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A film on homophobic bullying is to be screened in all UK secondary schools next month. The film – the first of its kind to be sent to all schools – will try to stop pupils using the word "gay" in a derogatory way. It tells the story of six teenagers – who are gay, straight or not yet sure of their sexuality – and are taking classes in hip hop dancing at a college in south London. Some come out and are bullied for it, others conceal their sexuality out of fear. The film’s director, Rikki Beadle-Blair, who wrote and played the lead role in the Channel 4 drama Metrosexuality, takes the role of the teacher. The film, FIT, is part-funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and will be sent to every secondary school next month by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

A poll of more than 2,000 teachers, commissioned by Stonewall last year, found that 90% thought homophobic bullying occurred in their school. The same percentage had not been trained in tackling the problem. A fifth said they did not feel comfortable talking about gay issues in the classroom, and one in six said they felt uneasy if a pupil asked a question about homosexuality. Chris Gibbons, Stonewall’s senior education officer, said: "Teachers are still ill-equipped and unsure of how to deal with gay issues in their classrooms." The film is adapted from a play which has been seen by 20,000 pupils in the last two years.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
This is a really big issue as far as I'm concerned. I felt really self conscious about it at school, and got harrassed by some people because of it. Teachers really should be more proactive in this. I'm applying to become a teacher and I'm really hoping to be able to do some form of work in this, if at all possible. We'll see what happens.

The real problem is, we cant afford to wait until children are at secondary school before showing them this. It's far too late and kids are infinitely more concerned with looking cool in front of their friends and following the crowd, than they are with principles. My suggestion; gay cartoons! Not like gay porn cartoons, but cartoons and kids stories in which the man falls in love with another man etc. Kids will learn that there's really nothing out of the ordinary about homosexuality.

Nice post! x
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I really believe that the earlyest kids learn it, the easiest it will be.
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I really want to see this! I think it's about time all types of sexuality gets to be looked in schools and hopefully normalized.

Education is key and while I give credit to schools wanting to show this I believe the real issue lies with parents educating their children.

While I'm straight, I really feel for this issue. I am a mother of an 11 month old son. My family is full of fundamentalist Christians and they are strongly opposed to same sex relationships (among many many other things) and I just can't comprehend the judgment they place on total strangers.

I once said defensively "What if James (my son) is gay?" their reply was simply "He better not choose to act that way." I was furious! My son, gay or straight will be supported and educated about real love and acceptance.

Feb. 4th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
I still can't get my head around the idea that there is still people in the world who think that being gay is a choice.

My mom was a strong Christian, but she said that she realized I was gay long before I came out,(which never really happened, it wasn't necessary) So she started educating herself about homosexuality and she saw that christianity was just wrong about gays.
Feb. 4th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way about people who think animals don't feel pain! What?!

I like to live by an idea that people are attracted to other people in a general sense. I'm attracted to some girls but I don't act on the attractions because it's only superficial attraction, I have no real interest in them. I hate the labels you know. To me it's just normal to be attracted to certain qualities that both men and women share.

Gay or Straight, or whatever I think anyone can be attracted to anyone despite sexual preference.
Feb. 5th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
You're completely right...it's necessary for kids to grow up in an environment where it's not judged negatively. My nephew, whow as 3 at the time, asked me if I had a girlfriend...

-"Why not?"
-"Ummm...if I had anything I'd have a boyfriend!"
-"Huh?" *nose scrunches*
-"Some boys have boyfriends and some girls have girlfriends!"
-"Oh right!" *nose unscrunches*

And that was that...no judgement or anything. It's not just normal to him that some people go out with the same sex! He's not offended, or corrupted in any way! lol
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
I agree! I have two children, and I'm trying to raise them to be excepting.
Unfortunately a lot of people still cause this.... Judgemental people raise judgemental children, who in turn raise judgemental children.....and the cycle goes on :(
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a great idea! We need to be showing it at our schools here in Australia.
I've seen "Bang Bang you're dead", which is about school bullying and school shootings (also a play), which I loved, but it wasn't about homophobia.
It's about time they did something about this important issue.
I don't know how much homophobic bullying goes on at our schools here (I should look in to it). I like to think we've come a long way in acceptance, but I'd be fooling myself to think that it didn't happen.
Thanks for sharing this :-)
Mar. 9th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
I'm here because of ontd,anyway
I've been to such screenings and it turns out really bad,tbh.The other day they made us watch Klass(an estonian movie about a bullied kid who kills half the school) and everyone was making fun of it,boys who are like that too.Sad picture.
Jun. 7th, 2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure why teachers need to be 'trained' to deal with homophobic bullying - all it needs is to take a strong stance that you don't pick on people who are different from you, you only fight back if you're the victim... but still, this project is a noble idea, and I hope it succeeds!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )