The inspiring teacher at the centre of Birmingham’s recent ‘No Outsiders’ school lessons controversy is to lead this year’s Birmingham Pride Parade.
Andrew Moffat MBE, the assistant head at Parkfield Community School in the city’s Saltley district, will launch and lead the parade on Saturday 25 May, from Victoria Square down to the gay village, where the two-day Birmingham Pride festival will then take place.
Commenting on his forthcoming role as Pride parade leader, Andrew Moffat said: “I’m overjoyed that Birmingham Pride have asked me. 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.”
He added, “The message that I want to give is that it’s not a case of Muslims versus LGBT or different cultures not getting along. It’s about bigotry and fear, and the great thing about Birmingham is its diversity and that we can all get along.”
“Birmingham is a great place. There are no no-go areas for LGBT people – but we can’t be complacent. We have to be out there, we have to talk about it and we have to work together.”
Speaking about the decision to ask Mr Moffat to lead the parade, Birmingham Pride Festival Director Lawrence Barton said: “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.
“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.
“Back in 2015, Birmingham Pride awarded a grant of £5,000 to the ‘No Outsiders’ programme, and it’s wonderful to once again be playing a part in promoting such an incredible initiative.”
Five years ago, Mr Moffat – who is gay, and was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize – devised an education resource called ‘No Outsiders’, a programme of lessons designed to teach children about subjects including sexual orientation and religion, both of which are personal characteristics protected by the Equality Act.
‘No Outsiders’ has recently come under threat. Some parents at Parkfield have said that they don’t feel same-sex relationships is an appropriate subject to be teaching to children at primary school. As a result, the lessons have currently been put on hold.
Birmingham Pride, supported by HSBC, is this year showing its full support to the ‘No Outsiders’ programme.
The Pride Parade will kickstart Birmingham Pride, the UK’s biggest two-day LGBT festival, at midday on Saturday 25 May.
For more information about the 2019 event, visit birminghampride.com