Every February schools, colleges, youth groups and local authorities across the country celebrate LGBT History Month, which was founded in 2005 by School’s Out UK.
We know from The School Report (2012) that more than half of LGBT pupils have never been taught about LGBT people or seen LGBT issues addressed in class. Metro Youth Chances (2014) told us that nine out of ten young people surveyed (around 7000) said they have never learned about bisexuality (89 per cent) or transgender issues (94 per cent). We also know from our experience working with schools and young people that many young people lack visible LGBT role models.
Celebrating LGBT History Month in your school, college or youth group is a great way to enrich young people’s awareness and understanding of LGBT people and issues. This year’s theme is ‘Religion, Belief and Philosophy’, which provides a fantastic opportunity to look at LGBT people who also hold a faith or belief.
This is an excellent opportunity to conduct an internal awareness raising campaign. Messaging as part of LGBT history month could include:
- Diversity Champion membership: Signposting that your organisation is a Stonewall Diversity Champion member and your commitment to LGBT inclusion.
- Employee Network Group: Providing further information on your LGBT network group as well as links to any associated network intranet pages.
- Employee Benefits: Reminding your colleagues that your employee benefits policies are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.
- Celebrate achievements: Profile the achievements of your organisations in relation to how it has supported LGBT equality.
- Social media posting: Post on your organisations’ official social media pages to raise awareness externally of your organisations’ commitment to LGBT inclusion.
If your organisation is interested in holding a sexual orientation or gender identity awareness raising event as part of your LGBT History Month celebrations, these events could include as:
- Panel discussion: Hosting an internal panel discussion will allow LGBT colleagues within your organisation to share their personal stories and to highlight the support they have received from your organisation.
- Movie screening: Inviting your colleagues to attend a screening of an LGBT film is a chance to celebrate LGBT culture. You could also ask for attendees to make a donation to Stonewall as part of the event.
- Joint events: Inviting your clients or suppliers to participate in any events you hold can help build relationships. You could encourage your LGBT network to work with other networks to encourage cross-network learning.
- Lunch and learn session: Hosting a lunch and learn session around LGBT inclusion in your workplace will let LGBT employees know about the support that is available at work, and let allies know how they can step up too.
To find out more visit www.stonewall.org.uk