It sounds great but I fear the equation is more complex Imagine how much more effective it would be if the role models were not bussed in for the day like exotics but were actually among the adults the children knew – teaching staff for example: how about initiatives to make it safer for teachers to be out and proud?
Good point, but at least this is a step in the right direction. Quite encouraging too.
I understand what you mean but I think there’s always a degree of exoticness attached to the first LGBT anyone meets. This is kinda like a flu shot: it exposes them to someone who would trigger homophobia but who is also old and articulate enough to defuse it through dialogue. Although I doubt it’s efficiency is at 95%, it seems like a great idea to me.
Slightly flattered to be described as an ‘exotic’ but I take your point! However I was an out teacher for many years which is what led me to do this – I understood the positive impact on young people of having teachers or coaches who just happen to be gay. Although we are only there for a short time, I would like to think the workshops and the responses also inspire teachers who are worried about kids’ reactions to come out. Very much depends on the school though; support from senior management and robust policies are vital.
We need this sort of thing in all schools.
A school in Cardiff has benefited from an anti-homophobic bullying project after a gay male teacher joined the school and was appalled at the honmophobic bullying he was subject to. As a result of his initiative bullying was significantly reduced and several pupils and a number of staff members subsequently came out themselves. These individuals had been living stealth prior to the project. It reminds us of the need for people of courage to make a stand and challenge the injustice.
I just wish this was available for young trans girls (and boys). I know of two very young girls who are still at primary school and who have transitioned – yet are subjected to the most vile bullying imaginable, not only from other children, but from the parents of those children too.
I wonder if they are under the care of the Tavistock – I know they are working on building links with schools to support such children. Sounds like the school board of governors might need some input?
Educating youth to accept LGBT people is very important. I’m happy that this kind of education has taken such a positive form.
More countries should do this.
And yes it would be even more effective if the teachers of these students were apart of this and showed an example that it’s perfectly normal being who you are.
I do feel like we’re heading in the right direction but with these recent suicides it shows that we’re still far away from defeating the problem of homophobia at schools.
95% of kids claim they will behave better. I am sure every parent and teacher in the land has heard that far too many times before.
I’d like to see evidence that this actually works.