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St Mary's celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month

St Mary's celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month

This LGBTQ+ History Month, we are taking the opportunity to raise awareness of past persecutions and celebrate the achievements of members of the LGBTQ+ community across our curriculum and extra-curricular activities. From a discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in our Inclusivity Club, to an 'inclusive icons' art exhibition, we will be putting this historically marginalised group at the centre of our learning, to promote understanding, empathy and inclusion.

In History, Year 9 students will learn about the ‘Glamour Boys’, a group of gay and bisexual MPs who campaigned against Hitler and appeasement, but who were ignored (and who have been largely ignored by history until recently). This expands on their curriculum, as they continue to work on WW2 and coursework on Winston Churchill, a figure who is much more famous for his opposition to Hitler. In Year 10, lessons will explore persecution in Nazi Germany, including that of many LGBTQ+ people.

In Art, students will work with Sarah Robley and Su Conroy on Fridays at lunchtime in Art History Club to learn about icons such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Tove Jansson, discussing their influences on society and the LGBTQ+ community, as Haring, for example, raised awareness of HIV. To expand on this further, drawing together the theoretical and the practical, students will work on developing silk-screen printed A3 posters that represent an ‘inclusive icon in art’ to present for an LGBTQ+ exhibition on the front wall of Studio 47. 

The LRC will display books by LGBTQ+ authors and that explore gay, lesbian and trans themes and characters. There will also be dedicated lunchtime activities, including a wordsearch, colouring in, a card game and 'guess who?', which will aim to highlight LGBTQ+ vocabulary and issues of stereotyping. Finally, the Inclusivity Club will be hosting a series of discussions about LGBTQ+ issues during their Tuesday meetings, while the Boarders' House Meeting also addressed LGBTQ+ themes.

Through these activities, we hope not only to deepen our understanding of history, but to improve wellbeing of LGBT+ young people, and to promote allyship across the school.