The aim at Queen’s has always been to instil every student with the confidence she can take every opportunity offered to her and an important part of this is teaching her that whoever she may be, she is worthy of success. Diversity plays a big part in this as it allows us to celebrate all the different cultures, ethnicities and sexualities that are found at our school.
Schools Diversity Week for us at Queen’s meant festivity and remembrance; remembering how far we’ve come and acknowledging those who helped get us here. We commemorated Pride with a week of LGBT themed films, books and rainbow treats in the library every day at lunch. One of the films we watched was called ‘Pride’ and as much as it looks to recognize what there is to celebrate, it also goes over the resistance faced in the last century. We enjoyed celebrating a week that’s purpose is spreading love and made sure we were there for any students that felt less able to celebrate for whatever reason. We find events like these are important for people yet to come out about who they are; showing that when they do, there will be people there to support them.
As the school ‘Diversity Champions’ Melody and I aimed to make the week fun and enjoyable for all. We organised food and a different film for every day. Another important aspect was the decoration, and the library was very festive, decked with rainbow bunting. All year groups were invited, and we held the school assembly on Tuesday which allowed us to talk about the importance of celebrating who you are to the whole school.
We are lucky that Queen’s has Diversity Champions in Sixth Form because it is such an important aspect of showing young people that they are all valued. The difference it has made to us is confidence and pride for being given the responsibility to spread such a valid and vital message.
When asked to write about Schools Diversity Week, it is surprising how few ideas sprung to mind. It is often hard to write about something for which you feel so passionately, as anything less than perfection doesn’t seem right. For me, Schools Diversity Week plays such a crucial part in challenging the stereotyping and discrimination still faced by LGBT+ youth today. Becoming a Diversity Champion in my school and taking part in organising and carrying out our Pride celebrations has helped me become closer to my brother. He came out to me a few years ago and at the time it was difficult to find the right words to show how proud I was of him and that I supported him endlessly. It is through events such as Schools Diversity Week that we can help educate people on the right words to say to show your support, that we can raise awareness of the prejudice still faced by LGBT+ youth, and that we can celebrate the amazing diversity of characters within and outside our school. It is perhaps through these small steps towards a fairer, more equal society, that we as a school can do something amazing.
The Queen’s School, Diversity Champions