If you identify as LGBT, there are ways that schools can support you
Remember that you have the right to an education free from discrimination, prejudice and bullying. You should not have to defend or hide who you truly are. Here are some ways that schools can support you if you’re LGBT (there are other ways which aren’t on this list):
- making sure the school is a place where everyone feels safe, included and respected;
- making sure LGBT voices are heard in the curriculum and when school plans and policies are made;
- being a listening ear and showing some understanding if you’re having a hard time;
- helping you find out about support groups near you;
- addressing any bullying or negative language being used in school.
Schools across Scotland work hard to be inclusive. But there is always more to learn. LGBT Youth Scotland and the Scottish Trans Alliance have lots of good ideas for how schools can support transgender pupils. Here are some of their key principles for schools, which apply just as much to lesbian, gay and bisexual young people as to trans young people.
Supporting LGBT pupils in schools
- Young people should be protected from discrimination, harm and abuse.
- Expressing gender is a healthy part of growing up.
- If an LGBT young person needs support, they should get this as soon as possible and in a way which is right for them.
- Being LGBT is one aspect of a young person’s life; but they may have other support needs too.
- LGBT young people should be involved in all decisions affecting them, understand any action which is taken and why; and be at the centre of any decision making.
- Wherever possible, staff should respect a young person’s right to privacy.
Looking for more LGBT advice and support?
LGBT Youth Scotland have got two great guides to coming out that can help you think about your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. There is one guide for trans young people and one for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.
Young people’s voices: The LGBT Youth Scotland Campaign #OurLives