Tag Archives: LGBT

Wikipedia for Peace at Europride⤴


Next week I’ll be taking a little time out from my work at Edinburgh to go to Wikipedia for Peace at Europride 2019 in Vienna. Europride promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) and other queer issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities.  During the event a group of international editors will be coming together to create and edit LBGT+ articles in a range of European languages.  The event, which is run by Wikimedia Austria, is part of the Wikipedia for Peace movement which aims to strengthen peace and social justice through Wikimedia projects. Wikipedia for Peace organises community projects which bring together Wikipedia editors and people active in social and peace movements.

Although I’m not exactly the world’s most prolific Wikipedia editor, one of my proudest editing achievements is creating a page for Mary Susan McIntosh during one of Ewan McAndrew’s early editathons at the University of Edinburgh.  McIntosh was one of the founders of the Gay Liberation Front in the UK, and a member of the Policy Advisory Committee which advocated for lowering the age of male homosexual consent from 21 to 18.  As an academic criminologist and sociologist, she was one of the first to present evidence that homosexuality was not a psychiatric or clinical pathology but rather influenced by historical and cultural factors, and her paper The Homosexual Role was crucial in shaping the development of social constructionism. 

I had never heard of McIntosh before writing her Wikipedia entry and it was shocking to me that such an important activist and foundational thinker had been omitted from the encyclopedia.  I hope I can use my time in Vienna to create articles for other overlooked individuals from the queer community.   I’m particularly interested in focusing on the creation of articles around bisexual topics and individuals, which are sometimes marginalised in the LGBT+ community.  So if their are any LGBT+, with emphasis on the B, topics or individuals that you think should be added to the encyclopedia, please let me know!  You can also participate in the event remotely by signing up here.

I’m also looking forward to having an opportunity to photograph the European Pride Parade for Wikimedia Commons.  I think this will be my first Pride since 1998!

I’m immensely grateful to Wikimedia Austria for supporting my attendance at this event, and to Wikipedia UK for funding my travel through one of their project grants. Wikimedia UK’s project grants support volunteers to complete activities that benefit the organisation’s strategic goals including creating and raising awareness of open knowledge, building volunteer communities, releasing information and images under an open licence, and technology innovation. You can find out more information about project grants and how to apply here Wikimedia UK Project Grants.

LGBT+ pupil: “I am recovering from depression and anxiety… mainly because of bullying at school.” ⤴

from @ Reach

Getting bullied at school because of your sexual orientation is just SO wrong. It is your right to be educated without fear and your school has a duty to look after you. But the sad truth is that prejudice against being lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans still goes on, and it takes its toll on young people’s mental health.

LGBT rainbow flag The good news is that a group of young people at LGBT Youth have been campaigning for change, as Zee – one of the young campaigners – explained to Reach. Zee has even had the chance to speak about the ‘Mind our Health!’ Campaign on STV. Zee is passionate about making sure more LGBT+ pupils don’t go through the same thing as this young person, who shared with the campaigners that “I am recovering from depression and anxiety… mainly because of bullying at school.” Here’s what Zee told us about the campaign:

“Mental health issues affect young people more than adults, and even more so for those with an LGBT+ identity. LGBT+ young people often find it very difficult to access mental health services because of the stigma they face both for being LGBT+ and having mental health problems. Our research shows that doctors often mistakenly believe that it is young people’s LGBT+ identities that cause mental health issues, when really the root of the problem is the discrimination that they face. LGBT+ young people aren’t always unaware of their rights when accessing support services, and are unsure as to whether the service that they are accessing is treating them fairly.

With our campaign work we want to educate teachers, doctors and politicians on how to make sure mental health support services are LGBT+ inclusive. We also want to make sure that LGBT+ young people feel safe and confident accessing help.”

LGBT Youth banner 'Sometimes need a chat?'

If you’ve got questions about your sexual identity and coming out, or need to talk to someone about relationship issues, bullying or sexual health, you can have a 1-t0-1 online chat in private with a youth worker at LGBT Youth.

There is also lots of good advice on the LGBT Youth website, and there’s a ‘HIDE ME’ button in case you want to quickly move away from the site in case you don’t want other people to know.


The post LGBT+ pupil: “I am recovering from depression and anxiety… mainly because of bullying at school.”  appeared first on Reach.

“We are the young people, we are the experts, and we really want to be heard”: Inclusion Ambassadors⤴

from @ Reach

“It feels very low to be left out”. “We need to be treated equally”. “I’d need to trust the people I’m asking for help”. Words of wisdom from a group of young people with diverse support needs campaigning for everyone to be included, no one left out.

The post “We are the young people, we are the experts, and we really want to be heard”: Inclusion Ambassadors appeared first on Reach.

Stonewall Scotland Education Conference 2016⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

This one-day event will bring together teachers, education professionals and communities from across Scotland  to discuss tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and celebrating difference through a series of interactive workshops, keynote speeches and panel discussions.

The annual Education Conference will take place at the Hilton Grosvenor, Edinburgh on Friday 3 June.

Further information and booking details available here.


Uganda – New laws and Education⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

The disturbing news this morning that the Ugandan President has signed the draconian anti -LGBT laws into place is something which should concern all of us who are involved in Education. Kelvin puts his view very directly in a great blog post about the situation over there. I could say a lot about this issue […]

Scotland says ‘Aye’ to Equal Marriage⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

Well done to MSP’s who have voted yes in a stunningly overwhelming majority to marriage equality for same-sex partners. Its been a long hard road, with a campaign which has won awards but also taken its toll on many folks along the way.  Name-checks here would be pointless – there would be so many people […]

Stormy Monday…but it IS time⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

This week is a momentous one for Equal marriage as the legislation finally reaches the chamber at Holyrood for its first debate. It has been a long road, particularly so for those of us who have been involved in the campaign over the past few years.  MSP’s on both sides of the argument will be honing their speeches and interventions and no doubt the media will be sharpening pencils and cranking up the cameras. From where I’m standing it certainly is a momentous week, and there will probably be many opinions aired, both written and spoken. Ruth and I have been involved in this campaign, and I apologise unreservedly to everyone who has had to watch me repeatedly throwing the wedding bouquet every time there is a news item on equal marriage on the television here in Scotland (and just to correct a point, we didn’t actually hold a ‘mock wedding’ as many in the media have termed it, but we did have a blessing on our marriage). We are fortunate to actually be married which was important for us and so keenly feel the pain of those who are unable to marry currently or unable or even unwilling to have to travel abroad to marry, as we did.

Most people who have travelled this journey on both sides of a very polarised debate have managed to remain respectful whilst debating robustly over their strongly held views. Some people, unfortunately, were not able to exercise such restraint and we have seen some particularly nasty individuals creep out from under the furniture whilst the consultative and legislative stages of this process have been polished up. I’m still involved in criminal and civil proceedings  surrounding this  (both of which are still rumbling on, and will be for sometime yet as the various processes run their respective courses in the higher courts) so I can’t comment on this at the moment. There have been some notable causalities along the way, none more so than Cardinal Archbishop Keith O’Brien (whose own homosexual advances towards other priests were uncovered) and the spokesperson of the Scottish Roman catholic Bishop’s conference, John Deighan,who rather spectacularly lost the plot, and went completely off-message whilst debating with the ever cool, calm and reasonable  Tom French from the Equality Network during a television news show.

It is absolutely not ‘homophobic’ to disagree with same sex marriage, but the abusive and derogatory language used by some people and organisations during this campaign has most definitely been beyond what anyone would term, robust debate, and that has certainly been homophobic and unacceptable in a just and equal society. Free speech carries with it a responsibility to keep within the law and those who are unable to step up to such a responsibility put themselves outside of the debate, and of relevance to the arguments taking place within the law.

One thing is for sure though. The legislation itself has received a huge amount of scrutiny and the vast majority of the legal and political opinion is that it is a good bill with completely adequate protection for those faith groups who don’t wish to celebrate same-sex marriages, as well as empowering those faith groups who do wish to be able to solemnise such marriages. Freedom of religion has to cut both ways and this legislation enables this. Churches and faith groups do not carry out marriages which are against their own belief systems and this just won’t change. Roman catholic priests don’t marry divorcees do they? And you can’t marry at a Mosque if you’re not both Muslims? Priests can refuse to marry a couple without having to give a reason (although most would) as they have freedom of conscience in this respect.

One regret, for me anyway is that individual clergy will still not be able to celebrate same sex marriages and this will undoubtedly be a cause of great sadness for a significant number of Church of Scotland ministers as well as Scottish Episcopal and Roman Catholic priests. I know that any of the clergy team at our church  would have been very happy to have been able to marry Ruth and I. So I suspect that many of these ministers and priests will simply opt out of doing weddings at all until their own particular faith groups change their own  canon laws which currently do not allow same sex marriage.

Many people have changed their views on marriage equality as this proposed change to marriage law has progressed over the months. This is perhaps in no small part due to the excellent and respectful campaign run by the Equality Network which has concentrated on facts rather than dogma and love rather than rhetoric. Stonewall Scotland  has also been involved.  If you contrast these with the scare campaigns run by, amongst others, the oddly-named Scotland for Marriage then you’ll see why so many people including a huge majority of MSP’s and all the political party leaders now support full marriage equality. The consultation exercises, contrary to what some might say, indicate that a majority of the Scottish people are in favour of this change. Professor John Curtice, one of Scotland’s foremost statisticians explains how and why this is so here.

So anyway, here are six very good reasons for  supporting same sex marriage for you undecided folks out there to ponder upon…

It has been a long road, with some bumps along the way, but the journey’s end is now thankfully in sight. And so if you’ve not yet watched it, here is the wonderful, touching, beautiful short film made by the Equality Network.

So yes, it is time…

Filed under: change, Equality, Family, homophobia, LGBT, marriage equality, Pastoral care, Personal, Same sex marriage Tagged: belief, Church, Equal marriage, Equality Network, faith, faith in marriage, freedom of speech, Gay Marriage, homophobia, It's Time, John Deighan, keith O'Brien, Marriage, religion, same sex marriage, Stonewall Scotland, Tom French

Sex education is failing our children⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

Today’s Daily Record carries a story about the lack of appropriate sex education in schools. As a teacher, this is something I’ve had an interest in for many years now, and particularly through the dark years of Section  28 (Clause 2A in Scotland- I was giving evidence in a court case last week which touched on this subject).

We are failing our children by failing to get a grip on teaching sex education.  We brush the issue under as many carpets as possible, and the actual teaching often ends up with staff who are just not equipped with the specialist training necessary to be able to carry out this vitally important role in learning and teaching.

I wrote about this very same subject in TESS back in 2008. I  wonder, when I read things like the Record article today, have we made any progress?  Is it time for a Government ‘Excellence’ group to consider a new way forward on sex and relationship education?

Filed under: change, emotional education, Equality, Family, homophobia, LGBT, marriage equality, Pastoral care, teaching and learning Tagged: Clause 2A. TESS, government, Section 28, sex education, staff development, Training