December 11, 2012
Who needs politicians when there are calendar girls?
I started today in a good mood, which was surprising for a Monday morning. Nonetheless I did. I was in a great old mood and all set to write a fluffy piece on a great stocking filler for the whole family but alas I read the news at lunch and I have been on a downward curve ever since.
What aggravated me so much? No it was not the garlic smuggler dodging tax, nor the news of yet another energy price increase. In fact it was ramblings of one of our elected politicians in the UK – one MP David Davies.
“I think most people are very tolerant and have no problem at all if people are gay” (BBC website)
…you know what’s coming…
“ I think most parents would prefer their children not to be gay, knowing most parents want grandchildren if nothing else.”
The ignorance of that statement is nothing short of baffling. I mean, did he really say that!?!
“It changes the way that sex education is going to be taught in schools.”
“It’s going to have an impact on teachers and I think it goes against what a lot of people feel very strongly about, particularly within the Conservative Party.”
The assertion being made here is that this is going to impact teachers adversely. Not to go all ‘activist’ here but ‘The School Report’ published by Stonewall (2012) illustrates that 55% of LGB young people experience homophobic bullying.
Homophobic bullying is certainly not limited to LGB students as Stonewall’s publication ‘The Teachers’ Report’ showed in 2009 that any person deemed as different can be subject to homophobic bullying, anyone considered to be outside of traditional gender stereotypes (e.g. sporty girls) or with gay friends or family could be subject to homophobic bullying, which is in fact the second most common type of bullying in schools.
Thankfully, the world is not full of idiots like Mr Davies.
Diversity Role Models
Back in May (2012) I wrote about role models because it is something I believe very passionately in. Those among us who stand up, change perceptions and inspire others simply by being open and authentic individuals. An organisation which shares this view is Diversity Role Models (DRM).
DRM is a charity that seeks to prevent homophobic bullying in schools within the United Kingdom by using role models (both LGBT and their straight allies) to educate young people about differences in sexual orientation and gender identity to enable acceptance and respect for diversity.
“Diversity role models can be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight. They need not be successful, attractive or brilliant. They certainly don’t need to be perfect. All they need to demonstrate is that it’s ok to be different.”
In schools where preventative methods are implemented, it has been shown that LGBT students are 60% less likely to be bullied, leading to a better, safer learning environment for students.
2013 DRM Calendar
In conjunction with DRM, Claire’s Events has put together a calendar to promote some of the role models involved with the charity…and yes, this is the gift that keeps on giving as all the profits generated go directly to the charity.
Why did Claire do this? “I have known Susan (Dickson, CEO of Diversity Role Models) for a while now, and the work she does is so important in the fight to eliminate bullying and homophobia. I wanted to do anything I could to help the charity.” (Claire Henson, Claire’s Events)
Spoken like a true role model.
The calendar is not the first time Claire has been involved in charity. In April of this year she ran a charity benefit at the Komedia Brighton which included performers such as Amity, Christina Novelli and the Short and Girlie Show.
So who can we expect to see in the calendar? Amongst others… TV Presenter Clare Balding, singer AMiTY, Paralympian Claire Harvey and the cast of the L Project. If you want to find who else makes an appearance you know what to do.
This year instead of buying my usual fluffy kittens calendar (because yes they are cute and yes I do want one) I will be getting myself one of these great calendars and each day in 2013 use it to ask myself one simple question – how can I be better today?
Buy your calendar today from the Diversity Role Models website.
Mike Freer HoC speech on gay marriage
Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, gives a speech in the House of Commons in favour of same sex marriage proposals.
February 5, 2013