Life Gets Better Together
By Jo Fitzpatrick, Nairn Academy Equality Forum
We don’t feel safe anywhere: home, school, anywhere in between,
We don’t feel safe anywhere where there’s another human near.
It’s a mix of lack of trust and support,
Too many people bring us to fear.
We live too much inside our heads,
Where we can finally roam free.
We know we don’t belong where we are constantly judged,
Just for being happy.
But love is too beautiful,
To stay hidden in the closet.
A simple walk home can turn sinister, scary;
We can still hear their whispers through our steady music’s beat.
That usually keeps us calm, keeps our heart in sync,
But nothing can help us once our eyes meet.
Your stares burn through our brain,
You’re inside our head once more.
We blink back brutal tears,
What are all of the names, stress, hatred for?
No one can see what goes on in our mind,
No one will see how we’re breaking Inside.
Being gay isn’t a choice,
Being homophobic is.
Doors locked, curtains drawn,
Sit in silence, safe in darkness.
No one can notice our tear stained faces, the scarred memories in our minds.
Then the cycle repeats, an ongoing battle in our brain,
Forced to reflect on the day left behind.
Yet there is never a dark moment for long in our hearts,
Painted rainbow and full of colour.
Throw wild parties to help us survive,
The day, just done, much duller.
Too much blood flows from the wrists,
Of those shamed for who they choose to kiss.
If only everyone were kind, accepting,
Welcoming people like us with an open heart.
Then we may feel less alone,
Then we may feel more a part
Of the society that we are forced to live in.
And there are so many like is who are open.
So many who are free,
Can choose who they want to be.
And we know friends are never apart,
Maybe in distance but never at heart.
The beauty of standing up for your rights,
Is seeing other stand as well.
Life. Gets. Better. Together.
At the SNP 2017 Spring Conference, Resolution 11 called upon the Scottish Government to set up a Working Group to take forward the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) pledges, This resolution was passed overwhelmingly. On 19 April 2017, the Scottish Government set up the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, in conjunction with the TIE Campaign, LGBT and other representative organisations, reinforcing its commitment to work towards LGBTI inclusive education.
These recommendations represent efforts to embed approaches to tackling prejudice towards LGBTI young people throughout the education system. Research published in the last five years indicates that homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia remain an issue within education settings, and LGBTI young people themselves note feeling excluded from or underrepresented in their learning experience. In 2000, the Scottish Parliament repealed Section 2(a) (commonly referred to as S.28) of the Local Government Act (1988), and there have been many strides towards equality taken since then including the publication of Respect for All, the national approach to anti-bullying. This addresses prejudice based bullying as a result of racism, sexism, prejudice and discrimination towards disability or faith and homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. However more needs to be done. These recommendations outline a series of national and local strategic actions which intend on redressing the balance and advancing LGBTI equality within Scottish education.
Email: Stuart Downes