During the United Kingdom’s Anti-Bullying Week 2013, a British website aimed at parents, Mumsnet, has teamed up with Stonewall charity in a new campaign promoting the use of anti-homophobic language in the United Kingdom. Pop star Will Young, the famous English Pop Idol winner, has joined the campaign to help eliminate the use of homophobic language at school and provide guidance that will help schools and parents educate children about the use of the word “gay”.
Campaign: Posters and Guidance
The campaign will make use of a series of bilingual posters that have been sent to 2,500 secondary schools around the United Kingdom, with awareness messages such as: “Gay. Let’s Get the Meaning Straight”, or “Your so gay. Can you spot two common mistakes?” The posters are accompanied by guidance that aim at reflecting upon the term and its meanings to avoid phrases such as “that’s so gay”, where “gay” carries a significantly negative connotation.
Recent research shows that 99% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the U.K. hear these types of phrases at school. This percentage becomes even more important if we take into account Young’s words, who commented on the high levels of self-harm indexes among gay young people. He added that it is high time someone took a stance regarding the use of the word “gay” as an insult among the younger generations.
Research carried out by Mumsnet has revealed that 66% of parents are not sure whether the schools they send their children to have a particular stance against homophobic language. According to 2012 school report by Stonewall, homophobia and homophobic language are both pervasive in schools all over the United Kingdom, which the charity attributed to prejudice, misconceptions, and schools failing to address the problem.
More about Stonewall
Stonewall was founded in 1989 and has spent the last 24 years lobbying to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. The charity has now earned the support of the major political parties of England, Wales and Scotland, thus highlighting the discussion of topics related to equality and discrimination. In the present, Stonewall is the largest organization in Europe promoting gay equality.
More about Mumsnet
Mumsnet is a popular British website dedicated to parents and based on discussion forums where members can share their own experiences, feelings and recommendations related to parenthood. It was first created in the year 2000 by Justine Roberts to help parents find useful information and advice. Since then, the webpage has grown and now receives 50 million visitors a month.