LGBTQ+

Our Vision and Commitment

At Ormiston Denes Academy, we are committed to ensuring that all LGBTQ+ students, staff  and visitors are valued, supported and celebrated for their contribution to our community. We pride ourselves on providing a safe and supportive space for all individuals to share experiences, raise awareness, discuss any worries and celebrate their gender identity or sexual orientation.

To complement our standard safeguarding and inclusive training for all staff, a team of designated practitioners have undergone additional specialist additional training in how to support LGBTQ+ individuals.

To further evidence our ongoing commitment, we are also engaging in the LGBTQ+ Allyship Programme, in conjunction with AllSorts and Ormiston Academies Trust.

Supporting your LGBTQ+ child

As a parent or carer, you may have understandable questions or concerns if you think that your child might be lesbian, gay, bi and/or trans or questioning (LGBTQ+). All young people need support and for LGBTQ+ young people, getting impartial, supportive and clear guidance can be the key to thriving personally, academically and going on to have happy and healthy lives.

Support Booklet

As part of our partnership with Norfolk LGBT+ Project and the Educating with Pride initiative, they have kindly provided this resource which gives useful support and guidance. LGBTQ+ support booklet

Comparing the Terms Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

  • Sexual orientation is about who we are attracted to (e.g. male, female, both, neither.) 
  • This attraction can be physical but also romantic and emotional. 
  • Today there is much more openness about people’s sexual orientation and more ways to describe their identity. 
  • The terms most commonly used are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and asexual. 
  • Who we’re attracted to, and what we think, feel and do about sex, doesn’t have to be fixed – it can change over time.

Gender Identity

  • Gender is not about our physical sex at birth but rather how we identify or express our gender, regardless of our physical body. 
  • People may identify as male, female, or non-binary. 
  • ‘Transgender’ is a broad term for those whose gender identity or expression is different in some way from the gender assigned to them at birth and the ‘norms’ expected by the society they live in. 
  • This includes non-binary gender identities and cross-dressing people. 
  • While gender identity is different to sexual orientation, how parents feel as they try to support their child during sensitive conversations can be similar.

Key Definitions taken using Supporting your LGBT Child

The Gender Unicorn is a simple but effective tool to explain the difference between gender, sexuality and gender expression.

Advice for Parents

For some parents, a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity may not be surprising and it may even be a relief when they ‘come out’.

It’s becoming much more common for parents to be supportive and proud when their child comes out. For others, a child’s identity can come as a genuine shock and one which can raise negative emotions.

You may be unsure how you feel about or how to respond. It’s okay to be honest and tell them that. The important thing to remember is that they are still the same person you have always loved and cared for. You know them best and you know how your relationship works best.

Useful Points

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for every family and every situation, but here are a few tips that may help you and your child if they come out to you:

Useful Links

Norfolk LGBT+ Project

Norfolk LGBT+ Project is a registered charity, providing support, information and advice to all age groups that is relevant to the health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Norfolk and Waveney since 2007.

Further resources from Norfolk LGBT+ project

The Proud Trust

A local organisation that helps LGBT+ young people empower themselves, to make a positive change for themselves, and their communities. This website could be very useful for young people and carers looking to find local support (e.g. youth groups and events), and learn about topics such as LGBT+ language, rights and history. 

Mermaids

A national charity supporting transgender and gender-diverse children (under 20s), as well their families and professionals involved in their care. The website details Mermaids’ various support services, such as their helpline and safe online forum for trans youth, as well as lots of key information for trans children and their carers. 

Gendered Intelligence

GI is a national charity working to increase understandings of gender diversity. They specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8-25, offering support and resources. 

Colours Youth

An organisation supporting young LGBTQ+ people of colour to explore and celebrate who they are, particularly through their amazing annual Colours Youth Festival in Manchester. 

The Trevor Project

An American organisation providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under 25. Though the support facilities such as the helpline are available only in the US, this website provides a lot of broadly applicable information and resources e.g. a ‘coming out’ helpbook, specific support for BAME queer youth, information on religion and being LGBTQ+, and an Instagram safety booklet. 

Shout

A crisis text service – available 24/7 and free on all major mobile networks. Not specifically for LGBTQ+ youth but can be used by anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. 

Allsorts Youth Project

A Sussex based charity supporting LGBTQ+ youth and their parents. Their website highlights useful information, resources and virtual support; the FAQ page is particularly good for addressing concerns that LGBTQ+ young people or their parents may have. 

Thems Health

A community-focused online resource for non-binary fitness, nutrition, bodily health, mental health, sexuality, and identity. Mostly based on Instagram, health and wellness professionals answer anonymous questions directly from the non-binary and trans community, based on their experience as nurse practitioners, therapists, nutritionists etc. 

LGBT Foundation

A Manchester based charity supporting LGBT+ people to increase their skills, knowledge and self-confidence to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing. Not specifically for young people (see Proud Trust instead) but a good, local resource for LGBT+ parents or those looking for extra information or signposting.

AKT (the Albert Kennedy Trust)

A national charity supporting LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment.

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