Sexual Orientation


We are All Out

What is Homophobia?

Homophobia is the one-word summary of a wide range of attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* people. (Transphobia and Biphobia are more specific words summarising a wide range of negative attitudes towards trans* and bisexual people.)Homophobic bullying can take the form of name calling and using words such as "dyke". 

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is treating someone unfairly or less favourably than another person because of a characteristic (such as ethnicity or gender).  It is illegal to discriminate against people because of their individual characteristics (the majority of which are known as protected characteristics). The protected characteristics are  Sexual Orientation, Ethnicity, Religion, Gender, Age, Marital Status, Disability and Pregnancy.

What is our approach to bullying and disrespect?

The reason people bully can be everything from being concerned about their own beliefs to being frightened or not understanding.   At Stockton Riverside College we have a zero tolerance approach to all bullying, and will immediately take action if bullying is taking place.  Possible actions are suspension, a disciplinary panel and even permanent exclusion. Even joining in a conversation on Facebook can have the same results under the disciplinary process if bullying is found to have taken place.

What can you do?

Be respectful, be tolerant and appreciate that people have different values to you, but that does not make them wrong or inferior.  Use respectful language at all times, and if you see someone else being inappropriate, let your tutor know.  You can also text Safe to 81025 for more information on college services and safeguarding.  You can also learn a lot from people with different experiences to your own, if you take the time to do so!

If you have never experienced it, you won't know what people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or Transgender sometimes have to tolerate - take a look at this short video for more insight.

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College has a zero tolerance policy to any bullying. If you have any concerns about you or anyone you know, please contact a youth worker or your tutor or text 'Safe' to 81025 for more information
See our policies and information on bullying, safety and equality and diversity

Stockton Riverside College - Equality and Diversity

Stockton Riverside College - Safeguarding

Stonewall and Further Education

Stonewall's 2012 research The School Report found that one in five students experienced homophobic bullying in Britain's FE colleges in the last year and almost all of them hear the use of homophobic language.

Almost three in five (58 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual college students are never taught anything about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues in their lessons. Research by the Skills Funding Agency also found that the greatest barrier to learning for gay students was 'insensitive curriculum content'. By using a curriculum which reflects the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people you can help to make sure that gay students feel included and have the information they need to stay safe.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual students have the same needs as all other students; that is to study in an environment which allows them to fulfil their potential and to feel like a part of their student community. All professionals working with students should want to make sure that lesbian, gay and bisexual students learn in a supportive environment, but many lack the confidence to do this in practice.

Practical guides for school and college staff and individuals who work with young people on challenging language, supporting LGB young people, working with faith communities and more.

Team Angelica FIT - Jordan Lee Ryan

Can we help?

The college has a welfare officer and also offers support, advice and guidance on a range of issues, if you are struggling please talk to us. You can also text SAFE to 81025 for information on our services.

LGBT History

Read below for a summary of the changes that have taken place in the UK since the year 2000 to make the world a fairer place for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) people in the UK.

In 2000: Government lifts the ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the Armed Forces. Before 2000, gay and lesbian people could not serve in the Armed Forces.

2001: Age of consent for gay men reduced to 16. Sex between men was illegal until 1967, when the Sexual Offences Act came into force in England and Wales and made it legal for two men aged 21 and over to have sex. In 1994 the age that gay men could legally have sex was lowered to 18, and in 2001 it was finally lowered to 16 – making it equal to the age of consent for straight people.

2002: Equal rights granted to same-sex couples applying for adoption. Before this neither same-sex couples nor unmarried straight couples could adopt or foster children.

2003: Repeal of Section 28. Section 28 was a law that made it illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality in schools- in 2003 it was repealed (stopped being the law), and local authorities were free to support the gay people in their communities.

2003: A new law comes into force protecting gay people from discrimination in the workplace.Until 2003 employers were able to discriminate against gay people by not hiring them or not promoting them, just because of their sexual orientation.

2004: Civil Partnership Act passed.Before this there was no legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Civil partnerships, gave same sex couples the same legal rights as married straight couples, and meant that they could make the same public declaration of their love and commitment that straight couples do when they get married.

2005: The 2003 Criminal Justice Act gives courts power to give tougher sentences for crimes motivated by homophobia.Until 2005 if a person was attacked for being gay or because the attacker thought they were gay then it was treated like any other crime. The Criminal Justice Act changed that, so that these were classed as ‘hate crimes’ and were treated more seriously.

2007: It becomes illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation when providing them with goods or services. Before 2007 any service provider could discriminate against a lesbian, gay or bisexual person who bought something from them or used their service.

2008: The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act makes a new criminal offence of ‘incitement to homophobic hatred.’Before this there was no law against behaviour or materials which stirred up hatred towards gay people.

2009: A new law gives better legal recognition to same-sex parents.

2010: The Equality Act was passed. This important law extended what is known as the ‘Public Equality Duty’ to gay people. There used to be lots of different laws protecting gay people from discrimination in different parts of their lives at home, at school and at work. The Equality Act 2010 made things simpler by bringing all the protections for gay people into one law. It also made sure gay people were entitled to the same legal protection given to other groups of people who might face discrimination. The public equality duty meant that in addition to this, public service providers like schools and hospitals had to take positive steps to show how their service was accessible to and supportive of gay people.

Struggling to balance Religion and LGBT Issues

"I felt like I had to choose between the two most important things in my life. My faith was my family, my friends, and all my connections. But I could not deny my sexuality. There will always be a sadness in me that it had to be one or the other." PACE