UK

Gay imam, trans priest and lesbian rabbi to present classes on diversity and faith to school kids

Lily Wakefield June 16, 2021
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Openly gay imam Ludovic Zahed

Openly gay imam Ludovic Zahed gestures will be among those teaching kids about faith and being LGBT+. (AFP via Getty/ JERRY LAMPEN)

A gay imam, a trans priest and a lesbian rabbi are set to teach UK school kids about diversity and faith as part of School Diversity Week.

School Diversity Week (21 to 25 June) is run each year during Pride month by LGBT+ youth charity Just Like Us, to make schools “safer, happier and more welcoming for pupils who may be LGBT+ or have LGBT+ families”.

The charity runs masterclasses throughout the week, catering to various age groups, and on Wednesday (23 June), three classes will tackle issues of faith and being LGBT+.

Among those teaching will be gay imam Ludovic Zahed, founder of the first European inclusive mosque in Paris, trans Church of England priest Canon Rachel Mann, and lesbian rabbi Anna Posner.

Posner will run a masterclass on what does Judaism says about sexual orientation and gender identity, while Zahed and Mann will take part in an interfaith panel titled “Can you be a person of faith and LGBT+?” for kids aged 11 to 16.

Posner, rabbi of the LGBT- inclusive synagogue Beit Klal Yisrael in London, told the Jewish Chronicle: “It’s really important we have these kinds of conversations. A lot of people and students when they think of religion think of the LGBT+ community being excluded.

“For thousands of students to know that there’s an imam, a priest and a rabbi who are saying actually you’re OK – that’s a really important message to hear.

“It is possible to be religious and LGBT+ – you can have both of those identities together.”

School Diversity Week is free to sign up for, and is open to all UK primary schools, secondary schools and colleges, and on the final day of the week, students are encouraged to dress up in the colours of the Progress Pride Flag.

Alongside the masterclasses, Just Like Us offers a toolkit of resources to schools which can be implemented across the curriculum, at all key stages.

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