Words: Will Stroude
The teacher whose LGBT-inclusive lessons have sparked protests across Birmingham was placed front and centre of the city's Pride celebrations this weekend.
Andrew Moffat, whose No Outsiders primary school lessons promote acceptance of, among other things, LGBTQ families, led the Pride parade next to LGBTQ Muslims as displays of anti-gay intolerance continue outside the gates of both his school and others who've adopted the programme.
Followng the conclusion of Saturday's march (25 May), Mr Moffat took to the main stage in the city's gay village, where he read out a touching letter of support he'd been sent by a 10-year-old girl in the wake of the row.
To rapturous applause from the crowd, he read out: "Andrew Moffat, I'm a 10-year-old girl and I fully support No Outsiders. I have a very good friend who have same-sex parents.
"We're lucky ot go to a school where everyone is welcome and supported. People who don't want to change are often those that need it the most.
"I have a four-year-old brother who knows that everyone is unique and different. He knows to be kind to everyone and my family would be happy for him to be taught No Outsiders.
"Don't give up. In the world there are more people that support you that don't."
Mr Moffat, who is deputy head teacher of Birmingham's Parkfield Primary School, has faced personal attacks over the programme he began in 2014 to teach children about the characteristics protected by the Equality Act.
The lessons at Parkfield and were suspended in March until a "resolution" could be found with protesting parents at the Muslim-majority school, who have claimed that acknowledging LGBTQ families exist is 'promoting' a 'lifestyle' that goes against their religious values.
Mr Moffat was joined at the head of the Birmingham Pride parade on Saturday by Khakan Qureshi, founder of Birmingham South Asians LGBT and Saima Razzaq, from Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools (SEEDS).
"It's so important, isn't it, at this time that we are showing that's what Birmingham is like," Mr Moffat told BBC News.
My heart is full of pride & my timeline is full of love & colour.— Neelam Heera ✌ (@neelamheera) May 26, 2019
So proud of my guy @KhakanQureshi for all his work for the #LGBT community as well as @moffat_andrew and @McSaima leading the front of Bham Pride!! 🏳️🌈#LoveOutLoud#BirminghamPride#BirminghamPride2019
"It's not about protests outside schools, that's not Birmingham. This is Birmingham.
"They're talking about 80,000 people turning up to support Pride.
"That's Birmingham - supporting diversity and community cohesion."