Unity in Diversity
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Lincolnshire was lucky enough to again participate in School Diversity Week, a national celebration of inclusion. The school’s social action group worked hard organising a variety of events that every student could participate in. Funds raised went towards Just Like Us and the school library to expand the variety of fiction focused on diversity. As well as raising money, School Diversity Week was aimed at raising awareness among students and staff to combat instances of misinformation or homophobia. On Monday, we raised the pride flag and our week began. Rainbow ribbons provided by Just Like Us were sold around form rooms every day, thanks to the support of student volunteers. Situated in our library was a display of LGBT+ fiction and a pledge box through which any student could give their support. The social action group was hard at work even before the week started, organising the distribution of posters and notices for the events; form quizzes, rainbow ribbons, chocolate tombola, a non-uniform day...the list goes on! Tuesday was a very busy day! Stonewall role model Caroline Paige presented on the inspiring subject of the importance of being yourself with her incredible story of how she became the first transgender officer in the British Armed Forces. It was a moving talk, highlighting the fact that gender identity and sexuality has nothing to do with your worth as a person, and calling out for an end to passivity towards transphobia and homophobia. After the talk, the social action and LGBT+ group, Spectrum, had the privilege of talking to her. We now have a signed copy of Caroline’s book, True Colours, about her history of winning transgender rights in the British Armed Forces for students to borrow from our library.
Following this came the chocolate tombola: an event so large that it was extended across more days than initially planned! The remainder of the week was also bustling with activity. Daily tweets celebrated diversity and posters adorned the hallways, promoting tolerance and awareness. The school welcomed a more permanent addition to its walls with a new and updated diversity display on the main corridor, which celebrates the many facets of the LGBT+ community. The week culminated in a non-uniform day for the whole school. Students were encouraged to wear rainbow colours, and some students definitely stepped up to the occasion! It was a great way to close the week by celebrating individuality and freedom of expression. The canteen also pitched in, selling rainbow cakes to raise money. Our final total for the week amounted to a spectacular £600. That, of course, was just the icing on the cake. The most encouraging part of the week was the positivity and support from students and staff, clearly demonstrating our dedication to unity in diversity: acceptance without exception!