Why is it necessary?
Whilst assemblies and PSHE lessons explicitly about LGBTQIA+ issues are vital, it’s important that LGBTQIA+ identities are not presented as something other. With the bombardment of anti-LGBTQIA+ media students consume – enforced by weak representation of gay and lesbian people, even poorer bisexual and binary transgender representation, and virtually non-existent representation of other sexualities and genders – it’s important for all students, LGBTQIA+ or not, to receive the message that there is absolutely nothing strange, abnormal or wrong about LGBTQIA+ identities.
Embedding LGBTQIA+ inclusion into curriculum subjects is easier than it might initially appear. We’ve provided a few examples of lessons, which you are free to use, as well as further suggestions according to subject areas.
A lesson looking at LGBTQIA+ Pride flags with regards to purposeful design. May be suited to design subjects, art, graphics and textiles.
An English starter looking at different pronoun structures.
A lesson looking at diversity (and the lack thereof) in Disney films. Suitable for PSHE, English or Media.
A lesson (which could be broken down into two or more lessons) further explaining representation in media, including exploration of fanfictions to redress poor representation. Suitable for PSHE, English or Media.
Subject area suggestions
|English||Look at different pronouns. Explore diversity and representation in texts and films. Encourage LGBTQIA+ readings of texts. Read texts by LGBTQIA+ writers (both Carol Ann Duffy and Wilfred Owen feature heavily on the syllabi) and discuss the author’s sexuality or gender identity and how it influences their work.|
|Maths||Consider links to LGBTQIA+ events in discussing practical application of mathematics. See our Pride project maths options for examples.|
|Science||Tackle cissexism in biology- at least noting to students that what they are being taught in reproductive education is a basic version, and many people don’t in fact have the genital and reproductive systems as described. Gendered Intelligence also have an excellent science project: http://gravityandgender.wordpress.com/|
|MFL||Teach students how to talk and write about a range of family set-ups. Do they know how to say, “my mothers” or “my fathers”?|
|History||Look at different activities for LGBTQIA+ History Month (every February), consider the different treatment of LGBTQIA+ people in history, explore different LGBTQIA+ historical figures.|
|Geography/RE||Make links to anthropology, theology, sociology and politics in exploring treatment of LGBTQIA+ people and different gender and sexuality constructs in different countries/religions.|
|Technology/ICT||Look at the contributions made by LGBTQIA+ innovators such as Alan Turing, Tim Cook, Lynn Conway and Sophie Wilson.|
|Performing Arts||Perform plays and improvisations with LGBTQIA+ themes and authors. Explore the impact of performers’ sexuality/gender on their work – eg. Freddie Mercury’s bisexuality and how that translates in lyrics; Handel’s probable asexuality; Richard O’Brien’s non-binary gender.|
Stonewall’s ‘Not the Gay Thing’ resource also offers a number of suggestions on LGB inclusion in the curriculum.