Woodside students work their magic for LGBT History Month
Award-winning youngsters from Woodside High School are leading the way on equality in Haringey. Their great work on LGBT+ rights has been praised by Stonewall – and Lord of the Rings wizard Sir Ian McKellen – and they are encouraging the borough to “show support to others and have a good heart”.
From creating their own “Woodside Pride” rainbow badges to making posters of LGBT+ icons who have made an impact around the world, pupils are going all-out to mark LGBT History Month this February. Education charity Diversity Role Models have visited the school to deliver workshops and pupils from across the borough are attending a “day of action” at Woodside this month.
Here, the school’s student-led equality group – who have supported campaigns for Black Lives Matter, mental health, Disability History Month and anti-bullying – explain why LGBT History Month is so important:
“We celebrate LGBT History Month in school because everyone needs a safe space. We like to make our school as welcoming and accepting as possible because it gives students the freedom to be who they are, which isn’t always possible at home.“LGBT History Month celebrates our accomplishments, allows us to celebrate our identities in public, sets examples for other countries that aren’t welcoming of LGBT+ people, and reminds us that we still have a long way to go in order to obtain complete social justice.“We recently won the Stonewall School Champion Gold award for our work, and we are incredibly proud that Woodside is the only secondary school in London to hold the award. We even had Sir Ian McKellen visit us because of it! It was a real honour talking to him about the work he has done as a campaigner and one of the founders of Stonewall. He was inspiring and gave us a lot to think about.“It’s so important to show support to others – you just have to be human with a good heart. The world would be a lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to each other. We all want to be cared for and recognised for who we are.Figures from Stonewall show that:
- Nearly half of LGBT pupils (45%) are bullied for being LGBT in Britain’s schools.
- More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people
- More than two in five trans young people have attempted to take their own life, and one in five lesbian, gay and bi students have done the same“As a community, every one of us here can make sure that we do not contribute to those terrible statistics – and that we work to stop prejudice and injustice in all its forms.”
Gerry Robinson, Co-Head at Woodside adds:
“We are extremely proud of our diversity; we embrace it, celebrate it and champion it wherever we can. We are acutely aware of the very real risks and damage that a non-inclusive environment can have on people’s wellbeing. School is a place to learn. It should also be a place where people feel safe and supported. This cannot happen if they are unable to be themselves, if they feel ashamed, or if they need to hide who they are. At Woodside, we want everyone to feel happy, proud and able to thrive.”
Page Last Updated:
20 February 2019
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