It’s LGBT history month, a month which provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT community.

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Pride Flags ✔ Rainbow Cupcakes ✔ LGBT training ✔

This month we had LGBT training for young people delivered by ELOP to the whole team. Liz was an animated facilitator who took us on a journey. We explored the different terminologies, have a better understanding of both gender and sexual orientation and the impact our actions have as individuals and society as a whole. Liz was a performer who demonstrated in live action realness the situations we may find ourselves in and how we can create alternative and positive changes to be more inclusive people, especially when it comes to young people who are transitioning or starting to come to terms with their identity.

As part of the training we came face to face with some hard-hitting facts. Having these statistics on a screen allows your work peers to get a snapchat of the lives of their fellow LGBT+ colleagues. There’s a sense of vulnerability in that, but that’s okay, especially in the case of the work we do as an organisation. We deal with young people, partners and other beautiful humans in our day to day work that sometimes sharing our stories, journeys and experiences can be a powerful learning tool.

Did you know?

  • 45% of LGBT students are bullied at school
  • 75% of LGBT young people self-harm
  • 84% of LGBT young people have thought about taking their life
    (National Average 25%)
  • 37% of LGBT young people attempted suicide

It was tough sitting there. Each scenario and each number described would trigger my own experiences of coming out as a gay south Asian male. My situation is current and a journey that I have only been on for the last two years. A Capricorn by birth, my natural behaviour is very process driven. I tend to talk about facts and figures of trends and overviews, but this time it was different, I AM the statistic. I’m a minority within a minority and sometimes it’s quite hard to talk about my experiences as I navigate through my own queerness, my faith and culture. I’ve seen young people on our courses navigating through this very process. Empathy comes naturally in circumstances like this, relatability becomes encouragement and creativity becomes ambition. As a diverse team ourselves, we inspire London’s young creative workforce to reach heights where representation is needed the most by telling their stories in their own ways.

This LGBT History Month, instead of acknowledging the amazing game changers who paved their path to queer excellence, I want to shine a light and appreciate our LGBT+ Alumni. All who despite being underrepresented within the creative sector, continue to break down barriers and carve a real niche in society for themselves. With our organisations support, we will continue to work with partners and wider organisations to be inclusive. Whether that’s through language, training, recruitment and even emotional intelligence, our aim is to make London a place where all children and young people can thrive through developing their creativity.

L G B TLife Gets Better Together
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Images from the LGBTQ+ session with the whole team

© Header image: Shuttershock