Trans Youth

30/03/2009

Following up a previous post ref the services provided to young trans people – the past three weeks have been interesting in the contact we have with trans youth.
Our learning from this has been that it has been through word of mouth or keyboard click – this appears to have had a really positive impact on all the trans young people we have contact with, making new friends, checking out your experiences with others, being able to access a safe space and be yourself – are our observations it makes you realise the power of youth work.

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The reality for LGBTQ young people

16/03/2009

Sometimes things happen that trip you up and bring you back to earth with a bang – over the past 8 days two incidents have caused me to reassess my awareness of the lives of young lgbtq people in the area I live. Firstly I was involved in a piece of work where I was supporting young people to work in a setting where they were representing other young people – the day went well , the group appeared to begin to come together and individuals went home ready to come together later in the month.

I then hear from a colleague that one of the young people, a gay young man, had not enjoyed the day as two of his peers had seen a Stonewall ‘Some People Are Gay ….. Get Over It’  poster – and commented ‘ how disgusting that was and bad that the posters were on display’ – he didnt feekl comfortable to challenge and  didnt have the confidence to raise it with staff  he didnt know that well.

The second incident was the experience of a gay young person in a school who was threatened by five other young men with a stanley knife who  said they would scar him if he looked at them in a ‘gay’ way – they couldnt speak to parents as they have yet to come out to them.

While my life as a gay man is settled and reasonably sorted- the lives of  some young lgbtq people is far from that as these two experiences indicate – how many other young lgbtq people are experiencing these or similar situations on a daily basis.


How well do children and young people services support trans young people?

11/03/2009

Some of the most rewarding learning for me in the past 12 months has been around trans issues – our project supports trans young people and we have some wonderful young people coming along – who have dealt with and are dealing with the challenges of the education system and society.

I am inspired by the work of Gendered Intelligence and we are working hard to find support to bring them into our area to  provide training for Children & Young Peoples service staff and work creatively with young people accessing our project.


Welcome

10/03/2009

Having looked at various developments in blogging, social networking etc and being aware of the importance of the internet to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ ) young people I work with, I thought it was time I took the plunge and begin the process of seeing how beneficial a blog around the issues of LGBTQ youth work will be to me, my colleagues, the young people I work with and other interested parties.

I am sure that there are specific issues that LGTBQ youth work faces and hope this blog maybe a way of sharing ideas, practice, frustrations, experiences, successes to develop good practice and quality provision.


Homophobic Bullying

10/03/2009

A constant issues that young people coming to our project report is ‘homophobic bullying’ it is of no suprise that Stonewall have issued the results of a suvey that shows homophobic bullying is rife in schoools.

Pink News – reports – ‘According to the research, titled The Teachers’ Report, more than 150,000 pupils are affected by anti-gay bullying, with boys who work hard, girls who play sport, young people with gay parents, and young people who are thought to be gay all suffering from name-calling and abuse.

Nine in ten secondary school teachers and two in five primary school teachers said pupils experience homophobic bullying, even if they are not gay.

Teachers reported that homophobic bullying was the most prevalent form of bullying after bullying because of weight, coming above racism.

Pupils suspected to be gay and boys perceived to act or dress in a feminine way were most likely to suffer abuse, followed by pupils who are openly gay.

Only two in five secondary school teachers and less than half of primary school teachers said their headteacher demonstrates a clear leadership role when it comes to tackling homophobic bullying.

Two-thirds of secondary school staff and three in four primary school staff blamed homophobic language on television for the frequency of homophobic language and homophobic bullying in schools.

Nine in ten teachers say they have never received training about homophobic bullying.

However, the survey did have some positive findings.

Three in five secondary school teachers and a quarter of primary school teachers said they had addressed sexual orientation in the classroom and ninety-five per cent say they would do so again.

Many teachers reported hearing the word ‘gay’ being used in a derogatory way in classrooms and using this to begin a debate about the use of the word, comparing it to racism.

One teacher said: “If pupils express misunderstanding about what it means to be gay, or show an anti-gay attitude, I confront the issue directly with the whole class so that it removes any mystery or secrecy.”

Those teaching subjects such as English, drama or film studies also reported being able to address the issue in a positive way through texts studied.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said: “This survey reveals how much remains to be done by our schools to demonstrate to all pupils that homophobic bullying is unacceptable.

“In July last year, 18-year-old Michael Causer from Liverpool was kicked to death by a young man shouting homophobic abuse.

“That young man had not been educated in the 1970s, or the 1980s, or the 1990s. He attended a British secondary school during the last five years. Teachers need support to ensure this tragedy does not happen again.”

In engaging with professionals around homophobic bullying in our community – there is much to be done and this echoes the issues raised.