At the very end of Spirit Day, the entire school emptied onto the playground for a photograph to show our unity for all young LGBT people who have faced bullying, abuse or discrimination. And as our pupils jostled and argued over who would get to hold the rainbow flag, I knew that we had made a difference, and that things would never be the same again.
For a 16 year old who is confused about their sexuality, to hear, "...that's so gay" on a daily basis in the classroom, they look to their teachers to take a stand and stamp out any behaviour, with absolutely no hesitation. I know that the majority of our teachers would do this, however all teachers must be more confident to tackle this issue straight away.
I'm tired of students and young people as a collective being constantly ignored or patronised by the state... people forget that if you constantly damage the spirit of a generation and illegitimatise our opinions, it will demolish the hope and drive of those who not only have the potential to make huge positive impact in the UK, but worldwide.
I feel betrayed. Not that she was an important part of my every day life- I just feel deflated and disappointed that another role model has given in to the stigma of carrying the LGBT tag. Perhaps she just didn't understand the knock on effect it would cause to her younger LGBT fans - many regarding her as a hero to look up to.
It's hard to understand another person's preferences. For a straight man it is hard to understand why you wouldn't want a woman, the gender that you are attracted to. To be attracted to another man may seem alien and confusing. But really this is the same in not understanding those that are able to run marathons, solve complex mathematical equations, or any other activity different from yourself. That's just the way that person is.
Who cares about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their lives and accomplishments? We all should. But why? During LGBT History Month, we might learn about LGBT people who have made or continue to make a difference to our world. We can learn about their accomplishments and how they have changed science, literature, or many other fields.
What Tom Daley did is sadly still considered as being "brave" and it will continue to be so for as long as young people live in fear of revealing their sexuality. We must aim to develop the norms of society where by declaring your sexuality will be simply met with a smile or a shrug of the shoulders, as no one should have to be brave to be the person they are.
The truth is that we all tacitly accept limitations on certain forms of verbal expression for the sake of social cohesion, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Most of us, for instance, are happy to modify our language in the workplace, or when out in public, because we understand that there are broadly accepted standards for polite discourse that differ from private conversation. Why should a school be any different?
How often do young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer children or young adults see positive reflections of themselves and their lives in literature, in the media, on TV, or in films? When will they be featured in a documentary? When will they learn that they too are productive, welcomed, supported members of society who have bright futures ahead of them?
I recently read an article about sexual harassment within the gay community. He objected to having his everyday life interrupted, invaded even, by a stranger who thought they could get away with saying something distasteful and hurtful. And it hit me; when women get wolf-whistled as they walk past building sites, is this how they feel?
Aside from these debates around initialism and labels, I was also party to a number of high powered debates around the use of word 'phobia' in homophobia, transphobia etc. Again there are many valid points to be made around what phobias are and what they are not and we could debate that for a very long time without actually changing anything.