During February the West Bridgford School acknowledged LGBT History Month with a thought-provoking assembly to all year groups. The assembly team (our Stonewall steering group) talked about the life of Alan Turing and other openly LGB or T inspirational people. It was an ideal opportunity to reinforce the importance of inclusion and equality for those who identify as LGB or T., as well as talk about what our staff and pupils have been doing to acknowledge and celebrate diversity.
Also during the week we were pleased to welcome Wayne Dhesi - youth coordinator at Stonewall, and Matt Lister – Team GB Canoeist and Olympic hopeful. Matt talked very openly about his experience of ‘coming out’ as gay and how difficult he found secondary school. However, with supportive family, friends and team mates Matt felt encouraged to become a Stonewall role-model and share his story with other young people to help raise awareness about the negative impact of prejudice-related bullying, as well as to reassure young people who are questioning or may have family or friends who are LGBT or T.
Here’s what staff and pupils had to say about it:
“The sessions were inspiring to young people helping them understand how people can suffer because they are bullied for perceived differences and how they can rise above this and lead a successful fulfilling life. The students really listened because someone not that much older than them was prepared to be completely honest and open with them sharing his life experience” Mrs Cooper – PSHE Coordinator
“The stonewall group were interesting and offered a thought-provoking experience. I also gained a knowledge of what they do and how it helps people who are LGB or T”
J Baker year 11
“I found the session very informative and the relaxed atmosphere made me very comfortable to ask questions and express my opinions towards the subject”
R Hatley – year 11
“When I walked into the workshop, I thought what is this going to be about? Then once the visitors started talking about their life it became clear. Matt Lister is a very inspirational guy and showed that there is no shame in being gay”
S Gadsby – Year 10
“Hats off to my generation for learning to accept people’s differences”
N Abid – year 10