For Schools

Why Weird Pride?

School can be a difficult place for kids who stand out, for whatever reason.

Sometimes, children find it easy to pick on those who are seen as different. That could be because they look different, they talk differently, or their access needs are different. It is not natural or inevitable for people to hate or fear difference, but it is certainly common! In a society where conformity is often rewarded and diversity sometimes looked down on, children need to be taught to accept and embrace differences – especially their own.

“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”

– Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

Weird Pride Day is a day for everyone to celebrate the things that make them stand out, especially the differences that people sometimes pick on as being ‘weird’ – whether or not they are happy to embrace ‘weird’ as a label for themselves.

In any school there will be people who are disabled, people from neurominorities, people who belong to gender and sexual minorities (although they might not know it yet), people from backgrounds that make it harder for them to fit in, and people who are passionate about things that others just don’t get. All of those people are liable to be seen as weird, and as long as that is assumed to be a bad thing, they will be bullied for it. Many children with so-called ‘invisible’ disabilities will have been bullied for their differences for years before they ever have a label for them, and not always just by kids.

A truly inclusive school must be one that teaches students and staff to accept and appreciate difference: to value diversity of all sorts. On Weird Pride Day, let your staff and pupils know that different ways of experiencing the world are valid, and welcome; that quirks are nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you’re not doing any harm; that everyone is happier when they are free to be themselves, even if it might strike other people as… a little odd.

Suggested Activities

Be wary of activities that risk leaving kids too exposed. It is great if they feel comfortable celebrating the things that make them weird, but for all of the reasons described above, it is not safe to push anyone to make others more aware of their weirdness! There is a danger of giving bullies ammunition, even as we work to reduce the power of their words and actions. This could be a safeguarding risk for some pupils, and even staff members need to be careful about what quirks they make people aware of.

With that said, some teachers might feel safe talking about some of the things that make them weird, and their experiences around that. One relatively safe way in to talking about weirdness might be passions – most people will have had the experience of other people being baffled by how enthusiastic they are about something… or how unenthusiastic.

You might like to focus on books, music and other media where difference and weird pride are major themes. There are a lot to choose from!

A small selection of books, with thanks to Kirsten Donaldson Wheal (links go to existing educational resources):

Look at how other characters in a story react to someone who is seen as weird.

  • Do they act like it’s a bad thing to be different from those around you?
  • Does their attitude change over the course of the story?
  • Do the ‘weird’ characters face barriers related to being seen as different?
  • Are there any positives to the things that make them unusual?

You could encourage students to think about their own experiences of diversity. How do they respond when they meet someone who expresses themself very differently from them, or who sees things very differently? Have they ever been mean to someone because they were different? Is that ever okay?

What about weirdness among other animals? How do they feel about animals that are commonly seen as weird, like the platypus or the binturong?

Many people who have done extraordinary things were seen as weird in their day. They might have spent their days and nights practising a skill when other people their age were out partying, or obsessively investigated questions that didn’t seem important to most people. If Leonardo was in their class at school, would he be accepted? What about Frida Kahlo?

Do some people who are seen as weird face additional barriers? Is it easier to pursue ‘weird’ interests if you are white and male, for example?


It is Weird Pride Day! Everyone is excited to be wearing their favourite clothes and has brought in a special item that makes them feel happy.

Katie is wearing her favourite rainbow hat with pom-poms on it even though it is warm inside. Pompom hats make her feel happy!

(try on different hats and explore different textured materials - silk / fur/ sequins)

Abdullah has brought in his favourite food, a lime jelly!

(taste/ smell/explore jelly with hands. Does everyone like it? Does anyone just like the scent but not the texture or taste?)

Dylan loves dens and light-up toys! He has brought in his blanket and light-up toy.

(Hide under blankets together and explore light-up toys)

Sinead is very excited and shares her favourite song. Everyone has a dance

and joins in the Weird Pride Party!

(Play Kealla Settle This is Me from Greatest Showman and explore moving and dancing in weird ways that feel good!)

More to consider:

What things do you like or dislike?

Do you have any weird things you enjoy playing with your friends?

Remember, everyone likes different things, and it is important to accept our differences and let people enjoy what makes them happy (as long as everyone is safe)!

By trying different and unusual things you may find out that you like something new too. Sharing interests is a nice way of making new friends!

Try repeating the story using different items!

"Use children's own names/swap to name of familiar friends / family. Group or 1:1 activity.

Weird Pride Day Sensory Story by AUTISTIC REALMS – Neurodiversity Affirming




Explore various messy play materials.

Try combining materials:

Wet/Dry Edible food based Non edible Different textures hard/soft


Sand, Mud, dry / cooked pasta or rice, cereal, custard, jelly, add scents and food colouring, try warm or cold

Hide different items into the messy play for children to retrieve and explore in different ways

Repeat activities indoors and outdoors. May be you could go on a treasure hunt and find some materials from the garden to explore and add into your creations! 


What weird mixtures can you create?

Try tipping, pouring, mixing and using different tools to explore (eg twigs / spoons/ whisks/brushes)

Try exploring with different body parts eg feet/hands

Are there any textures you like or disclike?

Do your friends like the same things as you or do they like different things you find weird?

Remember everyone likes different things and we can all have fun playing in our own way!

Infographic/ideas by AUTISTIC REALMS - Neurodiversity Affirming
Weird Pride Day Messy Play Ideas by AUTISTIC REALMS
Weird Pride Day: Willow May says
"Weird was a word used to insult and ostracise me. It wasn't until I got my autism diagnosis as an adult, that I began the process of discovering who I am."