As Christmas and the new year approaches we've reflected on some of the great stuff we've been proud to be part of this year.
Pride means a few things to us, the pride in what we do, in each other as colleagues, the pride in the young people we work with, but also the pride in being part of the LGBTQ+ community in Hull and East Yorkshire, and specifically in the Step Out Group we've run in partnership with The Warren Youth Project since 2015.
Unfortunately the best laid plans with our friends at Lollipop, Trans Youth Hull and SHOUT for the Pride Prom 2020 and a conference focusing on work with LGBTQ+ young people, had to be put on hold (look out 2021 we're coming for you) but we've still managed some great work this year despite the circumstances - arguably because of them in some ways!
Step Out moved onto Zoom with the first lock down and since then we've welcomed new members, and even managed to meet a few of them face to face over the summer with the help of the Healthy Holidays, Hull City Council funding.
Emma (from the Warren), Luke and Viv spoke to the young people of Step out and other groups, and used their experiences to create a film with NHS Hull CCG aimed at supporting LGBTQ+ young people's emotional wellbeing in school. WATCH IT HERE
The film focused on 10 top tips for schools to think about the needs of LGBTQ+ students:
1) Be proactive in approaching the needs of LGBT+ young people – if you are meeting their needs you will be meeting the needs of all young people
2) Use the names and pronouns given by the young person all the time, not just when you’re in front of them.
3) Don’t panic if you get it wrong, correct yourself or ask if you’re not sure.
4) Call out homophobia or transphobia in the same way you would any other hate crime or bullying.
5) Include examples of LGBT+ people and relationships across all subjects.
6) Use gender neutral terms such as they/them/their and partner, don’t make assumptions based on a heterosexist "norm"
7) Change the language you use, try to replace “confused” with “questioning”, allowing young people to ask questions and find the answers.
8) Implement a whole school approach to show support to the LGBT+ community.
9) Be an active ally.
10) Think about the bubbles you place students in
Bonus tip - It’s OK if you’re not sure, ask for help or advice.
We're always more than happy to help and there are many other amazing organisations you can contact for more information and support.
We were also really pleased to make friends with SAYiT, based in Sheffield who invited us to attend their youth pride online event, which was fantastic. Since then the groups have visited each other's "zooms" a few times and we joined in with their "Brighter" creative writing workshop. We hope to meet them in 2021!!