During this National Coming Out day LGBT Youth Scotland will be sharing coming out stories from young people to raise awareness of the challenges the LGBTI community face.
The group is also calling on people everywhere to join its campaign, Shh – Silence Helps Homophobia, by standing up and speaking out against homophobia.
It invites you to:
1. Pledge your support
Join the call to action on the day by sharing your word, photo or video pledges on social media, telling the world why you won’t stay silent against homophobia, using the hashtag – #wontstaysilent
You can see examples of other photo pledges here – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152775529809131.1073741827.63860969130&type=3
You can download the photo pledge template here (or make your own!)- https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/files/documents/Shh_PhotoPledge_AllForms.pdf
2. Shh Twibbon
Add this Shh – Silence Helps Homophobia twibbon to your profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter – http://twibbon.com/support/shhsilence-helps-homophobia-2
3. Support LGBT Youth Scotland’s Shh crowdfund – that works to challenge homophobia in schools. Every £1 (or more) helps and you can claim campaign materials in return for your donation: at http://igg.me/at/shh
The campaign explains that homophobia often goes unchallenged, as people are unsure or afraid to name it, causing continual hurt and trauma to many young people who then feel they themselves need to keep silent about their sexualities.
A central part of the campaign is an online film that has been developed with support from the Fife Cultural Partnerships Fund created by the Fife LGBT Youth group, “Flavours of Fife” which features a youth’s experience of homophobia at school. The film is asking us ‘What could be done differently?’
It shows that if we challenge and name homophobia it can enable LGBTI youth to feel part of a more tolerant and inclusive community.
What is even more remarkable is that youth not only were involved with creation of the story line, they also gladly and openly acted in the film. There was only one paid actor – everyone else who appeared were real young people, youth workers or teachers are from the same area and school.
The film gives spectators a chance to see how being open and coming out not only depends on the attitudes of society, sending an important positive message, in this National Coming Out day.
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland explains: “Coming out day sends an important message to young people because positive role models who are out as LGB or T, not just in the media, but in everyday life, send an important message to young people that it is okay to be open and happy about who they are. It’s also very important that young people (and people of all ages) come out at their own pace and when they feel safe to do so.”
LGBT Youth Scotland has also developed coming out guides that empower young people make informed choices about how to speak about their sexualities to their families, friends and their wider community.
They can be downloaded here