Tackling homophobia on film - FIT

A powerful film by the gay charity Stonewall is changing the way children and teachers think about how they use the word ‘gay’ FIT is a film developed by Stonewall to help tackle homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools. It aims in particular to challenge the casual homophobia of school life – an environment where the word ‘gay’ has become a term of everyday abuse; where everything from not liking sport, wearing the ‘wrong’ trainers or even sporting a new haircut can be termed ‘gay’.

The film follows six young people who think that all they have in common is that they have to take Dance and Drama because they’ve been kicked out of all the other classes. As the story develops, it tackles issues including homophobia, sexual identity and acceptance. Viewers are encouraged to think about their prejudices and the consequences of their language.

A copy of the film, which complements the work that schools are already doing as part of the National Curriculum and follows government guidance on tackling homophobic bullying, was sent to secondary schools across the country in March 2010. At schools where FIT has been seen, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from both pupils and teachers. Here are some of their comments:

Pupil, Year 8 
"After watching it, we realised it was wrong to use the word ‘gay’ as a cuss word, and my friend said you should always give your friend another chance if they’re gay. If they’re different it doesn’t mean you have to outcast them."

"It seriously challenged the year 8 and 9 students about their thought processes and tackled the use of the word ‘gay’ as a descriptor for something that students thought was rubbish. Every student I spoke to after the performances - over a hundred - said that they had thoroughly enjoyed it."

Pupil, Year 7 
"FIT was fantastic and it also taught me a lesson. It was that if one of my friends were to be gay I should still stick up for them because they are a human like me and it doesn't matter what they are - you shouldn't leave them out because you love them and they love you as a friend."

"Some scenes were so well performed, it made a big impact on the way other children use the term ‘gay’. I’m sure that now the pupils will think twice before using homophobic words as an insult." 

 "I showed the DVD in PSHE lessons for Years 7 - 11. At first, pupils moaned because they were told they were going to watch a DVD on homosexual bullying but within minutes they were transfixed. They really loved the language and music as it was relevant."

"This film was so good! I thought it was going to be absolutely rubbish and thought: "What am I doing here!?" After watching the film I was so inspired by it - in fact I haven't used the term ‘that's so gay’ since I’ve seen it." Is your child’s school using FIT? They will have received a copy, so ask why if they have not yet shown it. Watch the trailers and find out more at the Stonewall website for information on FIT. Watch trailers, read background information and order your own copy for Ј8 including p&p.