A transgender student says there should be more teacher training about LGBT issues in schools.
Salem, a 19 year old transgender student from Quedgeley, says we need to rethink the way we educate people on the LGBT community with a focus more on teaching and education.
He said that ‘more needs to be done’ to inform teachers and parents of the complexity of issues surrounding coming out as LGBT, specifically to his case Transgender.
This is raised in a Stonewall study, saying that more than a third of trans students in higher education have experienced negative comments or behaviour from staff in the last year (2018).
“Education when it comes to trans issues is really important, as a lot of people don’t understand unless you are going through it, or have had someone go through it.
“You should be training your teachers to be sensitive to issues anyway, regardless of whether they believe in it or not.”
Richard Johnson, headteacher at Severnvale School in Quedgeley, has been increasing support for the transgender community by working with students individually and ensuring they are accepted by others. He said:
“We are at a very early stage in terms of supporting our transgender students.
“We are looking at how we can develop this support during this academic year. This will involve training for staff both teaching and non-teaching.
“We are an inclusive school and are very happy to have them as part of our school community.”
Worrying findings from QueerFutures study showed that:
It concluded that support and understanding helped people through mental health difficulties in association with gender dysphoria. It also spoke about care in the community.
A possible step forward could be the rise of more specialists in Gloucestershire to cope with the increasing numbers of people in the transgender community.
Salem said that members of his family and Gay-Glos have been ‘amazing’ and that they really helped with his confidence.
Claudette, Salem’s mum, said:
“The community could do with a lot more support. As a parent I try and be as supportive as possible. I’m always here for him and he’s still my child at the end of the day.”
“For mum to treat me like the person I am instead of just being trans, it’s just amazing. And that’s because of education.”