textbook, intended for 4th graders, contains a story of a girl who comes to a new school pretending she is a boy and is happy that everyone believes her. According to some politicians, the textbook promotes sex-change and states that gender is something that you become, not what you are born with.

To some, this begs the questions: Why was a Swedish book used for a Lithuanian class? Why should children have language exercises involving cross-dressing? Why was the book even initially chosen to be in the curriculum?Nevertheless, the textbook was approved by experts who didn’t see a threat or the promotion of transgenderism. Minister Pavalkis agrees with them, stating that we have more cultural examples of cross-dressing: our Grand Duke Vytautas escaped from prison wearing woman’s clothes – not to mention Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, which is full of cross-dressing. “Here in Lithuania, we tend to dramatize everything and we don’t really react rationally,” Pavalkis said.

On the other hand, the Minister critiques our education system, saying it’s “too liberal”. Schools are allowed to decide which textbooks to buy and teach from. According to him, there are already too many textbooks published and there should be regulation regarding which ones ought to be used. Pavalkis also stated he won’t agree with “openly gay propaganda” in schools.