Say It Loud! Music hits all the right notes at the launch of LGBT History Month in Birmingham
“Say It Loud”, the theme song for LGBT History Month 2014 was performed by Turves Green Girls School and Vix from Fuzzbox as the grand finale at what was a phenomenal evening of music and entertainment. The music was as diverse as the participants, ranging from opera singers from the Britten-Pears Foundation to punk band DRAG to the cast from the musical Rent and much, much more.
Ruth Owens, a pupil from Ninestiles School gave a solo performance of a particularly moving song she had written especially for the occasion called ‘Sing it loud, sing it strong’. When asked why she had written the song, Ruth replied:
“I have written a modern marching song inspired by the suffragettes as this is still relevant today as we still need equality”
Another student felt moved to say ‘We are all different, but we are all the same’ following a workshop earlier in the day on gender stereotypes.
Speaking at the event alongside Michael Cashman MEP, Sue Sanders, one of the Co-Chairs of Schools OUT LGBT History Month said:
“It is just over 10 years since the repeal of Section 28 and we fought against that legislation to ensure that schools and everyone can get involved in events like this one to educate out prejudice.”
Tony Fenwick, also Co-Chair, spoke of his personal journey from being ‘born illegal’ in the 1960s to almost being at the point where he can marry his partner in 2014.
Birmingham was chosen to host the prestigious annual event due to the fact it is in a unique position of being the only city in the UK to employ a LGBT education specialist, Elly Barnes who organised the event. In addition to the music festival in the evening, primary and secondary schools in Birmingham attended various LGBT related sessions during the day to learn how LGBT people have contributed to our culture through music, art and history.
Stephen Hughes, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council said:
“The Educate and Celebrate programme led by Elly Barnes has been just what we needed in Birmingham to transform our schools and ensure they feel confident to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying. With 40 schools, including 12 primary schools having undergone this programme, we are starting to see real results. This is why it makes absolute sense and I am delighted to be holding the annual LGBT History Month launch event in Birmingham.”
Elly Barnes, LGBT Schools Advisor for Birmingham City Council and founder of Educate and Celebrate said:
‘It has been an amazing day for our students, their faces told the story. Have never seen such jubilation whilst dancing! I am especially delighted with the primary involvement as they have risen to the challenge of teaching about diversity and different families. LGBT history month has been launched in style through the power of our chosen subject, MUSIC!”
Comedian Barbara Nice did a fantastic job of compering the evening and the audience was left feeling elated and inspired to prepare for LGBT history Month in February 2014. Schools, workplaces and organisations can access resources such as inclusive music lessons and resources on LGBT composers to assist with that preparation.