PRIDE IN PGS

Since 2013, PGS Pride has been central to our school’s ethos and mission for every member of our community to be happy and successful. With 80% of pupils saying it would be easy to come out (compared with 47% in 2013), we have transformed the school into a place which truly and unambiguously celebrates difference.


PGS Pride has continued to thrive this year with a fantastic range of speakers. Here are some of our highlights.

Portsmouth and Proud…

The year kicked off with a talk from the organisers of Portsmouth Pride. Aaron and Rachael told pupils about what pride means to them, the joys and challenges of organising a local pride parade and how we can get involved. PGS pupils, teachers and parents later joined the parade which finished with cabaret and drag shows at Southsea Bandstand.


Sexuality in the Ancient World…

Mr Lister, Head of Classics, wowed his audience with fascinating tales of the Ancient Greek and Roman worlds. From attitudes towards same sex relationships to prostitution and the development of marriage, both talks offered an invaluable insight into the way that behaviours and attitudes have developed in the Western World.


Jesus, a Queer Pioneer?

IB Pupil Clementine Taylor-Smith shared the argument from her Philosophy coursework: that Jesus was a queer pioneer. Drawing upon the gospel accounts of Jesus, feminist theology and queer theory, she presented the case that Christianity should be embracing of LGBT people and that Jesus was an early gay icon!

The Search for Love…

Our brilliant school librarian Dr Webb presented a talk on the development of censorship in response to LGBT literature and the importance of combatting this. She shared some of her own favourite examples and called upon us all to use books to increase our understanding of the world and our love for others.


Human Rights…

Human rights paralegal Joscelyn Lee visited the school to highlight the plight of female and LGBT asylum seekers. She explained how gender and sexuality can be used as the basis for seeking asylum and the increased difficulties these marginalised groups face. Following this, Mrs Morgan launched the Christmas appeal for sanitary products for local refugee women. Hundreds of donations were made by our school community and distributed through the Red Cross.


Women in Philosophy…

Anyone who studies Philosophy will get the impression that it is a very male dominated field. However, in her talk, Cordelia Hobbs highlighted the important (and sometimes overlooked) contributions from female philosophers like Ayn Rand and Simone de Beauvior who argued that there is nothing essential about femaleness, rather it is a restrictive social construct we must seek to smash!

Is race socially constructed?

For her IB Philosophy coursework, Tash Palfrey argued that race is a social construct. Using this as the basis for her talk, Mrs Morgan presented some interesting cases of trans-racialism: where an individual identifies with a different race from that assigned at birth. Famous examples like Rachael Dolezal and Martina Big were explored as well as the academic case for the anti-essentialism of race.


Big Bear…

Pupils were delighted to meet and pose for photos with strong man ‘Big Bear’ Chris McNaghten who spoke about his experiences of coming out and challenging stereotypes in such a masculine sport. Pupils heard about the difficulties which still remain for LGBT people in Northern Ireland and heard how coming out had such a positive impact on Chris’s mental health.


Part of Portsmouth Pride…
The sun was shining as pupils, parents and staff marched together in the Portsmouth Pride parade in June. Thousands of people gathered for live music, drag shows and cabaret at the after party on Castle Field. It was a great celebration for the PGS pupils, staff and families that came along to support of how far PGS Pride has come.


Beyond PGS…

Mrs Morgan has been spreading the success of PGS Pride. From speaking at the Association for Young People's Health 10th Anniversary conference to training teachers across the country, she is on a mission to help all schools to celebrate difference.