Poor sex education is ‘failing’ UK school pupils, survey finds

Sex education provisions are 'failing' pupils

Sex education provisions are ‘failing’ pupils


A survey has found that young people in the UK are being put at risk by “inconsistent” sex and relationship education – which leaves them at risk.

The Sex Education Forum carried out a survey of over 2,000 young people aged 11 to 25 – finding their safety may be at risk due to inconsistent sex and relationships education.

The survey found that many young people did not report education about a range of topic – including sexual consent, sexual abuse, or information about female genital mutilation.

It found that half (50%) of young people reported they did not learn how to get help if they were abused, over half (53%) did not learn how to recognise grooming for sexual exploitation, and more than 40% had not learned about healthy or abusive relationships.

A third (34%) of young people said they learnt nothing about sexual consent at school.

It comes amid calls for statutory LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education in schools.

Neil Carmichael MP, the Chair of the Education Select Committee, recently wrote for PinkNews to urge the government to make sex and relationship education compulsory in schools.

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Lucy Emmerson, Coordinator of the Sex Education Forum, said: “The odds of a young person learning vital information about equal, safe and enjoyable relationships are no different than the toss of a coin.

“The ultimate consequence of this is that many children don’t know how to recognise abusive behaviour or how to seek help.

“With evidence about the benefits for children and young people of teaching SRE stacked up high and a growing list of politicians calling for the subject to be mandatory, there is no excuse for Government to continue leaving SRE to chance.”

Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers said: “As members of the Sex Education Forum, ATL fully supports its call for mandatory and inclusive Sex and Relationships Education.

“We know that education staff want high quality training so that they can deliver the SRE that will enable young people to keep themselves safe.

“We call upon the Government to take this important step, which parents, education staff and young people all want, so that we can all help to tackle child abuse, sexual health issues

i am Jazz


Resources for transgender ‘kids’  are not always obvious when you go looking for them, I am reposting an article from the Human Rights Campain which provides resources to enable  libraries and schools to support transgender kids.


More than 600 people in the small town of Mt. Horeb, Wis., recently came together to read the children’s book I Am Jazz in support of a transgender child in the community — who had begun attending school as the girl she knew herself to be.

The audience — full of children, parents, grandparents and community members — was deeply moved by the experience, where they learned more about how they could support transgender children and youth in their own backyard.

On Jan. 14, communities all across the nation are hosting their own events — building on the momentum the Mt. Horeb community started that night. The Human Rights Campaign — through HRC’s Welcoming Schools program — is encouraging educators, families and community members to create their own readings in support of transgender youth in their communities.



To protest book ban, straight and gay Israeli Jews and Arabs passionately kiss

LGBTQ Nation – January 12, 2016

A kiss is not just a kiss

In this case, a kiss is not just a kiss.


As hundreds of men demonstrated this summer by locking lips to protest Kim Davis’ antics, gay kisses are the hottest trend in activism — and now Israeli Jews and Arabs are getting in on the action.

After the Israeli Ministry of Education decided to ban a book depicting a love affair between a Jewish woman and an Arab man, TimeOut Tel Aviv made a video with members of both groups hellbent on proving that love does indeed conquer all.

Some knew each other prior to the shoot and some were complete strangers, though all were committed to furiously making out the name of solidarity.


Check out the video below, and pick out your favorite couple.

Transgender Equality

The House of Commons Select Committee on Women and Equalities has published its report on Transgender Equality – the report is concerned with equality issues affecting transgender (or “trans”)1 people, an umbrella term describing a diverse minority group whose members often experience very stark inequality.

The report would appear to be comprehensive, but until we and our friends have read it we will reserve judgement.  However we have given a link for you to read and we would ask that if you have comments then please leave them below on our website.


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Can you be LGBT and Catholic? This documentary investigates

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A documentary has gone inside the walls of an LGBT-friendly church in Baltimore to dispel myths that people cannot be both gay and Catholic.

The LGBT Educating and Affirming Diversity Ministry within the Saint Matthew Catholic Church seeks to provide church-goers with a community that is universally accepting of people from all walks of life.


© Eric Kruszewski


Filmmaker Eric Kruszewski recently crossed paths with LEAD and decided to create a documentary series to share their mission statement, and look at the lives of people who identify as both LGBT and Catholic.

He told Out magazine: “I was raised Catholic, but have not practiced my faith in years. And before this project, I had never heard of Saint Matthew Catholic Church. One of the parishioners knew my work and me. So when we bumped into each other at a media event, she told me, ‘I have a story for you…’

“There’s no way I can fully understand what it’s like to be an LGBT Catholic in 2016. But through interviews, the documentary process and getting close to the individuals portrayed in these videos, my goal was to accurately capture their thoughts, feelings and experiences.”

Watch the first part of the documentary below

Stonewall Housing to investigate how the older LGBT community live

Gay Times LogoRainbow Flag

Stonewall Housing have announced a pioneering study into the need for specialist housing for the older LGBT community.

The housing advice and support provider has been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Commonweal Housing to carry out their study, which will establish the demand for dedicated LGBT housing.

CEO of Stonewall Housing, Bob Green, said: “The feasibility study is a great opportunity to really investigate the housing needs and requirements of the older LGBT community.

“At present there are no older LGBT housing schemes in the UK and we will be looking to Europe and the USA for examples of how such schemes can provide live in safe and supportive housing.”

In 2015, the National LGB&T Partnership survey found that 33% of respondents felt unsafe in residential settings and only 13% were satisfied with their care.

Bob continued: “We have worked with older LGBT people around the UK in recent years to ensure their voice is heard, and that housing providers recognise their needs – this study will take us one step closer to ensuring that the wishes of the LGBT community become a reality.”

The Stonewall Housing Feasibility Study will be released in April 2016.

Last year it was announced that Britain would see its first LGBT retirement home within the next three years, either in London or Brighton.

The organisation behind the project said: “If you don’t have your own children, and if you have fractured family relationships, which is a possibility, then you would not have the support networks that many older people count on.”

Stop Neglecting the True State of LGBT Refugees




Crowd gathers to watch as ISIS throws man from roof after accused of being gay.

LGBT people face mortal danger from ISIS and around the world, yet few ever obtain refuge in the U.S.

In December 2011, President Obama published a trailblazing memorandum vowing to apply U.S. power to create safety for LGBT people oppressed and endangered around the world. Among the key means: securing LGBT refugees’ access to the U.S. refugee system. This venerable goal is eluding us.

As the president delivers his final State of the Union address tonight, the perils facing LGBT people in many countries around the world have never been so dire.

Never have so many LGBT people been so viciously targeted by state and nonstate actors in so many countries. Never before have leaders outside the U.S. used LGBT issues for political gain with such ease. And far from gaining access to refugee systems, the few LGBT people who escape carnage in their countries are unable to access the fortress of international refugee protection or the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Several months ago, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power shocked the world when she revealed that of the 70,000 refugees the U.S. took in during 2014, fewer than 100 were LGBT. The numbers for 2015 will not be better.

Without a solution, LGBT people will continue to be executed in places like Syria, where the bloodthirsty Islamic State terrorist group and the masses alike execute accused gays in the name of piety.

With so much goodwill and commitment on the president’s part, something is terribly wrong. Without a firm understanding of how and why LGBT refugees access — and are locked out of — refugee systems, the State Department, which runs our country’s refugee program, has been faltering at efforts to improve the dismal picture, using methods that have been tried and have failed.

But there is a way. The U.S. certainly can admit vastly more LGBT refugees.

LGBT refugees face insurmountable barriers accessing protection, as self-disclosure puts them in mortal danger. We’ve all heard the countless horrifying stories of innocent people being thrown from buildings simply because they are accused of being gay. Yet receiving protection requires revealing their identity.

To begin creating access routes, the State Department must work much more closely with LGBT organizations already in the field. To create a sliver of trust and safety in such treacherous territory, refugee professionals must not only have extraordinary expertise and sensitivity, they must also embody the message they utter.

The humanitarian community understands that a female survivor of rape should not be expected to tell her true story to anyone but another woman. Yet LGBT refugees are expected to blithely allow ostensibly heterosexual adjudicators into the most difficult vaults of their personal lives.

A rainbow flag and a concerned look are a good start. But for an LGBT refugee escaping certain death after being hounded by decades of external and internal homophobia, these gestures are not nearly enough. To collect the courage to come out — even in order to save their own lives — most refugees need to derive strength and solace from other LGBT people. Yet in most places, this essential touchstone is nowhere to be seen.

In a recent informal survey of Gaziantep, Turkey, the ground zero refugee city housing 220,000 Syrians, I found not a single “out” LGBT refugee. Not surprisingly, of the thousands of nongovernmental organization workers in that border city, not one refugee worker is “out.” If well-protected refugee agency staff will not dare come out of their comfort zone to colleagues, how can we possibly expect a powerless LGBT refugee to expose this most private and lethal vulnerability to a stranger?

Many refugees have paid with their lives to safeguard their secret sexual orientation or gender identity. We cannot bring them back. But we can spare those now clamoring for dear life in hundreds of places like Gaziantep.

The president’s bold call for increasing the Syrian refugee quota by 10,000 slots is commendable. Employing and protecting openly LGBT staff and partnering closely with openly LGBT groups is the key to creating system access for LGBT refugees. We ask that the Obama administration take these essential steps to fulfill the wise objectives originally set out by the president in 2011.


NEIL GRUNGRAS is the founder and executive director of the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration, an international nonprofit devoted to advocating on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers, including those fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Will Stabbing Attack Tear Apart Israel's LGBT Community?

Fractured Gay Pride Flag

When an ultra-Orthodox fanatic named Yishai Schlissel stabbed six people at the Jerusalem Gay Pride march in July — 16-year-old Shira Banki later died of her wounds — Schlissel also fractured Israel’s self-image as a global beacon for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

For years, Israeli diplomats have used their country’s impressive record on LGBT issues to score political points on the world stage. But the picture they painted was of Tel Aviv, the so-called gay capital of the Middle East, with its gay and lesbian bars and beaches, and miles of rainbow bunting unfurled ahead of the raucous annual pride parade. Forty miles to the east, Jerusalem’s gay community feels like a stifled minority.

As the broad LGBT movement in Israel takes stock of the attack, the differences between the two societies has come to the fore. Three days after the stabbing, Tel Aviv activists declined to travel to Jerusalem to protest the violence, instead staging a separate rally in Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir park. The Tel Avivians had already planned a memorial service that evening to coincide with the six year anniversary of a fatal shooting at a local gay youth center. But Jerusalemites still felt stung by the decision.

“When this happened the expectation was that everyone would drop everything and come and be in solidarity in Jerusalem,” said Tom Canning, spokesman of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. “We wouldn’t be our small group of hundreds of activists, we would be our group of activists with thousands behind us. There was a strong sense of disappointment, I would even say disbelief, that [Tel Avivians] were deciding to go ahead with their own event.”

Tel Aviv’s rally drew major politicians, with impassioned speeches by Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid. Though President Reuven Rivlin spoke at the Jerusalem protest, activists there bemoaned the disunity between the two communities that they said feeds into Tel Aviv’s image as the only safe haven for gays in Israel.

“The Tel Aviv-based organizations are giving hand to creating and strengthening an LGBT ghetto in Tel Aviv,” said Canning.

The gay rights movement in Israel has its roots in Tel Aviv in the 1970s, with the founding of the national Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association, known as the Agudah. One of the first public pride events took place in Kings of Israel Square, now known as Rabin Square, in the Tel Aviv city center.

In the 1990s, the fledgling movement was buoyed by a “legal revolution,” Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Alon Harel wrote in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Within a few short years, the Knesset banned workplace discrimination against gay people , the Israel Defense Forces ensured their equal treatment — 19 years before the United States army did the same — and, following a high court order, El Al airlines began giving free tickets to the partners of gay employees.

Then, in 2009, a gunman entered a Tel Aviv gay youth center and opened fire, killing two. Six years later, the perpetrator has still not been found. The attack traumatized LGBT Israelis, but it also sparked a national conversation about their rights. Today, Tel Aviv’s gay community is central to the city’s identity and politics. Even politicians from the right, such as Likud minister Miri Regev, have appeared at the city’s gay pride parade, which drew 100,000 Israelis and tourists in 2015. Contrast that to Jerusalem, where only left and center-left politicians show up, and marchers typically number only about 5,000.

For Tel Aviv’s well-established LGBT community, the next frontier is same-sex marriage. But while legalizing gay marriage would benefit all Israelis, it’s a distant priority for gay people in Jerusalem, who are focused on survival.

“There are two voices here,” said Sattath. “One is the voice of Tel Aviv that seeks freedom of marriage, like in the United States, and that is a very difficult goal to achieve, but it is a valid goal. The other voice is that of Jerusalem. The majority of gay Jerusalemites are so oppressed that they can’t even dream of marriage; they need education and societal change.”

Jerusalem’s activists say that they face a combination of municipal neglect and incitement from ultra-Orthodox rabbis and politicians who see their parade as an “abomination.” Jewish Home Knesset member Betzalel Yoel Smotrich even took to Facebook after the stabbing to call the parade an “attempt to besmirch traditional Jewish family values.”

“The message for years has been that we are desecrating the holy city of Jerusalem,” said Canning. “People say, ‘It’s horrible that someone stabbed us and attacked us, but why you are you doing this in Jerusalem?’”

On the official level, Jerusalem’s LGBT community has had to fight its way to recognition. For years, the Jerusalem municipality refused to fund the Jerusalem Open House, even though it provided services to thousands of Jerusalemites and thus was entitled to public support. In 2010, after years of legal wrangling, the high court ordered the municipality to pay $120,000 to the Open House in compensation.

The seemingly careless policing of Pride — Schlissel had recently been let out of prison for carrying out a similar attack on the same march in 2005 — only heightened the feelings of vulnerability among gay Jerusalemites.

Jerusalem’s LGBT activists say that education is the key to acceptance in their city and beyond. According to Sattath, all secular schools in Israel have the option to include an LGBT-themed curriculum. But she wants it to be a central component of Israeli education rather than an add-on. Eventually she would like to see LGBT issues addressed in Orthodox and Arab schools as well.

“Extremists have to be nourished somewhere, and they are nourished by a society that ignores us and silences us, and where homophobia is very, very prevalent,” she said.

Sattath said that she has been buoyed by the solidarity of other Israelis. Many showed support by changing their Facebook photos to a rainbow flag with a candle. Two Israeli celebrities — Labor politician Itzik Shmuli, of Lod, and Tel Aviv journalist Keren Neubach — publicly came out after the stabbing. But Orthodox gay Israelis in places like Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh found themselves burrowing deeper into the closet.

“[The stabbing] has created an atmosphere in which people are afraid to tell the truth to tell their families, their close friends,” said Ron Yosef, founder of Hod, an organization for Orthodox gay men and lesbians.

In Jerusalem there is a feeling that LGBT leaders have no choice but to work within the city’s conservative culture to change religious attitudes about their existence. In Tel Aviv, on the other hand, activists are vigilant about politicians trying to score political points at the expense of their community. Naftali Bennett, a minister from the ultranationalist Jewish Home party, was turned away from the Tel Aviv solidarity rally when he refused to sign a document to advance gay rights in Israel. Bennett’s party opposes gay marriage in Israel.

Jerusalem activists, by contrast, opted against such a litmus test at their own rally.

“This was in order to allow everyone from the entire political spectrum and the religious spectrum to come and speak freely against homophobia and violence,” Canning said. “We didn’t want to turn this into a political event.” Bennett chose not to attend the rally in Jerusalem.

After the protests, Tel Aviv activists made a belated gesture toward Jerusalem when the Agudah chartered a bus to Jerusalem for a vigil for Banki, the victim of the stabbing attack.

And some Tel Aviv activists are acknowledging it’s time to look past the Tel Aviv “ghetto” to Jerusalem as the new battleground for gay rights.

“The real fight is in Jerusalem,” said Mickey Gitzin, a Tel Aviv city council member and gay activist. “Many times our opponents want to keep us in the ‘ghetto’ in Tel Aviv. They say, ‘This is your city, stay there.’ But we are here, we are everywhere, and it is time for us to speak up.”

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at Zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter, @naomizeveloff

Read more:

TGEU’s Guides on EU Law relevant for Trans People


TGEU’s two guides on EU law provide an overview and summary of EU law that is relevant for trans people living, working, visiting or claiming asylum in the EU.

Both guides cover the areas of

  • discrimination in employment,
  • discrimination in the access to and provision of goods & services,
  • crime victim’s rights,
  • and asylum.


TGEU’s Activist’s Guide on Trans People’s Rights under EU Law

TGEU’s Activist’s Guide summarises the legal provisions in EU law that protect trans people from discrimination in the areas of employment and goods & services, as well as the rights of trans victims of crime and trans asylum seekers and refugees. The 20 page booklet contains references to specific legal cases and legal texts and paragraphs, thus making it a useful tool for activists to use in their advocacy work. The Activist’s Guide is the more technical and legal publication of the two guides.

Download the Activist’s Guide

Cover activist's guide


TGEU’s “Know your Rights!” Guide for Trans People in the EU

TGEU’s “Know your Rights!” Guide provides an overview over the same areas of EU law as the Activist’s Guide, but it is shorter and written in more accessible, less technical language. The guide aims to raise knowledge and awareness about trans people’s rights not just among activists, but also among trans people more generally. It also contains information on how rights can be claimed if they have been violated. The guide can be unfolded into a poster, providing an easy way to reach more trans people at events or in public spaces.

Download the “Know your Rights!” Guide

Cover of the Know Your Rights Guide


Order copies of the guides

To order copies of the guides, please fill in the order form. We especially appreciate orders from groups or organisations that are willing to distribute the guides in their national or regional context.


More information on EU law

For more information and resources on EU law and trans people’s rights in the EU, check our EU law resources page.



These publications have been produced with financial support from the Open Society Foundations, the Dutch Government and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Transgender Europe, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission, the Open Society Foundations or the Dutch Government.

Trio of HS basketball players accused of raping teammate in cabin

il_340x270.483564470_tbp7 Derek de Koff


Three high school basketball players from Tennessee are facing charges of aggravated rape and aggravated assault after allegedly attacking another teammate.

The school’s superintendent has canceled the remainder of the boys’ varsity basketball team season so a thorough investigation can be conducted.

The incident happened in a cabin on December 22 and involved the three older suspects and a 15-year-old freshman.

Related: NJ priest rapes teen, flees country, says victim “wanted” it

According to the victim’s grandmother, her grandson was pinned down by two of the suspects while the third ripped off the boy’s clothes and violently raped him with a pool stick.

The injuries were so severe the victim had to be driven to a local hospital by the team’s coach.

He was later transferred to another hospital in Knoxville to undergo emergency surgery.

He’s currently recovering.

Related: Six men who tortured gay teens and posted the footage online have been jailed

As a result of the attack, the three suspects have all been kicked off the team, but the victim’s grandmother says that’s not enough. She wants them permanently expelled from the school, and she’s prepared to do whatever she must to make this happen.

“Legal actions will be taken against all negligent parties,” she threatened in a statement.

Meanwhile, school administrators are still grappling with how exactly to handle the situation.

Superintendent Rick Smith called the whole thing a “tragedy” before canceling the remainder of the basketball season.

Related: This man hopes to end the stigma surrounding male rape by telling his story

Board Chairman Jonathan Welch added that he couldn’t even put into words how the assault has affected the community.

“Tragic, horrific, none describe it,” he said.

But there are some families who say these assaults have been going on for months and that school officials have been largely ignoring them.

They’re accusing the school of trying to cover up what the local D.A.’s office calls “an ongoing pattern of assaults allegedly committed under the guise of hazing.”

The D.A.’s office says it is now investigating more reports made by other freshmen, who claim they’ve been assaulted by older teammates prior to the incident in December.

The accused teens are scheduled to appear in court on January 26.