As a Mancunian - born and bred - I'm proud at some of my cities fine accomplishments. It rose from the ashes after the Arndale bombing, It built the worlds first computer at the University of Manchester, the nation's first free public libraries, the oldest railways station and the birthplace of the football league.
LGBT Youth North West are hoping to open a school with 40 permanent places for gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender children in the heart of Manchester within three years.
I think that's a terrible Idea.
We have come a long way from Alan Turing and the act he was forced to commit due to this nation's stance on homosexuality, committing suicide after working on that very computer in Manchester I mentioned above. It is a testament to his memory that A) He has received both a pardon and a blockbuster film of his life and B) This nation is now on the road to not giving a hoot about your sexual orientation.
Now I am not a gay man, lesbian woman or LGBT individual so I can't pretend to know the personal challenges such people face on a daily basis. I'm very well aware that our society is not yet perfect and has a long way to go on that road.
This is echoed in the article by LGBT Youth North West Director Amelia Lee who says "Despite the laws that claim to protect gay people from homophobic bullying, the truth is that in schools especially, bullying is still incredibly common"
That is not to be argued with, and it is a terrible and shameful fact of our education system. But how do we hope to create full acceptance and toleration if we create 'gay segregation' - which is in my mind what this scheme entails - removing the very catalyst from the schools that can create that toleration.
Being gay is not different, it is not wrong , it is not 'alien' - It is perfectly normal and just another wonderful colour on the spectrum of love. SURELY THIS is what we want people to accept, society to preach and young people to understand. How will we achieve this if we box these children off in their own schools and say 'WE ARE DIFFERENT'
It is very similar to specialist religious school. What better way to potentially breed alienation, mystery and 'otherness' towards Muslim or Jewish communities than to lock their children away in 'special' schools, out of sight from the rest of society.
If any of you have not heard of Alan Turing, Read this. And then lets be proud of Manchester in his spirit by defeating homophobia though education and togetherness, not gay apartitde.