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Posts tagged ‘lesbian’

Homophobic Bullying

Get Over ItI was in London yesterday at the Stonewall Education for All conference. I hadn’t realised that it’s the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots from which the organisation takes it’s name. Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of women and men who had been active in the struggle against  Section 28 of the Local Government Act. For those that don’t know, Section 28 was legislation designed to prevent the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools. Ultimately, as well as stigmatising gay people it galvanised the gay community and brought about an organisation to lobby and campaign on equality issues for gay people.

As Sir Ian McKellen says “The legal situation is better now but there is still a hangover from Section 28 in schools. Gay issues are not discussed. Gay kids and teachers feel isolated. That’s why I go to schools — faith, comprehensive and private — to talk. And think about it, more and more of the parents who are sending their children to schools are gay themselves. They are not “pretend” families, as Section 28 called them.” From The Times June 23, 2009

The conference built upon the shocking facts about homophobic bullying presented in the School Report. There are some interesting facts in the Teachers report. What I found interesting regarding the facts about who experiences homophobic bullying outlined below is how much gender stereotyping plays such a large part in the bullying that goes on. Whilst those young people who are openly lesbian, gay or bisexual are being bullied boys, in particular, who aren’t conforming to their gender stereotype are bullied more. I am keen to ensure that we tackle homophobic bullying in our youth centres as part of the LGBT Strategy we are developing and will make sure that we pick up on this when we finalise the draft. I am also interested in these statistics as they appear to point to the need for more work on gender. It made me reflect once more on some of the sessions we run at youth centres which have the potential to conform to these stereotypes (the all womens dance groups, the young mens football sessions, the ‘beauty’ sessions) and how we need to ensure that colleagues are clear as to why they are running single gender sessions. An unexpected outcome from today is that I am now reflecting on what further training and support we may need to give in order to ensure that we are not perpetuating gender stereotypes in our work, how about you?

From the Teachers Report, Stonewall

From the Teachers Report, Stonewall

Random Post 2 – LGBTU Developments

Happy 2009! I hope that you had a good break and enjoyed whatever festivities you took part in. Here’s to a great 2009 with lots of new and exciting adventures in youth work!

Following on from my random posts before Christmas I thought I would keep giving a round up of how things are progressing down here in the South. I had a really successful meeting before Christmas (for me success was measured in the short time it took, the participation of members, and the amount of work done!) concerning the development of our LGBTU strategy. We have split the group into sub groups which are going to focus on Events / Social activities, PR and writing the actual strategy. This has been helpful in that it has really focused the work and enabled a group of us to start moving forward on developing different aspects. We’ve an update meeting at the beginning of February which I think will be very positive especially as there are some practical aspects within the strategy that we are developing that we can move on quickly.

lgbthm09aAs an aside for those of you that don’t know and might be interested February is LGBT History month which gives us a great opportunity to encourage youth workers to explore LGBT issues, homophobic bullying etc and look at ways in which they can challenge stereotypes, promote equality and work to prevent discrimination. There are a number of resources available as follows:-

For those based involved in school based youth work (although there are good links to other material) http://www.schools-out.org.uk/

For more general resources there is:- http://www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/resources/books.htm

And another site for more information:- No Outsiders

LGBTU Youth Research

Last week was a week of meetings, conferences and research development and one of these was on Friday night when I went to the launch of the West Sussex Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Unsure (LGBTU) Youth Research Project.

For some time now we have been stuggling as a County Allsorts poster(and in that I’m including our partnerships with the PCT and Terrence Higgins Trust  ) to ensure appropriate provision for young people within the area who identify as LGBTU. Some time ago a lot of research into such provision had been undertaken and a group set up in Crawley along similar lines to the Allsorts Youth Project based  in Brighton and Hove.

However due to changes in staff and young people the Crawley group never really took off and there is still no provision within West Sussex. So I went along to see where we were at in terms of the research, especially with a view to what young people have been telling us. 

It was a great turn out for a Friday late afternoon / evening. As well as several presentations there were 2 workshops, one for young people and one for professionals to look at needs, what LGBTU provision would look like and what needed to be done. There are still quite a few questions (more…)

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