The aims of our program are:
What kind of issues and attitudes are covered by our program?
We clarify terms such as stereotypes, homophobia, heteronormativity, hetero-, bi-, homosexual, transgendered, trans-sexual, transvestism, gender identity, sexual orientation, queer, rights and freedoms, coming out. We argue against and try to deconstruct misconceptions and prejudices regarding homosexuality and transgenderism (for example that homosexuality is a sin, an illness, not a natural state, or that it destroys society; all gay men are feminine, all lesbians are masculine; usage of the term "faggot" is not offensive, Pride parades are provocative etc.) and encourage positive attitudes and behaviours from participants. We introduce the work of grassroots LGBT organizations and how to access their services. While respecting different views, for example religious ones, on homosexuality and transgenderism, our program seeks to raise awareness of how certain misconceptions can have an impact individually or collectively on LGBT people.
Sessions can last from 45 minutes to a few hours. They are led by two specially trained instructors, usually a gay man and a lesbian woman – although our facilitators represent a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities, which we try to introduce at our lessons. We use a methodology based on sharing personal stories, and a range of different tools (conversation, debating, film excerpts, role plays, group activities, etc.) to help participants confront their feelings and difficulties.
A typical lesson plan
The facilitators introduce themselves and the program.
2. Ice-breaker game
Various motivational exercises to establish common grounds between the participants.
3. Clarifying associations, terms
Getting an idea of the students’ existing level of knowledge and finding out which topics they are most interested in.
4. Open discussions based on emerging questions
Even though participants can ask questions throughout the session, the facilitators allocate time for having more informal conversations in response to specific questions based on concrete questions.
5. Forms of discrimination
Discussing the different forms discrimination can take in the case of LGBT people. We use various activities and roleplays to sensitize participants to the kinds of discriminations faced by LGBT people (in the family, in the media, on the street, in school: assault, exclusion, dismissal, bullying etc.).
6. What can I do?
Students discuss different ways to react when they see discrimination happening (for example mocking, verbal or physical humiliating, aggression).
7. Where can I turn for help?
Presentation of LGBT organizations and their support services briefly.