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LGBT Issues

Useful tips for LGBT parents

Children who have lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents sometimes encounter anti-LGBT prejudice in the classroom, from pupils and from teachers.

On this page:

Talk to the school
Give them the information they need
Join the PTA

From the lack of positive images of "alternative" or diverse families to name-calling, bullying and violence, these manifestations of anti-LGBT prejudice can have a detrimental effect on your child's education an on their confidence and self-esteem.

Many parents feel unable to deal with this issue, they are afraid to come out to the school pr have tried to address the issue but have seen no change.

The aim of this section is to provide some useful tips to pro-actively addressing issues of diverse families, anti-LGBT prejudice and bullying at your child's school. We hope you find it useful and would welcome any additional suggestions.

Talk to the school

Be pro-active, don't wait until problems arise before talking to your child's school about issues around homophobia and anti-LGBT prejudice. Ask them if there have been any problems in the past. Find out how they dealt with it, or how they would deal with issues that arise in the classroom or the playground.

Ask about the schools anti-bullying policy. Does it explicitly include homophobic or anti-LGBT bullying? If they don't have an anti-bullying policy or it doesn't include homophobic bullying, then work with the school to improve their policy. There are resources available to help schools to develop a strategy for dealing with anti-LGBT bullying, you can find some of them on this website.

Give them the information they need

Provide the teachers with the information they need to educate themselves about LGBT issues. Prepare a resource pack for each teacher (if not every teacher, then prepare a pack for the head teacher, your child's form teacher or year head, the guidance teacher and the chair of the Parent-Teacher Association). This could include:

  • definitions of some of the terminology and words commonly used around LGBT issues - to enable teachers to comfortably address LGBT issues in the classroom, it’s important to be familiar with some of the terms and words commonly used in conversations about LGBT issues. This could include definitions of terms like homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, LGBT, transgender, co-parenting, sexual orientation and gender identity. You can find some of these definitions in the FAQ section of this website.

  • details of support organisations - let them know what support is available for LGBT young people and families. Give them details of LGBT organisations, groups and helplines that support LGBT young people and LGBT parents. You can find details of these organisations in the Directory section of this website.

  • copies of useful articles - there are lots of articles and publications available from organisations and on the web that deal with LGBT issues in general and issues specifically facing LGBT parents. Some of these resources are listed in the Education section of this website.

  • a reading list - there are now lots of books available for children of different ages that reflect diverse families. Pink Parents, a national organisation for LGB parents, has produced a booklist with titles featuring lesbian and gay parents and role models, visit the Pink Parents website for more details - www.pinkparents.org.uk

    Join the PTA

    Joining the Parent-Teacher Association or Parent's Association can be an effective way to raise issues around diversity, equality and LGBT families. They help you and your children get the best out of their school days and give you a say in how your child should be educated.

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