A campaign calling for inclusive LGBTI+ education across all schools in Scotland has, this weekend, received backing from notable activists and campaigners both nationally and internationally. The TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) campaign is pushing for improved teacher training in relation to LGBTI+ issues, and for an inclusive curriculum that recognises the needs of all students – regardless of sexual orientation – in an effort to tackle homophobia in schools.
Community activist and California resident Alicia Garza, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement in America, has added her support to the Scottish campaign and expressed that links should be established between social movements in Scotland and America that are fighting for those who have been marginalised and continue to face discrimination and societal injustice.
TIE responded to the endorsement: “We are delighted that Alicia of Black Lives Matter is supporting our campaign. It is an encouraging displa of international solidarity between two movements fighting on different fronts and in different parts of the world, but with the same goal of equality. For a Scottish grassroots campaign to receive recognition and support from an internationally recognised and vitally important movement is monumental.”
The TIE campaign has continued to galvanise and attract support from across the social and political landscape in Scotland, with author and playwright Alan Bissett and Miss Transgender Scotland, Jai Dara Latto, being the latest Scottish figures to back the movement. Bissett recognised the importance of an inclusive education, stating that “Lots of young people are confused about their sexuality, and may be feeling things that their peers don’t consider ‘the norm’. This can make what’s a very stressful time for teenagers even worse. That’s why it’s important that LGBTI+ issues are raised in schools, so that everyone can learn that these feelings are normal and that people shouldn’t be afraid of differences. I fully support the work that TIE are doing and wish them all the best with their campaign.”
Latto, who was recently crowned Miss Transgender Scotland, added “I support the TIE campaign as we need to work to eradicate homophobia and transphobia by making the lives and contributions of LGBTI+ people visible throughout education. We need to celebrate diversity in all forms. A good climate in school means children have a greater chance to learn well and have positive relationships with others. LGBTI+ students need allies and I believe that inclusive education gives them that. If we can give the younger generation the skills to combat prejudice through education then we have a chance to shape a positive future for everyone.”
Following the expiration of their petition to the Scottish Parliament that called for the teaching of LGBTI+ topics and issues to be statutory across all schools, TIE campaigners have refocussed their attention and are committed to improving teacher training in all schools.
Other notable supporters of the campaign include Human Rights Lawyer Aamer Anwar, Co-Convener of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie (MSP), Chair of LGBT Network and KaleidoScot contributor, Rob McDowall, ex Scottish international footballer Pat Nevin, Pride Glasgow – and Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) – the inspiration for the 2014 movie Pride.