O2 – Co-creating a vision for LGBT+ friendly schools

As mentioned in the application, the participating secondary schools developed their own set of ideas for an LGBT+ friendly school. They did so by closely working together with pupils, parents as well as other relevant actors (co-creation) and they were supported by the universities. At the end of this phase of co-creation each national team (secondary school and university in the same country) defined their own vision of how to be an inclusive and LGBT+ friendly school, taking into consideration the particular political, social, and regional conditions they are facing. Consequently, the first result was different collections of goals to achieve and core aspects to deal with in order to become an LGBT+ friendly institution. In the next phase all partner institutions worked together to agree on a consensus, meaning a catalogue of key factors and conditions required for each and every school to become an LGBT+ friendly institution. It turned out that for the whole project team one of the most important aspect was “visibility”.

The final result of output 2, meaning the project team’s vision of LGBT+ friendly schools is a set of seven key features (categories) which a school (or university) should take into consideration. Each key theme is then again subdivided into more specific fields of interest respectively elements that (can or will) contribute to achieve the overall goal of making a school LGBT+ friendly. The following image serves as an example showing the most important category “visibility” as well as some of the subcategorized elements.

Architecture

  • gender-neutral toilets
  • gender neutral dressing rooms (sports)

Interior designs

  • multicoloured / rainbow-coloured areas (stairs, classrooms)
  • LGBT+ wall
  • rainbow curtain
  • coloured balloons

Surrounding/decorations

  • poster/photo gallery
  • rainbow and other inclusive stickers
  • various LGBT+ flags placed around the school with a guide to their meanings
  • (- rainbow bicycle storage)

Equipment

  • a library containing LGBT+ material
  • informational flyer
  • rainbow-coloured lanyard, gadgets, pins

The whole collection of key themes and sub-elements that form our “All Inc!”-vision of LGBT+ friendly schools can be found an downloaded here

The structured and categorized way of presenting our vision is meant to help schools choose the fields and sectors they believe are most urgent to be dealt with in their institution. In that way a school can manage change step by step and in their own tempo. By the end of the “All Inc!” project, this vision of LGBT+ friendly schools shall be visualized in a more appealing way in order to use the whole collection of ideas or parts of it in presentations, as displays in school buildings, or as a set of material in actual change management processes.

In the course of tackling output 2 and finding answers to the key question (“What is an LGBT+ friendly school? How does a school become LGBT+ friendly?”) the project team also asked all people involved in output 2 to send in creative and visible products dealing with the topic in a more playful and arty way. Among others two of these creative outputs combine many of the elements that are also to be found in the more theoretical summary of content mentioned above. On the one hand, there’s this image of a school building that can be used to show how various elements function together to create a LGBT+ friendly environment. On the one hand, we provide a version without comments and content, which can be used as working material with students to let them guess and comment on their own. On the other hand, there’s a completely filled out version.

Both files can be downloaded here (1 and 2).

Another creative output is a short film that has been produced by former students of one of the “All Inc!” project’s participating institutions. The film deals with several prominent topics what often are discussed in public when it comes to LGBT friendliness in schools, but also in society in general.