4 powerful points from the LGBT+ Youth Manifesto
LGBT+ inclusivity should be a top priority for schools. Respecting people with LGBT+ identities and validating LGBT+ issues should start in primary school with an emphasis on accepting difference and acknowledging that all kinds of families exist and that what unites them is love. In secondary school LGBT+ inclusivity can include highlighting milestones in LGBT+ history and LGBT+ people in art, science, tech and every domain, putting up LGBT+ positive posters and creating clubs and safe spaces for LGBT+ students and allies.
To end bullying and discrimination and to make change, learning from young people is vital.
Written by students aged 12 to 20 for a University of Nottingham research project, the LGBT+ Youth Manifesto sets out 12 steps for raising awareness and improving lives.
Pointing out that young LGBT+ people are often marginalised, professor Lucy Jones explains: ”We all need to be better educated about the barriers young LGBT+ people face to being happy and healthy – and we can start by asking them what they need.”
Our favourite comments from the young people who created the manifesto:
“If there’s no LGBT sex ed then kids will think it’s not normal to be gay”
“My teachers have asked me to talk to younger kids about being LGBT because they weren’t comfortable doing it themselves”
“Schools should teach little kids about being LGBT so it’s not as hard for them when they get to high school and discover it about themselves. That way they won’t need to be afraid of being themselves when they’re a bit older”
“LGBT should be covered in all classes at school. If you don’t learn about it, you can’t be kind”