Throughout June, Alleyn’s pupils and staff have been recognising Pride Month to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities around the world.
The Pride flag has been proudly flying high from the front of the Alleyn’s main building throughout June and staff and pupils have been displaying equality and diversity with Pride stickers and rainbow-coloured lanyards.
A PSCHE session was held to celebrate and educate pupils on Pride. And a series of assemblies have been held to explore the history of Pride and what it means. Dr Atkinson shared what Pride means to him with Upper School students.
He said, “the message is very simple – it is about individuals being accepted for who they are.” And he encouraged students to have the confidence to speak out and pick people up on any casual unacceptance that they may encounter throughout their lives.
Pride means different things to different people, but we asked our Year 12 students what it means to them, and some of them said the following:
“Pride is a month where we dedicate ourselves to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices, LGBTQ+ culture and the support of LGBTQ+ rights. We recognise the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. To me Pride is about teaching tolerance and continuing to move forward in equality. But above all it is about being proud in who you are no matter who you love.”
“For me, Pride represents unity in the face of adversity. It transcends division in society to unite individuals regardless of their background in pursuit of celebrating identity, equality and diversity. Pride is a declaration that the obstacles and challenges we face in life don’t divide, but unite us through shared experience that we can ultimately overcome together.”
“Pride is a celebration, of not only the heroes of our history in the LGBTQ+ community, but also the people of today. I see it as a celebration of my own identity, making me feel loved and recognised and most of all accepted. Also, I think it keeps the ongoing struggles of the community running through my mind, recognising that people are still being prosecuted and oppressed around the world for their sexuality or gender identity, reminding me how lucky I am to be in a loving and accepting environment.”
It typifies our inclusive and outward-looking student body that these messages reflect what we as a School feel is exactly the right message: to show respect, kindness and tolerance to each other, and to recognise that no one should experience any harm simply by being who they are.
Throughout June, pupils have been encouraged to be mindful of what we assume, and what we say, avoiding casual homophobic and transphobic language as we would avoid sexist, racist or any other unacceptable language, and to challenge the use of such language by others.
Before half term the School congratulated Ella in Year 7 for her stunning design which is to become the first Alleyn’s Equality and Diversity Logo. This will be displayed in the School grounds and across Alleyn’s materials. And in another visual display of celebration, pupils returned to School from the half term break to find the steps that flank the main building have been painted to remind ourselves every day as we walk up and down the stairs, of the importance of diversity and equality in all its forms.
In a final message to pupils at Alleyn’s, Section Heads, Dr Atkinson, Mrs Joel and Mrs Thornton, said: “And finally, remember: be proud of yourself, and who you are.”