Petra Albrecht of Diversity Study Trips, explains how educational visits can normalise discussions with, and about, the LGBTQ+ community through more inclusive itineraries.

At Diversity Study Trips, we have seen that our LGBTQ-specific itineraries have experienced on average 20% more website visits than any other curriculum-based itineraries.

Petra Albrecht, Diversity Study Trips

Petra Albrecht.

There is evidently a growing interest in wanting to learn more about LGBTQ+ history, and for generally more inclusive study trip opportunities, but the situation in schools is still concerning.

Roughly 15% of teachers across the UK claimed to feel ‘not very comfortable’ or ‘completely uncomfortable’ when discussing LGBTQ+ topic with their pupils, according to recent research conducted by Just Like Us.

This percentage is the same today as it was in 2021, suggesting there has been no tangible progress made in changing attitudes in schools when it comes to openly talking about the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride event

Taking pupils to themed events can help them learn.

The research also highlighted that headteachers were the most likely to feel “completely” or “mostly” comfortable, which gradually decreases the less senior the members of staff is, with an 11% difference between leaders and classroom teachers.

It comes as the Department for Education recently launched a new consultation aimed at reviewing the Relationships, Sex, & Health Education content taught in schools, putting further pressure on teachers to openly discussing LGBTQ+ topics with their pupils.

The ‘new normal’ in classrooms

It is clear that teachers need support in responding to the ‘new normal’ in classrooms.

We know that educational trips, where teachers and pupils can bond outside of the classroom and have shared experiences, is an effective method in closening relationships, and thus increasing the level of comfort they have for discussing topics that may have been difficult in the classroom.

Pride event

Showcasing Pride events to pupils can help them feel safe and supported to ask questions that may have felt tough in the classroom.

Travel companies have a responsibility in spreading awareness of LGBTQ+ history and achievements, offering safe destinations that can help educate the next generation, and providing truly inclusive itineraries, designed with all pupils in mind.

This could include involving pupils from the LGBTQ+ community when planning the trip, researching the destination’s history in relation to the LGBTQ+ community, and screening the types of landmarks, museums, and walking tours on the itinerary to mitigate any potential issues faced on the trip.

For the teachers who feel uncomfortable discussing LGBTQ+ topics due to a lack of knowledge or understanding, learning alongside the students on a study trip could close the gap between headteachers and classroom teachers.

3 inclusive destinations

Here are three top destinations for schools to consider, which will contribute positively to spreading awareness and educating both teachers and pupils alike:

1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is known for being a vibrant and energetic city all year round, but Pride adds a magical atmosphere to get stuck into. Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg is the centre of the LGBTQ+ community in the city, with great restaurants, cafes and shops to visit.

Make sure your visit includes the Schwules Museum and the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, to learn about the history of the community in Germany.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Berlin is very inclusive and has numerous historical places to explore.

2. New York, USA

You could travel across ‘the pond’ to one of the most inclusive cities in the world, a place that played a pivotal role in LGBTQ+ history. It would be a life changing trip to immerse students in the community.

Planning a Pride walking tour run by an Official Partner of NYC Pride would be the most immersive and comprehensive tour to take students back in time from the modern Pride movement. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is an essential for any art students, as is the Bethesda Fountain.

3. London, England

There are a number of Pride events in London, including Pride in London in July, UK Black Pride in August and Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Fest in September.

A curricular trip to the capital could be enhanced by the attendance at one of these events, and make students aware of the empowering communities on their doorstep. The British Museum offers a bookable LGBTQ+ tour to celebrate histories surrounding desire, love and identity - and the Queer Britain museum is a must too.

For more ideas and inspiration head to