since the release of FIT - The first feature film for schools to tackle homophobic bullying.
The film was based on campaigning charity Stonewall's highly successful play for schools
aimed at tackling homophobic bullying, seen by more than 20,000 students around the UK.
Kins meets Glee when a last chance dance class becomes a therapeutic encounter
between adolescents struggling with their ideas about sexuality and adulthood in a
very British comedy, made with the support of Stonewall.
A recent survey concluded that nearly 100 per cent of teachers have witnessed homophobia among
pupils which is the background to the original play by Rikki Beadle-Blair.
In FIT, Karmel likes make-up and trendy clothes, yet she also likes girls. Does she need to
'fit' the lesbian stereotype? Meanwhile, her straight best friend Lee is the butt of
homophobic jokes. Ryan is one of the lads. Computer games, beer and bullying are the
name of his game, yet a secret crush on class outcast Tegs threatens to blow his
cover, especially as fellow pupil Jordan shares the same object of desire. Isaac,
meanwhile, uses muscles and a hot head to threaten his schoolmates with violence
should they display a gay attitude in his vicinity. It is down to loud and proud
drama teacher Loris and his pink leotard to show these kids that they share a lot
more in common than they first thought.
The topics covered in FIT are as relevant today as they were when it was first released.
Anything which stops people participating and enjoying the national game of football has to be tackled and eradicated. It is now a commitment of The Football Association, who are football's governing body.
One of the areas to be constantly fought is discrimination in whatever form against any group of people or section of our multi-faceted society.
Much work has been done in the area of
anti-racism, attitudes have been changed and it is now accepted that any form of racism is simply wrong. More than that, it is illegal.
There have been significant advances. Every Premier League match now starts with players taking a knee, and
the FA has clearly focussed its attention on the issues of racism, homophobia and transphobia in football. The game we all love is for everyone, and that's why they've
announced their full support for the Football v Homophobia Campaign and launched a website: footballvhomophobia.com.
The change of attitude of the FA for football generally can now sit alongside the support previously given to the film FIT, by DCSF (Department for Children, Schools and
Families), former Education Secretary Ed Balls and NASUWT, a major teaching union. We may have come a long way, but as we all know, we have even further to go.
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