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Lessons in gay history help eradicate homophobic bullying

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A London school claims to have almost eradicated homophobic bullying by teaching pupils about gay people who have helped shape society.

Music teacher Elly Barnes tells the London Evening Standard that she developed the lessons, with colleagues, five years ago after becoming concerned that the term “gay” was being used derogatively. So now pupils learn about artist Andy Warhol, war-time codebreaker Alan Turing and author Oscar Wilde (hopefully with some women on the list too).

Elly says: “Many schools haven’t even begun to deal with homophobia,” she said. “Some still think being gay is illegal in parts of the country. By looking at famous LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people in history, we’ve changed opinions and we have had a number of pupils come out.”

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