School Diversity Week is a catalyst to bring about change: it gives me a voice

Diversity week gives us students power, and most importantly it encourages us to talk. It gives us the chance to talk about what makes us so unique, but potentially so similar in the way that we want equality. We want to show how accepting we are and reveal our true colours without fear. School Diversity Week is one way that we can do this. It means so much to me, as I can stand up to those who oppose me, show that we are all different and say: that is beautiful.

Before realising I was gay, I didn’t know anyone who was like me. When I first joined Trinity School, there was no explicit reference to the LGBT+ community. I felt that the homophobic name-calling went largely unchallenged by staff and students. As a result of our LGBT+ history month assemblies, the creation of our Rainbow Group and School Diversity Week more people have come out and banded together: we, as a school, have started to bring about change. Students use their voices to be heard loud and clear and have come forward with a range of stories: the good, the bad and the ugly. The stories that we shared showed that we are not alone in how we feel and what we have experienced. We quickly realised that together we can be stronger.

This week is so important as we can begin to bring about change. At Trinity, we have the sparks of change already. We now have teachers wearing pride badges, standing up to homophobia, and standing as allies with our LGBT+ students. This is a big leap. By teachers encouraging social change and working beyond tolerance to develop understanding, we are becoming a more inclusive school.

The responsibility to bring equality for all is ours. Teachers educate the next generation to overtake theirs and improve our society, so why doesn’t every school take part in Diversity Week, celebrate Pride month, Black History Month, and other important dates? Sometimes even something as simple as wearing badge can bring about change. By being visible, we can help show that LGBT+ people are nothing to be scared of and shouldn’t be judged by stereotypes. So, why aren’t all schools encouraging this kind of visibility?

School Diversity Week is pivotal to my school as without it so many individuals would be left voiceless, stood at the edge of society. Since my school has started to have more events like this, I feel that we are moving towards equality and inclusion. As teenagers all we care about is acceptance from our peers, and one way to get that is to celebrate our differences and show that everyone can be proud to be themselves. School Diversity Week is a catalyst to bring about change by promoting the visibility and inclusion of the LGBT+ community in our school.

But it doesn’t just end here. At Trinity, our Rainbow Group work to bring about change all year round. Our Headteacher, Mrs Charlotte Wilson has been incredibly supportive of all the work we have done so far, and there is potential for a Pride Day in 2020. School Diversity Week has come at the perfect time, we have been inspired for even more events and projects next year. We have teachers who are looking at how they can include more LGBT+ content in their curriculum subjects and our Rainbow Group have suggested ways in which LGBT+ relationships can be included in our PSHE provision. I cannot wait to see how much more we can going over the next year!

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