February is LGBT+ history month which aims to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT+”) people. It is a time to reflect on the history, lives and the experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community.
It’s so important for us to take a moment to recognise the work and activism of some many people in the community who have fought for our equality.
However, we have a long way to go!
Our Aspire project – which supports those at risk of offending or criminal exploitation – is supporting a LGBT+ young person on project and has reported to their mentor about homophobia and transphobia at school and online. We’re working closely with schools and in the community to ensure all our young people feel safe and are able to be themselves, ask questions and seek the right support.
Just because you identify as LGBT+ doesn’t mean you will have mental health challenges, however some experiences you may face because of sexuality or identity could impact your mental health. Increased feelings of loneliness, prejudice, bullying or being treated differently can cause anxiety and depression.
All TUK projects are working with young people 1-2-1 to support personal growth and development, improve social skills and reduce social
Personally, growing up I feel extremely lucky to have not received such abuse, but this is not the case for friends and colleagues. Having the opportunity to have publicly seen people who represented my younger self would have improved my own sense of being and helped me to understand my own identity, as well as being represented in TV, film and books.
Having a mentor who the beneficiaries can look up to and have lived experiences could make a huge impact on a young person’s life. If you have lived experience or would like to find out more about becoming a Transitions UK mentor, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways we can all help :
Being an ally
Join a movement
Call out discrimination
Share your own pronouns
“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.” – George Takei
If you’re a young person and would like to seek support please get in touch, as well as our friends at The Proud Trust, who run a nonemergency instant messenger service for LGBTQ+ young people
– Charlie Dixon, Aspire Senior Project Manager