Nick O’Brien is the Education Lead at Norwich Pride. During LGBT+ History Month, the assistant headteacher explains why he’s created a Powerpoint lesson for schools, to celebrate the contributions that LGBT+ people have made to our society
I was born in Kent and moved to Norwich to go to the University of East Anglia. Like lots of people, I fell in love with the city and stayed. I work very hard. In my day job, I’m an assistant headteacher at a secondary school and work in safeguarding and SEN.
How long have you been a Trustee for Norwich Pride and what’s your role within the organisation? You’re the Education Lead?
I’ve been involved since the beginning in 2009 and been chair twice. I’ve been a trustee for three years. I’m currently chair of trustees and organise education. This means making resources for Pride Week and LGBT+ History Month and organising the talks for Norwich Pride in July.
How has Norwich Pride risen to the challenges of the pandemic?
It’s been tough but it’s given us some space and allowed us to become more organised. We’ve put on two virtual events that we are proud of. We’ve focussed especially on building the charity and embedding our policies. We’ve got a stable team now and are looking to recruit to make us more diverse.
How long has LGBT+ History Month been going for, and how important is it, on the Norwich Pride calendar?
It’s really important as it gives people a focus to remember the achievements of LGBT people and think about the challenges we still face. We shouldn’t only do this in February mind you – organisations should always be trying to support LGBT+ people.
What can you tell us about your downloadable lesson?
The focus this year is on art and politics. The lesson platforms five inspiring artists who have left their mark. It also gives space for young people to think about how they can develop a passion for art and creativity. Hopefully it should be easy for teachers to deliver.
What other events can we look forward to this year?
Pride, which is always the last weekend of July! It will mean so much to be face to face again and parade through the streets of Norwich. I especially think of young people and those that live in rural Norfolk who will have been especially isolated.
What are your hopes and dreams for the LGBT+ community for the rest of this year?
That we survive and thrive! That conversion therapy is finally banned and that trans people are fully supported. There is a real rise in hate crime right now so we need LGBT People to feel safe and celebrated.