Flourishing LGBT+ in our schools

    Published: 17 June 2021

    June is that beautiful time of year when nature is leafing, greening, budding, and generally flourishing. It is also Pride month and the terminology ‘Pride’ says it all. This is a perfect time to take stock and make sure that LGBT+ people are safe, feel safe and can flourish, within and because of your school.

    The statutory requirements for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) are now being delivered in all our schools. Those requirements are very clear that LGBT inclusion must be integrated across the whole teaching programme. So if you haven’t marked Pride month before – this is the moment to seize.

    Pride month is an important opportunity to celebrate LGBT+ people in all their diversity; to break out the rainbow flag and explore the symbolism of its different coloured stripes; to ‘beat the bounds’ of your school grounds in your own Pride rainbow parade; to champion equal rights for LGBT+ people; and to celebrate the accomplishments of LGBT+ individuals through history. Above all, we can ensure that all our staff recognise the importance of LGBT+ inclusion. June might be Pride month, but LGBT+ people should be positively represented and valued in our curriculum all the time.

    There are many influential people who have greatly contributed to society throughout history, who also happen to have been LGBT+. These people could be celebrated across different subjects in the curriculum. Here are some examples.

     

    Alan Turing

     

    Alan Turing who effectively invented the first computer and contributed significantly to the ending of World War 2 by ‘cracking the codes’.
    Gentleman Jack

     

    Gentleman Jack (the subject of a popular BBC drama series) was born in Yorkshire in the late 18th Century. Her diaries were written in code and weren’t deciphered until the 1930’s.
    Wilfrd Owen and Siegfried Sassoon

     

    The poet Siegfried Sassoon (pictured above right) was a soldier decorated for bravery in WW1.  He was known to have had relationships with men and certainly formed an influential friendship with fellow poet Wilfred Owen (pictured above left), who fought and died in that war.
    Marsha P Johnson

     

    Marsha P Johnson was an African-American transgender woman. She was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 and was also an outspoken advocate for gay rights.

     

    There are many examples of LGBT+ individuals who have influenced our lives more recently and are still with us today. The children may be familiar with: Sir Ian McKellan, Nicola Adams, Tom Daley, Elton John, Graham Norton, Stephen Fry and Clare Balding, to name just a few.

    In its 9th year, Hertfordshire Pride 2021 will be taking place on 22nd August, in Cassiobury Park, Watford. The date sadly precludes the HfL wellbeing team from being there with our usual stand, but we will be there in spirit. Please ensure that all our LGBT+ young people and families know about the event and do also encourage others to attend and enjoy the event as allies.

    Look out for our two training twilight sessions on LGBT+ inclusion on and 2nd December, and do join us if you can. Happy Pride month to you all!

     

    Authored by Karin Hutchinson and Michael Gray.

     

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