The Diana Award team and National Anti-Bullying Youth Board members, Paige & Theo, reflect on the importance of LGBT History Month and how we can continue to celebrate and educate in schools despite closures.
February is LGBT History Month in the UK. The theme for this year is ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ and is linked to a National Curriculum subject, Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education.
At The Diana Award, we wholeheartedly support this exciting, informative, and celebratory month, to educate out prejudice and make LGBTQ+ communities visible.
We know that young people who are beginning to navigate their identity and understand their own sexuality or gender, benefit greatly from LGBTQ+ visibility. Usually, schools are well placed to provide this visibility through an LGBTQ+ role model noticeboard or through an assembly from a local LGBTQ+ community group or charity.
However, this year, school closures have significantly limited the potential for activities within the classroom. As a result, educators and young people have had to adapt their work to ensure this visibility remains active and present during closures.
So, what can schools do to continue integrating LGBTQ+ history into the curriculum during closures?
Download this guide for more suggestions for classroom-based activities, discussions or projects as well as key role models who are LGBTQ+ or allies to the community and could be included in lessons.
Using online platforms is a great way to continue this work. As educators, students, or Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, think about how you can celebrate LGBTQ+ role models throughout history on your online platforms. Can you write a blog for your school’s website? Or create a virtual noticeboard highlighting key milestones for LGBTQ+ rights throughout history? Why not create a space for LGBTQ+ young people and allies to meet virtually? For example, during a weekly lunchtime online meeting.
Youth Board members Paige and Theo have been able to continue celebrating LGBT history this month through activities and class competitions including, making pride bunting! They’ve also shared key facts around the topic to explore in PSHCE. Theo’s Anti-Bullying Ambassador team are running a poster competition and working collaboratively with their own sexuality and gender alliance.
When asked why celebrating LBGT History month is important, Theo said “because it recognises the history behind the rights of so many people and highlights the struggles of LGBTQ+ communities past and present.”
Paige added, “It is vital to celebrate LGBT History Month because it’s a celebration of how far we have come, as a society, over the years. Despite achieving so much, we still have a long way to go. It’s important that we celebrate each other to continue creating more caring environments for all.”
Work towards creating a school environment that is inclusive of different identities with some of our LGBTQ resources here.
Taking steps in your school to maintain LGBTQ+ visibility and highlight LGBTQ+ history despite the current challenges will be invaluable to many young people. B signing up to our Anti-Bullying Ambassador training, we’ll be able to support you and your students to run campaigns that create an inclusive school environment for young people of all identities.
1. Celebrate LGBT+ History Month in your school
There are many resources to support you with celebrating this month: LGBT+ History Month
2. Integrate LGBTQ+ history into your curriculum year-round
Check out our subject-based LGBTQ+ Inclusive Curriculum Guide
3. Attend Anti-Bullying Ambassador Training
and form a team of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors who will work towards creating a respectful school environment where young people of all identities are safe and supported.