So what do you do if you are bullied because a member of your family is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)? Well one young Herefordian who wasn’t prepared to put up with that kind of crap dealt with it by setting up a support group.
‘Outside In’ is a youth-led group for young LGBT individuals, their friends and family. The group was set up in 2008 and with the assistance of individuals and organisations such as Hereford Rainbow Forum and Supported Housing for Young Peoples Project. They are now working toward their aims of reducing homophobic bullying; supporting young LGBT people; raising awareness of LGBT issues and challenging stereotypes and misconceptions.
Outside In told the Heckler: “All young people struggle with adolescence but it can be made more complicated when dealing with being LGBT. Issues such as telling friends and family, bullying or confused emotions can be very isolating, particularly in a rural county like ours.
“Through our own personal experiences of growing up in Herefordshire, we feel that peer support and space to meet other individuals and be free from prejudice and discrimination can help. So we’ve been developing a social network to provide information, advice, and a supportive peer network for young LGBT people.”
Outside In are currently organising a schools project where they plan to inform year 10-11 students about LGBT issues such as perceived stereotypes, homophobic bullying, health and relationships.
“We appreciate that many problems arise through a lack of understanding, people react out of fear and ignorance. So we feel that through education, we can help tackle the inequality faced by LGBT people,” they said.
Visit www.outside-in.org (under construction) or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.