Diversity Role Models
HistorySuran Dickson in 2011, DRM is a start-up charity which passionately believes that LGBT young people must have equal learning opportunities. DRM works to prevent homophobic bullying in schools by educating all students about differences in sexuality. It uses positive role models – gay and straight – to help LGBT students feel confident and to ensure their straight classmates understand, accept and welcome the differences they sense in others.
Role models speak to classes of young people about their experiences of either being LGBT or being a straight ally. These workshops are facilitated by Suran Dickson, an experienced teacher, sportswoman and LGBT consultant. The message is one of empathy and respect; students are not asked to make any moral decision around sexual orientation; the programme emphasises the need for all young people to be able to achieve their best, which means removing discrimination and bullying from schools.
DRM encourages people to apply to become a role model. "Diversity role models can be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight. They need not be successful, attractive or brilliant. They certainly don't need to be perfect. All they need to demonstrate is that it's OK to be different."