BLOG – The importance of LGBTQ+ education
The key aim of LGBTQ+ History Month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.
One fundamental way in which we can do this is by increasing the visibility of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and many other terms such as asexual and non-binary) people, their history, lives and experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational institutions.
LGBTQ+ History Month has been working towards this shared goal by supporting Schools Out UK, an organisation which is celebrating over 45 years of campaigning for LGBTQ+ inclusion. You can show support by donating in order for Schools Out to provide resources, training and services to educational institutions.
Making a change
Ellie Faulkner, Digital and Pastoral Lead at Leeds City College, commented on how we can make a change to work towards a more inclusive education environment.
“When I was at school, the only education we had on this subject was a brief class about how babies were made. This meant that my peers and I hadn’t been educated on sexual identity, which caused there to be stigma when it came to LGBTQ+ issues.
“One way in which this could have been improved is by having open and honest conversations throughout school and college about these topics. It’s important for young people to have safe spaces to ask questions, think critically, and hear the experiences of others.
“This is why I’m so passionate about ensuring our students have access to the kind of resources that were lacking when I attended school. The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education 2020 statutory guidance is a indicator that things are changing for the better. There needs to be a focus on making sure that young people know about the diverse backgrounds of individuals and how they can be safe, while experiencing loving and fulfilling relationships.
“Making LGBTQ+ topics a mandatory part of the curriculum is life-changing for all, because it helps us to understand ourselves and the people around us. This history month gives us an opportunity to think about the hardships faced by those within this community, along with the achievements.
“At Leeds City College, we’re focused on celebrating our diverse communities and allowing both staff and students to be open about their sexual identities. We have an Enrichment team which is running activities throughout the month and a popular LGBTQ+ Society, as well as an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group who regularly work on inclusive projects.”