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Teacher of beleaguered LGBTI-friendly school lessons to lead Birmingham Pride

Teacher of beleaguered LGBTI-friendly school lessons to lead Birmingham Pride

A marcher carries the flag for bi visibility at Birmingham Pride in England.

The teacher behind the embattled school program ‘No Outsiders’ will lead this year’s Birmingham Pride Parade.

Andrew Moffat MBE created the LGBTI-inclusive relationship program and is the assistant head at Parkfield Community School. He was also recently shortlisted for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize.

No Outisders and the school became the target of protests by parents and religious groups who opposed the program. Despite backing from the UK Education Secretary, a number of schools pulled No Outsiders from its curriculum over the controversy.

But now, Birmingham’s LGBTI community will honor Moffat and have invited him to lead and open the Pride parade.

‘I’m overjoyed that Birmingham Pride have asked me,’ Moffat said.

‘My role is to stand up there and say that No Outsiders needs to be taught in schools because this is how you help end homophobia – by teaching children about different people from an early age.’

Love Out Loud

It is not the first time the Birmingham Pride Festival has supported No Outsiders. In 2015, it awarded a grant of £5,000 (US$6,511) to the program.

Festival director Lawrence Barton said choosing Moffat as parade leader fit well with the 2019 Pride them.

‘Our theme this year is Love Out Loud – it’s a celebration of our right to love, no matter our gender, sexuality, personal identity, colour, religion or race – and given the division which the controversy over No Outsiders lessons has created, I can think of no better or more inspiring person than Andrew Moffat to lead our parade,’ Barton said.

‘Andrew’s No Outsiders programme is doing excellent work in helping children to learn about and understand the world around them. He is very much a man of the moment, and we’re delighted to be able to offer him our support as he works to educate youngsters about equality and diversity.’

The Pride Parade will kickstart Birmingham Pride, the UK’s biggest two-day LGBT festival, at midday on Saturday 25 May.