On Tuesday, Sixth Form students enjoyed a lecture from Miss Reid titled ‘Section 28: what was it and how did it affect LGBT+ people?’ as part of the weekly Enrichment Lecture Series.
Section 28 was a law passed in 1988 that stopped councils and schools ‘promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’. The talk started with a look at media portrayals of LGBT+ people in the early 80s and the influence of HIV/AIDS on attitudes towards the community. It included a reading from the children’s book Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin, which was the subject of much debate, and went on to look at the 1987 election and Thatcher’s famous speech. The impact of Section 28 on local authorities and schools was discussed, but so too was the activism that was inspired by the law, including the famous abseiling campaigners who occupied the House of Lords and the BBC News studio.
The talk concluded with a look at the repeal of Section 28 in 2000 (in Scotland) and 2003 (in the rest of the UK) and how attitudes have changed since then, with schools now able to celebrate the diversity of our community.