17 May is marked as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia. The date was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. This Day aims to celebrate sexual and gender diversity, and campaign against the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally. There are over 70 countries in the world where same-sex relationships are illegal, and in around 10 of these countries the punishment could be death. It is estimated that 70% of the world's population live under laws and regulations that limit freedom of expression around sexual orientation and gender identity. This information comes from the Day's official website: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org; it also has a page specifically for teachers, with links to a range of teaching resources. You can also find resources on the Schools Out website and the Stonewall website. The Amnesty International UK website has an LGBTI Rights Activity Pack. You can find an assembly script, lesson plan and film clips about LGBT issues on the TrueTube website. The following articles include examples of how schools have approached issues relating to these issues and/or links to useful resources:
- Making homophobia history (Guardian, October 2010)
- Tackling homophobia in schools (Guardian, October 2011)
- A Resources special: Equality – Still out of sight and out of mind (TES, January 2013)
See also our article about Love (and marriage) which explores related issues.