'Make lives better by teaching pupils queer history'

Star of hit TV show It's a Sin says young people don't know about the HIV crisis as it was 'brushed under the carpet'

Tes Reporter

LGBT education: It's a Sin star Olly Alexander backs the teaching of queer history in schools

TV star Olly Alexander has said it would “make everybody’s lives better” if queer history was taught more extensively in schools.

Alexander starred in Channel 4 drama It’s a Sin earlier this year, which tells the story of a group of young friends living through the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

The actor and musician, 30, told Cosmopolitan UK that he had “seen a lot of different responses” to the hit show.

News: Teachers urged to better protect LGBT+ students

It's a Sin: Life as a gay teacher in the era of AIDS

Funding: Scrapping school anti-LGBT bullying cash 'callous'

Alexander added that there were “quite a few younger people that had no idea… that this happened to a community not that long ago”.

LGBT education: It's a Sin star supports the teaching of queer history in schools

“It set me aback because I hadn’t thought about that response, but it totally makes sense,” he said.

“You’re watching a show set not that long ago. And so there are some people who are shocked and can’t believe it.

“But I’ve also had that response from older people who were there at the time who didn’t know what was going on.”

He added: “So much of this happened in silence and was brushed under the carpet.

“And this isn’t taught in schools. It would make everybody’s lives better, and help understand each other better, if queer history [was covered].

“How HIV first appeared and what happened in the ’80s is a really important part of that.

“If there’s something you can do to help all the kids, why wouldn’t you do it?”

The June issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from 6 May
Picture courtesy of Cosmopolitan UK/Kaj Jefferies



Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Reporter

Latest stories