Paul Kisner, information officer at COC Haaglanden, was proclaimed The Hague Hero 2018 in the Education & Youth category tonight. This happened during the Hague Helden Gala in Hotel IBIS in the heart of The Hague. The title Haagse Held is awarded annually to volunteers who have committed themselves selflessly and with heart and soul.

Kisner has been teaching about sexual and gender diversity in schools for over 5 years, underscoring the importance of this: “Gay is a common swear word in schools. I want to be a positive change in that. Talking about sexual diversity is important to dispel prejudice.”

COC Haaglanden is proud of the new Haagse Held and all the information officers.

The Information Team of COC Haaglanden provides guest lectures on sexual and gender diversity in secondary and primary schools. The aim of this information is to increase tolerance towards LGBTI young people and thus also to increase the feeling of safety in schools. In the guest lectures, educators discuss with students the views that exist in the classroom about sexual orientation, gender diversity and gender expression. Classes are taught by two educators at a time. They take place in the classroom, in the presence of the teacher.

The team currently has 16 active volunteers who this year provide about 250 guest lessons for more than 3000 students spread over 50 schools in The Hague and the surrounding area. The demand for guest lectures and support in setting up GSAs (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) is increasing. This is partly due to the increasing attention for the subject in schools and the cooperation with the Rainbow Municipalities in the region. The working area has been expanded and, with the arrival of more Regenboog municipalities, may soon encompass the entire Haaglanden region.

More information officers are needed to meet the increasing demand. COC Haaglanden has the ambition to double the number of guest lessons next school year.

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