Who are the Proud Trust?
The Proud Trust is an organisation that works with young people to empower them, allow them to make a positive change for themselves, and the community. They do this through youth groups, peer support, managing the LGBT centre for Manchester, delivering of training and events, campaigns, undertaking research and creating resources.
What did we focus on?
In the session, Chloe Cousins– a youth work coordinator- came in and discussed gender and sexuality with the Diversity Champions. We went through questions, such as, what does gender mean? Is homophobia as serious as racism? Does sexuality change someone’s personality?
Gender is how someone feels. A person may be biologically a female, however, they may feel like a male, in which they have every right to introduce themselves as he/him. Same goes for males who feel female. They may introduce themselves as she/her. People who feel they are the opposite of their biological gender are called transgender. Some may consider themselves as an androgynous. This means they do not consider themselves male or female and introduce themselves as they/them.
Sexuality is who someone is attracted to. If a person is attracted to the opposite gender .i.e. male attracted to female, they are heterosexual/straight. If a person is attracted to the same gender .i.e. male attracted to male, they are homosexual. There are more terms used such as gay which means homosexual males, or lesbian which means homosexual females. The term queer is used as an umbrella term for gay and lesbian. Some people are bisexual, this means they are attracted to both males and females, however, they may prefer one gender slightly more than the other. A pan-sexual can be sexually /emotionally/ spiritually attracted to anyone and they do not have a preference. There are people who are not attracted to anyone, either male, female, intersex etc. They use the term asexual.
It is always important to ask someone their gender and not to assume it. Same goes for sexuality, however, a person’s preference does not change who they are and it is not mandatory for you to know. Being homophobic is just as bad as being racist. It puts people down and creates a negative and hostile. It is also important to spread awareness and talk to any who may use homophobic slurs and language to create a positive, safe place for all.
This blog post has been written by Aram.