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Soon an LGBT school in Manchester?
(Blogmensgo, gay blog on 13 February 2015) The center of Manchester could be host within the next three years to the first British school designed specifically for LGBT students. This is the project - announced in mid-January 2015 - envisaged for the association LGBT Youth North West. A feasibility study is underway.
The future school could accommodate sixty students of gay, bi, lesbians and trans, but also very young parents and people with intellectual disabilities. Two-thirds of full-time students and part-time, one-third of students already enrolled in other schools. In other words, a friendly establishment but not exclusively for LGBT students. In most cases, it would be students currently or previously in difficulty in conventional schools or students experiencing academic failure.
The project aims to "save lives," said Amelia Lee, Director of Strategy at LGBT Youth North West. Manchester City had been bereaved in September 2014 by the death of Elizabeth Lowe, a 14 year old girl who committed suicide for fear that her family would not accept the disclosure of his homosexuality.
In a more general way, the educational project would target young LGBT victims of teasing, harassment, extortion or severe discomfort because of their homosexuality. It would also welcome young people undergoing sex change; of which, such a process is legal in the UK under the age of 12 years.
It is planned to build the school in the form of an annex of the current Joyce Layland LGBT Centre Manchester. Negotiations are ongoing with Manchester City Council for a formal partnership and a grant.
Tipped to co-financing, the British Ministry of Education is said for now to be hostile to the project and likens the school to a ghetto.
Several schools and Christian associations are openly campaigning against the project (of course), arguing that sexual orientation is a private life and that it should therefore not be supported by government subsidies.
LGBT Youth North West says, however, that the creation of an LGBT school is currently only a working hypothesis. The feasibility study focuses specifically on the expansion of the LGBT center of Manchester. A possible educational project will be the subject of further exploration if there is an explicit request by LGBT youth consulted for the purposes of the feasibility study in progress.
"There is no question of a school for the moment," says the association, stating that it is for the moment only within "early stages of the consultation."
The LGBT Youth North West Association also conducts awareness campaigns in traditional schools in the region. Some nine thousand thousand pupils and teachers are well aware of each year. If necessary, future LGBT school will not replace the current work of the association in schools.
Comment. The British media have raised the case in mid-January 2015. The French media do the same with almost three weeks late, for a reason that escapes me.
Located in the Gay Village and adjacent to the Rochdale Canal, which opened bar and restaurant since 2002 had quickly become an icon of the local LGBT life. A previous owner had filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and his successor did not last long either. The new owner claimed in January 2015 that the establishment was about to undergo a facelift.
The Eden Bar could reopen in late February 2015, but under a new name. It is unclear whether the facility will continue to target a predominantly LGBT clientele. The fate of 18 employees is not specified.
This article has been translated from our French blog, to view the original, click here.