In this session we will explore gender identity, sexual orientation and attraction, including appropriate language and terminology around LGBT+ identities
Young people will:
- Be able to define different sexual orientations and gender identities;
- Be aware of gender and sexuality as a fluid spectrum;
- Be able to talk to others about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Supplied (click on the links):
- Flag Match Activity – page 14-15 of the 2018 LGBT+ History Month pack
- Genderbread Person info graphic – page 21 of the 2018 LGBT+ History Month pack
- LGBT+ Case Studies
- Sticky Notes
- A5 scrap paper
- Flip chart paper
- Felt tips or marker pens
- Read the entire session plan and familiarise yourself with the activities.
- Prepare the sticky notes for the warm-up game by writing names of celebrities on them, one per note – make sure you include some LGBT+ folk!
- Print The Pride Flag: A Brief History sheet, one each per young person.
- Print and cut out the Flag Match Activity, one set per three/four young people.
- Print the Genderbread Person info graphic, one per young person.
- Print out the Coming Out case studies, one set per three/four young people.
PROCEDURE: TOTAL TIME 90 MINUTES
Introduction – 5 mins
Introduce the topic by reading the aims of the session.
Warm Up/Name Game 10 mins
Who am I?
- Ask the group to stand in a circle and tell them you are going put a sticky note on each of their backs and that they have to guess who the person on their sticky note is, by asking other people questions.
- They can only ask questions which require a yes or no answer. For e.g. they can ask “Am I a singer?” but not “am I a singer or an actress?”
- Tell the young people they can take their sticky note off when they have guessed it correctly.
- Let the game continue until all the names have been guessed or you run out of time.
- Feedback. What kind of questions did you ask? Which were the most useful questions?
What Does “identity” Mean? – 5 mins
- Ask the group: ‘What do we mean by the word ‘identity’? Collect the responses on flip chart paper.
- Ask the group to name any words for parts of identity that they know, and write them also on the flip chart paper.
- Tell the group we are going to look in the next exercise at LGBT+ identities.
Flag Match Activity – 20 mins
Run the Flag Match Activity as detailed on page 10 of the 2018 LGBT+ History Month pack.
Path of Life – 15 mins
- Split the young people in to smaller groups with a maximum of 3 in each group and give each group a piece of flipchart paper and some pens.
- Ask the groups to draw a line on the paper from top to bottom with a zero at the top and their current age at the bottom.
- Ask them to think about the different things that influenced them/what messages were they getting about sexuality and gender at different ages and stages of life e.g. 0-5, primary school, high school.
- Where did the messages come from, what was said and by whom? How do these relate or influence our ideas of our own gender? Prompts:
- What toys did they have?
- How were they dressed?
- What did they watch (think about who did what in children’s TV programmes)?
- What did they see in the media/online?
- What music did they hear?
Give the small groups about five minutes and then ask them to join with another group and compare timelines. As a whole group, then feedback. What are the messages, how powerful/ influential are they? What happens if you don’t “fit in”? What happened to other young people that didn’t “fit in”?
Gender Identity – 15 mins
- Ask the group how we know a persons gender? Who decides?
- Give each young person a copy of the Genderbread Person info graphic. Go through each of the scales in turn and ask a young person to read out the definition of each one.
- Ask the young people to think of someone – it can be a friend, family member or celebrity. They can also choose themselves. Without saying who they are, ask them to plot the person’s identity along these lines. Would societies expectations place them differently?
- Come back together as a group for discussion.
- Why is it helpful to separate out these parts of identity?
- Why is it helpful to see these different parts of identity as a spectrum rather than just a binary e.g. man/woman or feminine/masculine?
- Do you think identities or fixed or can they change?
- Who decides?
Only you can plot yourself, you can’t plot anyone else and they can’t plot you!
LGBT+ and Coming Out Case Studies – 15 mins
- Tell the group we are going to look at “coming out”. Ask them to suggest what they think “coming out” means.
- Split the group in to smaller groups as you think will work.
- Give each group a case study. Ask them to discuss and write down their answers to the questions. After five minutes ask each group to pass their case study to the group on their right for them to discuss. Try not to constrain the discussions but make sure each group has had a chance to look at at least two case studies.
- Feedback asking one group to feedback on each case study.
Reflect and Review – 5 mins
Ask the group:
- What did you enjoy about the session?
- Did you learn anything new?
- Was there anything missing from the session?