Have you heard of these people?
You may not have given the idea of positive role models for LGBT young people much thought – but here are some examples. They include people from a range of cultures and religons as well as some with disabilities.
Lord Waheed Alli (1964 – ) A Muslim, the first openly gay peer in the House of Lords
John Amaechi (1970- ) Ex- Basket Ball Player, Psychologist, Educator, Political Activist.
Margarethe Cammermeyer (1942 – ) Colonel in the Washington National Guard, honorably discharged after revealing that she is a lesbian. Has since challenged the army’s policy.
Angela Davis (1944 – ) Black civil rights activist
Justin Fashanu (1961 – 1998) English footballer, the first black player to command a £1,000,000 transfer fee. Came out as gay in 1990, the only British footballer to do so.
Stephen Fry (1957 – ) Author, presenter. Open about his mental health issues.
Angela Mason (1944 – ) Director of Stonewall from 1992-2002. Chair of the Fawcett Society.
Ian McKellen (1939 – ) Actor. Came out in 1988. Founding member of Stonewall.
Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991) British singer/musician of Asian origin.
Harvey Milk (1930 – 1978) First openly gay man to be elected to public office in the USA.
Martina Navratilova (1956 – ) Tennis player, nine times winner at Wimbledon
Simon Nkoli (1957 – 1998) Anti-apartheid and gay rights activist in South Africa
Lee Pearson MBE, OBE (1974 – ) Nine times gold medal winner in the Paralympics
Gene Robinson (1947 – ) First openly gay bishop within the Anglican Communion. His election threatened a schism within the church.
Dusty Springfield (1939-1999) Singer.
Peter Tatchell (1952 – ) Civil rights activist, campaigns for sexual freedom and human rights.
Gareth Thomas (1974 – ) Welsh rugby league player, former rugby union player. First Welshman to win 100 international caps in rugby union.
Sandi Toksvig (1958 – ) Danish-born radio and TV presenter. Speaks openly of her family life.
Alan Turing (1912 – 1954) Mathematician and logician.Code-breaker in WW2, also seen as the inventor of the computer.
Alice Walker (1944 – ) Black activist and writer.
Gok Wan (1974 – ) Fashion guru and all-round nice guy
Good films to see
Fire An exploration of the role of women, arranged marriage and sexuality in India.
Prayers for Bobby A Family’s religion has tragic consequences as they reject their teenage son’s sexual orientation. His inner turmoil erupts and he commits suicide. After his traggic death his mother rejects her faith and becomes an activist for the Gay Rights movement in her hometown and beyond.
Gay Days the Evolution of the GLBT rights movement in Israel
Milk The story of California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk. ‘The Story of Harvey Milk’ is a documentary of the same story.
Maurice Based on the book by E. M. Forster, shows attitudes towards homsexuality in the past.
Suddenly Last Winter (2008) Documentary about attempts to introduce a draft law acknowledging the rights of gay couples in Italy.
Victim (1961) A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who threatens gay men with exposure. This film took a courageous stand against criminalisation. At the time, 90% of blackmail attempts were directed against gay men.
Books for young children with an LGBT family member
If you have a lesbian or gay family member, then it will be important to think about how to help young children in your family develop an understanding and acceptance of same-sex relationships.
Start early, before they encounter negative stereotypes!
‘And Tango Makes Three’ by Justin Richardson. Two male penguins adopt an egg.
‘King and King’ by Linda de Hann and Stern Nijland. A king doesn’t fancy any princesses.
‘Spacegirl Pukes’ by Katy Watson and Vanda Carter. Spacegirl has two mums.
For other resources try: www.outforourchildren.co.uk.