This Saturday is Pride in London and there are similar events
coinciding across the world. What is Pride all about? It started
out as Gay Liberation or Gay Freedom and was focussed on the
struggle for human rights. Historically it was celebratory AND
serious; participants remembered the Stonewall Riots, friends
they'd lost to AIDS and the victims of homophobic assaults, all
whilst kitted out in the cocktail of colours that have come to
symbolise Pride. These marches and the vocal opposition to
inequality were a huge catalyst towards legislative change and
increased visibility for LGBT people.
Sometimes when we push for equality, we get criticised for
drawing attention to ourselves, banging on about the same old thing
(aren't-things-better-for-you-lot-now-anyway), flying flags, being
trouble makers or worst of all, pushing the gay agenda.
After speaking at a staff meeting on the importance of including
LGBT topics in primary schools, I was invited to spend a day in one
discussing different families. It was a timely reminder, in amongst
all the charity red tape & future fundraising, as to how
worthwhile all this is.
Last month Nadine Dorries had an abstinence bill passed
which asks for all 13 -16 year old girls to be given
additional sex education on how to 'say no'. We've all been lying
awake at night trying to figure out how we can teach only girls to
say no to underage sex, when clearly sex involves girls AND boys.
Surely Mrs Dorries isn't suggesting that boys are just
pistol-pocketed demons who seek only to de-flower our innocent,
rosy-cheeked maidens - mute maidens, who have little or no ability
to articulate the word 'no'? Can it be possible that in 2011,
people are still encouraging the view that sexual desire is owned
by men and that poor, sexless women are on a
backwards treadmill, trying to avoid their lecherous and
uncontrollable advances. That if only teenage girls would say 'no'
to pressure to put out, learn to dress appropriately and make sure
they're home in their floral nightgowns by 9pm, those nasty boys
wouldn't be able to impregnate them.
Not being invited to family events. Or being invited while your
'friend', with whom you have a house, a business and six children,
is not, due to it being for 'close family only' (although your
brother turns up with a girl he pulled at the village barn dance
the night before).
I would recommend this workshop to other students because now when we say lesbian, gay. bisexual or transgender, nobody laughs in our class. And some of the boys won't use those words as an insult.
- Year 5 student