On-Line Training Programme


Outlined below is a one-day training programme which you can work your way through on-line; more would be gained if a group of you did this together.

It is recommended that you work for an hour and a half at the most and then take a break or, instead of doing the course in one-day you could spread it out over several days.

Identifying Current Knowledge (10 minutes)

At the start of the training participants are invited to complete a Training Needs Assessment questionnaire. This acts as an introduction to the training and enables participants to acknowledge their level of training/awareness prior to the course. You may wish to return to this after you have completed Level One and the evaluation form to see how far you have travelled.

Whilst participants are arriving and completing the questionnaire, a powerpoint of Famous LGBT people throughout history is being shown; this serves the purpose of enabling participants to realise there have been LGBT people throughout time, it can sometimes spark discussion as participants discover more and more people who are LGBT; it also helps to challenge stereotypes.

Level One is divided into seven sections. The following gives a brief outline of each section, please read this first and then click on underlined heading to access powerpoint presentation.

1. Homophobia from a Multi-Oppression (Single Equality) Perspective (40 minutes)

(I put this together a long time ago to help people understand the concept of multi-oppression; it came from my own experiences of being a poor, working class lesbian. I was unaware until recently - 2012 - that a similar theoretical framework had been developed in the USA by Black feminists called 'Intersectionality.')

Homophobia and Heterosexism are defined and related to other equality strands.

Participants are asked to think about what oppression, privilege and unearned privilege means, then complete a 'heterosexual privilege' questionnaire. You might want to download and print this off now with enough copies for participants. Here is another questionnaire on heterosexual privilege, it includes significantly more questions: you may want to give this as a handout that people can take away and complete later: 'heterosexual privilege 2'.

Oppressed and privileged groups are identified then two diagrams are used to explain first, the 'external' effects of oppression comparing privileged and oppressed groups, and second, the 'internal' effects of oppression on both groups, as well as the effects on provision of services.

The first session is completed with an exercise in which participants are asked to work in pairs to share their own experiences of both being the victim of oppression and belonging to a privileged group.

2. Homophobia: Where does it come from? (40 minutes)

Section two looks at where homophobia comes from and begins by asking participants to shout out any words or phrases they have heard used to describe homosexuals. These are written up on the flip chart and after a short time we present a list of words on the powerpoint. It is pointed out that some people are not happy using the word 'homosexual' whilst others object to use of the word 'queer.' Both can have painful memories for older LGBTs, whilst many younger ones have reclaimed the term 'queer' as an umbrella term to denote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, transvestite. It is always best if you are working with someone who is LGBT to check what term they prefer.

Participants are reminded that if we did the same exercise for other oppressed groups we would come up with a simlarly long list of mainly negative words. Particpants are then asked where these ideas come from: we are not born with these thoughts. What are the six main institutions that create and perpetuate homophobia (sexism, racism, etc)?

Participants break up into smaller groups and identify at least three ways in which each institution has historically created and/or perpetuated homophobia. Each group feeds back to main group. This is followed by a 13 minute historical compilation of short extracts from television put together in 1991; it gives examples of homophobia from the six institutions. Click here to access video.

Finally, a short presentation with examples for each institution is given and how some have significantly changed whilst others have only changed a little.

[Extra exercise: Working in small groups, do a similar exercise looking at other groups who have historically been oppressed. In other words, begin by making a list of all the words/phrases you know that are used to describe people who belong to that group, then, using this as a trigger, identify examples of how the six institutions have historically oppressed women, black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, poor people, old/young people, religious groups...]


3. Homophobia: Effects on Heterosexuals (80 minutes)

The third section looks at the effects of homophobia on heterosexuals.

Whilst homosexuals internalise negative messages about being homosexual, heterosexuals internalise positive messages about being heterosexual, as well as negative ones about homosexuality. Several polls regarding attitudes towards homosexuals are examined, which identify those people who are more likely to be homophobic.

A compilation of extracts from television which include individuals with homophobic views is now shown. Of course, just lately with the debate about gay bishops and same-sex marriage, many people have used their religious beliefs to underpin their homophobic views.

Individual Homophobia

Beliefs affect behaviour. The behaviour of people without power is often manifest in homophobic hate incidents; people who are in positions of power can use their positions to stop progress; whilst families often express their homophobia with emotional and physical abuse.

A poll which shows what influences people's attitudes is looked at before asking participants to complete an exercise on 'Personal Homophobia', please download this questionnaire and print off enough copies.

Religion and personal homophobia is examined; this starts by watching the introduction to a US documentary For the Bible tells me so.

Some points about religion and homosexuality over time are identified whilst two passages from Leviticus and Genesis are examined in more detail. The current situation is examined briefly; this is followed by a You Tube video which covers a discussion about the European Court of Human Rights rulings on four Christian cases. Participants are asked, in small groups, to identify the key issues and whether a person's belief that homosexuality is a sin and morally wrong can affect their provision of a service to an LGBT person. BBC Radio 4.

[Extra exercise: Discuss in groups how the same system affects the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours with regard to gender, class, race and ethnicity, disability, age, religiousity; in particular, how it might affect people who are uneducated and powerless; people with power; and how families respond.]


Wakey, Wakey (10 minutes)

After lunch people are often drowsy, so to wake participants up here is a music quiz. Participants are asked to name the singer and the title of the song (there is a brief stop between songs). At the end of the quiz participants are asked what all the performers have in common? Answer: they are all LGBT except Diana Ross!

4. Homophobia: Effects on Homosexuals (90 minutes)

This section is sub-divided to look at internalised homophobia, external homophobia, the effects of internal and external homophobia, and continued minority stress.

a. Internal Homophobia (30 minutes)

It is important to make a distinction between those LGBT people we see in the media who are 'out and proud' and those who live in more isolated areas. Those we see in the media tend to be white, middle class, gay men who live in London, Manchester or another major city where there is a 'gay' scene and support services and/or they have their own network of friends. Those who live in isolated places are less likely to be out and few have access to support groups or networks, apart from those who use the internet.

Bisexuality and trans issues are briefly examined; it is adviseable to invite a specialist in trans issues.

You will recall in the introductory session we looked at the words and phrases used to describe homosexuals. It was also pointed out that similar lists of negative words and phrases are used to describe other oppressed groups. There are rarely negative messages about privileged groups. Oppressed groups internalise these negative messages resulting in what is called a 'spoiled' identity whilst at the same time internalising positive messages about privileged groups. This usually has a profound effect on their identity development.

In order to show how this works we show several short videos. These are from Adopted: The Movie; there are great similarities between a young LGBT person growing up in a heterosexual family (the majority) and the experiences of those children adopted into a different race family.

Jen and Family

An Adoptee talks about racism

An Adoptee on her mom's perspective

Several psychologists have created theories to explain the stages people with a 'spoiled' identity might go through. One of the best known models for homosexuals was produced by Vivien Cass in 1979. Please download Susan Young's adaptation of Vivien Cass's model here. Give the handout to participants and ask them to discuss each stage in small groups. The six stages are: Identity Confusion; Identity Comparison; Identity Tolerance; Identity Acceptance; Identity Pride; Identity Synthesis. Susan Young identifies the tasks related to each stage, possible responses by LGB individuals to each stage, and their possible needs. At the end of the exercise share any issues/questions.

Richard Friend created a similar model in 1989 regarding older LGBs. In my opinion much of what he is saying is still applicable nowadays to some LGBs who grew up and still live in isolated areas where there are no or few visible role models or support groups.

To conclude this section, two extracts from programmes seen on television are shown. The first talks about how schools can help mixed heritage children develop positive identities; the second looks at how disabled people internalise negative messages about their disability.

Internalised Racism and Disableism.

b. External Homophobia

Various external effects of homophobia are identified including isolation; homophobic bullying at school; homophobic abuse on the streets; homophobia at home.

c. Combined Effects of Internal and External Homophobia

It will come as no surprise, given the above, that LGBT young people are one of the most vulnerable groups of young people. The effects of homophobia include poor mental health; substance misuse; homelessness; risky sexual behaviour. Without appropriate intervention, these problems are likely to get worse. However, another effect of external homophobia is the lack of appropriate services that specifically meet the needs of LGBT people.

d. Mediating Factors

Factors that help LGBT young people are identified and this is followed by a five minute DVD GALYIC made for the Department of Health, Sixteen

e. Continued Minority Stress

This section of the training is concluded by looking at some of the on-going effects of minority stress.

[Extra exercise: Discuss in groups how oppression affects the identity development of people who belong to other oppressed groups. What might be the effects of multi-oppression?]


5. Homophobia: Effects on Services (30 minutes)

You have a choice of presentations: Effects of Homophobia on Alcohol Treatment Services, this looks at research mainly from the USA or Effects of Homophobia on Mental Health Services, this looks at British research findings. Participants are asked to make a note of any issues that might be relevant to their service and feed this back at the end of the presentation.

Here is an NHS training video which members of GALYIC and staff took part in. It also includes a statement from the then acting Chief Executive of the NHS about meeting the needs of LGBT people. What do you want from NHS?

6. Meeting Legal Requirements(50 minutes)

Anti-discrimination laws are highlighted.

The Employment Act (2003). Part one of Pride not Prejudice is shown, a dvd which explains about the Act in relation to sexual orientation.

Goods and Services (2007)

Equality Act (2010), in particular Public Sector Equality Duty which came into force in April 2011.

Hand out legal requirements. 'Anti Discrimination LGBs' Working in small groups. Do you believe your agency is meeting their legal requirements with regard to LGBs? List both positive and negative examples. What can you do about it? Each group takes it in turn to feed back.

The final slide gives five simple steps to ensure your agency meets the law.

Participants are told about the various resources available on the GALYIC website with lots of links to other resources.

[Extra exercise: There has been a duty on public services with regard to race, disability and gender for several years. How did your service responded to this? Are there any lessons to be learnt? Can these be applied to all equality strands?]

7. Evaluation(10 minutes)

Participants are asked to complete an Evaluation Form before taking it in turn to give a positive point from the training and something that could have been better. These are written up on the flip-chart.

After the training is completed, the initial Training Needs Assessment (TNA) surveys can be analysed and the results, along with an analysis of the evaluation forms, and the action plans, can be presented to the organisation.


To develop your understanding it is recommended that you visit the GALYIC website, in particular the on-line Support section. Here you will find sub-sections on Bullying, Coming Out, Health, Housing, Parents and Professionals.

For example, to find out more about the effects of homophobia on psychological and physical well-being visit Coming Out, and Health.

The Professionals sub-section includes a paper outlining the Pathways some LGBT young people take to end up in A&E which identifies the triggers, the role of agencies and what they can do to help reduce admissions to A&E.

Putting it into Practice

Now that you have the knowledge and understanding, and hopefully your management have all the necessary policies and procedures in place, as well as actively wanting to support change, what's the next step?

There are lots of practical resources you can download from the GALYIC website. For example, in the Professionals section there is a paper to support professionals to find out the sexual orientation of clients entitled "Ask but Don't Ask," and you can download an American document about best practice guidelines.

In the Bullying section you can download 'guidelines' for young people, teachers, families and head teachers on how to respond to homophobic bullying; there are also links to Stonewall so you can access their resources and in particular 'Oh no! Not the Gay Thing!' As well as links to Schools Out who have a lot of resources, to American projects who provide ideas and resources, to a video of a school teacher talking about how they did it in their school.

In the Parents section there are links to resources and we would especially recommend a new publication from the Family Acceptance Project in the USA.

The Coming Out section is aimed at young people but reading it will help you to help young people come out when appropriate. Other resources in this section will help young people feel less isolated.

There are links to lots of resources in the different Health sections.

In other words, what isn't available on the GALYIC website is usually available elsewhere and the website provides links to make these more easily accessible; see the Links section and in particular, the link to Research and Resources.


Finally, it is important to keep up-to-date on what the issues are, new research, examples of good practice. You can do this by regularly checking the News section on the GALYIC website.

Feedback from various training events.

""Good levels of interaction, good information sharing session."

"Fantastic, thank you. Loved the use of media, music, film."

"Very enjoyable, easy going pace. Interesting materials used - video, music."

"BIG Thanks - I really enjoyed this."

"Some of the most informative training I've been on for a while. Also very thought provoking. Excellent - thank you."