Happy Pride Month! This month celebrates and recognises the influence LGBTQ+ people have had around the world and over at The Diana Award, we’ve been reflecting on what we can do as a youth-led organisation during this time to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.
Research by Stonewall (2017) suggest that nearly half of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans pupils (45%) report having experienced bullying behaviour at school for identifying as LGBTQ+. The study shows that while progress has been made over the last decade, many LGBTQ+ young people continue to face significant challenges in Britain’s schools. This type of bullying behaviour can lead to significant effects on educational attainment, absence levels and emotional wellbeing (Stonewall, 2017).
Our Anti-Bullying Programme empowers young people to build the skills, confidence and knowledge needed to significantly transform their school culture and provide support to their peers. During the training, we promote a supportive environment for all to get involved by celebrating differences in all young people and encouraging students to embrace and celebrate this through their anti-bullying campaigns in school.
As a way of marking this month-long celebration, we asked several members of our National Anti-Bullying Youth Board, Paige, Flora, Theo and Rose, to discuss what Pride Month means to them. Continue reading below to find out what they have to say!
“To celebrate” explains Paige, “we will be hosting a diversity week in which we can all celebrate our differences. In addition, all teachers will wear rainbow lanyards as a reminder to all students that they support every single one of us, no matter what sexuality we are.”
A pair of reports courtesy of the Trevor Project shine a light on the importance of a supportive adult voice in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. According to research, just having one accepting adult in their lives reduces the chance of a suicide attempt by an LGBTQ+ youth by 40% (Trevor Project, 2019). By involving members of staff in Pride celebrations, schools can ensure a safe and welcoming environment is created for all students.
As well as being a month-long celebration, Pride Month is also an opportunity to protest and raise political awareness of current issues facing the community. With COVID-19 and social distancing measures in place, this year’s Pride celebrations move online to Zoom, TikTok and other popular social platforms, keeping people connected and celebrating. As Theo explains, “My friends and I are planning on holding a mini Pride and I will be taking part in multiple virtual pride celebrations.”
In addition, Rose also has plans to celebrate with her peers, “My friends and I have been having ‘Netflix parties’ and watching through some really educational LGBTQ+ shows and movies.”
Encouraging students to engage in campaigns or initiatives that are tackling bullying behaviour, championing diversity and promoting equal rights remains at the heart of what we do. As Flora states, “Pride Month is a way for everyone to celebrate their differences and to come together as one. It’s important that we respect ourselves and respect others and that’s what Pride Month is all about.”
We believe it’s important for charities and organisations like ourselves to provide opportunities for young people to participate and be included. That’s why we’ve created a list of top tips for young people celebrating Pride Month:
Finally, as Rose states, “Pride Month is a time for those of us who maybe ourselves aren’t part of it to offer support to those who are and to look back on all they have achieved and what there is still left to do.”
For a host of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion resources visit our Resource Centre.