The LGBT Formation Programme

The LGBT Formation Programme

Founded in 2000, the organisation LGBT Formation[1] grew out of the observation that it was still difficult for young lesbians, gays, bisexuals and especially for transsexuals and intersexuals to acknowledge, come to terms with, and reveal their sexuality to others.      

The organisation set out to raise awareness of the impact of homophobia on young people’s self-development and social assertion. Its target audience is therefore professionals working in fields as diverse as health, education, adult education, leisure, sport, careers guidance and family organisations. In fact, in all areas of life, whether expressed by others or experienced psychically by the person concerned, homophobia is a stumbling block to self-development and to social integration, as well as to social acceptance.      

Our approach was based on the idea that these questions should be integrated in the professional goals and problematics of these various sectors, that they are part and parcel of the provision of public service and should not be the preserve of, or simply delegated to, LGBTI activist organisations.      

Our programme was made possible by the strong support of the Regional Health and Social Security Services (DRASS) in Provence. A pilot committee was set up in conjunction with the Department of Education and a number of local and regional councils. This committee endorsed our approach and has been financing our activity for ten years.      

Our programme involves awareness-raising days based around the film Être et se vivre homo[2], which features the personal testimonies of three young women and three young men. There follows a discussion on internalised homophobia (a cultural phenomenon creating an obstacle in the young LGBTI’s mind when acknowledging his or her own sexuality), and then a focus on how homophobia operates in wider society.  

Each day is attended by a group of a dozen professionals and is conducted interactively. To date around 2500 people have participated in our region, with another 500 coming from outside the region.      

An evaluation was conducted by DRASS involving 200 participants, whose feedback on the day was very positive.      

Our programme has now been integrated into the continuing professional development plan for teachers in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. We have delivered the training to all nurses, case workers and school doctors under the regional education authority, as well as to the staff of public sector health care and social welfare centres. We provide regular assistance to family planning centres in support of their counsellors.      

We have published a 60-page brochure, entitled Combating Homophobia, and regularly participate in meetings and conferences on the issue.      

As a result of our activities, school staff now invite us to offer support to students, making these staff members of our organisation in the process. We do so willingly, on condition that the institution takes initial steps to address the issue with the students in question, so that our intervention contributes to, but does not replace, the work these institutions are duty-bound to carry out.      

The ultimate goal of our awareness-raising is that the various institutions dealing with young people integrate the question of homophobia to such an extent that our interventions will no longer be required.      

Bruno Pommier   President  

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[1] [LGBT Training]  

[2] ("Being gay, feeling gay")

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