Northern Ireland: LGBT+ Training for all Derry Schools

Free LGBT+ Training for all Derry Schools

Free Derry Museum 7th March

We at Schools OUT UK, through our project OUTing the Past, together with several partners in Northern Ireland, helped put together the first exhibition of Northern Ireland of LGBT + history. It was launched at the Museum of Free Derry who saw the importance of focussing on the issues of human rights of LGBT people.

The Lord Mayor of Derry came to the exhibition and was so excited by it she has written to all the schools in Derry to invite them to see the exhibition. We were so pleased with this reaction we have now set up a programme with Cara Friend and partners  on the 7th March at the museum to enable parents, educators, governors and anyone who is interested to explore how to include LGBT issues in schools.

See below the programme for the day

OUTing the Past:

The International Festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans History

Find out more @ OTP Website Home  

Festival News follow @ Festival Blog

Programme: OUTing the Past Derry/ Londonderry @ Museum of Free Derry

(Afternoon of Saturday 7th March 2020)

Project Aim: to provide a showcase that brings together examples of best professional practice to protect school pupils/students and promote informed inclusive learning environments.

12:45              Registration, provision of light refreshments and an opportunity to the Permanent and Current Exhibition (Queering the North).

1:00 pm         Welcome & Introductions

1:10 pm         What does a LGBT+ History Lesson Look like?

Session led by Dr JGM Evans *

Abstract: this opening session is a practical one that showcase a History lesson whose subject matter is human diversity with a focus on LGBT+/Human Rights activism. The aim of the lesson is to provide students with: (1) an insight into specific past events over a period of 3,000 years (2) a chronological framework by which students can begin to better assess continuity and diversity, and (3) evidence on which questions of ‘historical’ significance can be posed. 

1:45 pm           Coffee/ Tea Break

2:00pm            Education and LGBTQ+ Young People – What resources are available to Schools & Teachers?

Session led by Mr Lee Cullen (Cara-Friend)

Abstract: In this session, we will be discussing Cara-Friend’s Inclusive Schools Programme. I will be chartering the research into the experiences of LGBT Youth in Education/feedback from teachers to Cara-Friend/Statutory Services leading to the creation of the programme and discussing the response from schools we have worked with. Finally, I will outline the support available to schools through the Inclusive Schools Programme and resources that Cara-Friend has supported or created.    

3:00 pm           What have we been missing? A window into or remarkable hidden Irish ‘LGBT+’ past: Part of the collective history of our Ireland. Enriching our schools curriculum, validating our students lives towards a more inclusive community.

Session led by Dr Brian Lacey*

Abstract:          Many people assume that homosexuality and other alternative sexualities (identified by the acronym LGBT+) are a modern phenomenon.  But these are just aspects of human nature and have been around as long as humans themselves have existed.  Most of the human past was literally pre-historic, dating from before the existence of written texts.  Writing – and with it history – came to Ireland as part of the arrival of Christianity. The very oldest text in that history, dating to the late 5th century, is St Patricks Confession’ which, interestingly, already refers to ‘queer’ sexuality.  From then on homosexuality and related matters are referred to continually in the written sources. The only ‘anti-queer’ law ever made in Ireland was passed in 1634. Since then most relevant evidence tends to come from legal prosecutions and scandals. But before that a whole host of documents confirms that ‘queerness’ was common, and not particularly frowned upon.

3:30pm            Questions & where from here?

4:00 pm           Close

NB: Speakers and Museum/Trust Staff will be available to answer any specific questions. Enquires for the QTN Touring Exhibition visiting your Institution/locale later this year are welcome.

Adrian Kerr (Curator) Maeve Mc Laughlin Project Manager Sue Sanders (Hon. Prof Harvey Milk Inst.)
Museum of Free Derry Host of OUTing the Past: Derry/Londonderry Bloody Sunday Trust Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding Project Chair of Schools OUT(UK) the oldest LGBT+ Education Charity [Est. 1974]

* Dr Evans is a Committee Member of Schools Out(UK), State History Teacher and currently Research Fellow Liverpool John Moores University and advisor to University of Manchester PGCE History Trainee Teacher course.

*Dr Lacey is the leading authority of Donegal archaeology and author of the pioneering study of Irish LGBT+ History “’Terrible Queer Creatures’: A history of homosexuality in Ireland” (Wordwell Books).