In an attempt to phase out anti-gay bullying in London schools, some schoolteachers are now teaching gay history, PinkNews
The Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans History Month program was adopted in London, England, schools five years ago. Since then, one school reports it has virtually eradicated anti-gay bullying and credits the teaching of gay history.
As part of the month, students learn about gay figures like Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Andy Warhol, and pop cultural references like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert are featured in lessons.
Elly Barnes, a London-based teacher participating in the program, says the key was “educating and celebrating,” and “My focus is eradicating homophobia from all schools and educational establishments by giving staff the confidence and resources to do it, along with demonstrating good practice and changing opinions under the banner of ‘educate and celebrate.'”
A recent British Equality and Human Rights Commission report said two-thirds of gay students are bullied at school. Seventeen percent said they had received death threats.
Research for gay charity Stonewall in 2009 found that while the majority of teachers see homophobic bullying among children, only one in ten said they had received specific guidance on tackling the problem.
Neil McKinnon, photo cc Selma90, courtesy of Flickr