Lottery funding to reduce homophobic bullying and prejudice

A project to reduce bullying and prejudice towards young and vulnerable gay, lesbian and transgender people has received £473,123 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Fund, which is responsible for giving out 40 per cent of the money raised by the National Lottery, made the award to LGBT Youth North West to run the project across the North West, focusing particularly on Manchester and Stockport.

LGBT Youth North West’s project will reach 22,000 people aged 13-25 to reduce homophobia, biphobia and transphobia through workshops at schools and youth clubs.

Read more…

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Sparkle was transfabulous!

two people in masculine dragThanks to all last weekend for a super Sparkle. We coordinated the youth and family space alongside Mermaids, and enjoyed the sun with a bouncy castle, smoothy-making bicycle, fancy dress, sexual health info, delivering a workshop, lovely food from Sidney St Cafe and more! Check out some of the picture highlights here

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Memories, theatre, peer support and skate boarding…

two people from the memory day, one young and one olderWhat a great week we have had, from our youth work and activism days at the weekend, to our theatre performance at the Cardiff Connecting Communities Conference, then Skateboarding in Manchester and the Launch of our Rochdale peer support project last night. Wowser! Check out the pics here

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Awarding LGBT inclusion in sport

We we very honoured to be shortlisted to the final four for the London 2012 Legacy – Diversity and Inclusion Award. Sam and H represented us with pride last night at the Beyond Sports panel discussion and ceremony.

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Pride Youth Games

people standing in a group in their ten years of pride games tee shirtsWell done to the 6 teams that took part in pride youth games, especially to the REd team who won, but also to all those who took part, with a smile on your faces, in spite of the rain. You did yourselves proud! Check out the rest of the photos here

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‘Be Yourself and Challenge Injustice’ claim the entrants to this year’s Pink Box Competition.

Last night young people from across the North West came together in Liverpool for International Day Against Homophobia to enter the regional Pink Box Competition – ‘UrOwnVision’.

Each year LGBT Youth North West and the network of LGBT Youth Groups Across the region set the Pink Box competition to showcase the talents of young LGBT people and to raise the profile of the issues they face.

This year the Pink Box competition was entitled ‘UrOwnVision’ and in the words of the young hosts from GYRO youth group from YPAS, ‘is a music competition that in no way is based upon the European music competition of a similar name(!)’. The idea of UrOwnVision is for groups to explore what their vision of a better future for LGBT young people might be.

There were 11 entries from Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The challenge was for youth groups to work through a Pink Box session all about LGBT people and Music, (as this was the theme of LGBT History Month 2014), and then create a music-inspired entry.

Entrants included: Films inspired or utilising music and lyrics; Drag miming and singing; playing instruments; a music themed Time Capsule; a custom-made dress with built-in speakers; and some wonderful live and recorded covers of songs that have particular relevance to the LGBT Community.

The finalists from this year were:

  1. GYRO’s Taylor Southern with a cover of Rhianna’s ‘We Found Love’
  2. GYRO’s Aaaron and Cameron’s drag performance of ‘It’s Raining Men’
  3. = WynotLGBTQ’s music-themed time capsule

3. = Stockport Wednesdays’ Coming Out film – WATCH NOW

We also gave out the Being Proud Awards.

This year the winners were:

Thomas Peters – Young Person to be Proud of (Runners up were Emily Kendall, Alex Mason and Jennifer Winn)

GYRO – Youth Group to be Proud of (Runner-up was Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester)

Rachel Williams – The Jan Bridget Award for Youth Worker to be Proud of (Runners up were Liam Mason, Jane Garside and Claire Cleaver

The special award for Supporter (friend family or ally) was named after to Jaye Bloomfield this year, a supporter of LGBT Youth North West who sadly died in 2013. This award was won by the singer-songwriter Claire Mooney.

Read more about the finalists for the pink box here

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Quarter of LGBT young people have no adults to confide in, according to new research

“Listen to me – this isn’t just a phase”, is just one of the pieces of advice for adults from young LGBT people in the North West, identified in a new report.

The research, led by LGBT Youth North West and supported by BBC Children in Need, found that the majority of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in the North West felt adults were failing to support them with regard to issues around identity and mental health.

The teenagers said that their experiences as LGBT people were made more difficult by adults who were judgmental, critical, and negative. Making jokes, being dismissive and ignoring the issue were also highlighted as being very unhelpful behaviours.

The report How you can help us – how adults can help lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans youth’ also identified 19 practical actions which adults could take to better support young LGBT people. These range from treating young people as individuals and asking what they can to do help, to staying calm, and being honest about their own lack of knowledge if necessary.

128 LGBT people aged 15 – 19 in the North West region were surveyed for the study. The teenagers were asked to discuss their relationships with significant adults in their lives, such as teachers, parents, other family members and care workers. For each relationship, the young people were asked to discuss how comfortable they would feel discussing issues around their gender, sexuality, identity, sexual health and mental health.

33 of the 128 young people surveyed – 25% – said that they would not feel comfortable talking to any adult about issues which were causing problems for them.

Many of the young people who have had negative experiences with parents with regard to LGBT issues said that it also stopped them going to their parents for support with other issues, such as education, finance or relationships. Young people who said they couldn’t go to their parents for support said that they were most likely to seek support from the internet.

Teachers were identified as one of the most influential groups of adults for LGBT young people, but the majority of the young people surveyed said they didn’t think teachers were prepared enough to deal with LGBT students on a one-to-one basis. Teachers were also criticised for not challenging homophobia in the classroom enough, and for not ensuring that LGBT issues were visible on the curriculum.

“Coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans is really tough for a lot of young people,” says LGBT Youth North West Strategic Director, Amelia Lee. “Having adults around that young people can trust and go to for support can make a world of difference.”

“But from talking to young people we know that a lot of them don’t feel that they’re getting the support they need from the adults around them, and for some adults that’s because they just don’t know what to do. So for that reason LGBT Youth North West have worked with youth groups and young LGBT people in the region to put together a practical guide to help adults help the young LBGT people in their lives.

“Support shouldn’t end after an LGBT young person comes out. Emotional wellbeing is complex and intricately involves all sorts of internal and external factors. So as an adult who wants to help support a young person who is LGB or T, it’s important to realise that their needs may change depending on other factors, such as what’s happening in their family life or at school, or if there are any other factors which are contributing to stress or unhappiness.”

This research for ‘How you can help us – how adults can help lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans youth’ was funded by BBC Children in Need.

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International Womens Day Project

International Womens Day was on the 8th March 2014 and for this, the young people at LGYM were given the great opportunity to celebrate and be reminded of all the positive and influential women both past and present.

This opportunity was unique because we held a weekly spray – painting workshop where young people could come and choose their inspirational woman, print a picture and then go through the spray painting process from stencil to paint.

The activity promoted artistic development and creative expression with a comfortable and easy atmosphere working at their pace to create some amazing peices of art of inspirational women!

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Come to the Schools OUT UK National Conference

You are invited to The Schools OUT UK National Conference.

9.30am to 5pm, 10th May 2014 at the University of Manchester.

Download the Conference Programme here. Download the Participant Information Form for oral histories here.

We want to hear from all educators past and present, (from primary and  secondary schools, libraries, colleges, youth work and Higher Education), to share practice and make all educational settings safer, more inclusive, and more celebratory of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) diversity for students and staff.

Guest speakers include Peter Tatchell, Elly Barnes and Lena Milosevic, and workshops will include: supporting LGBT students and staff, how to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the classroom, and LGBT history. The day will be facilitated by teachers, youth workers and young people. We hope to celebrate and learn from 40 years of working towards equality, safety and visibility in education for all LGBT people.

Have you got a story about LGBT activism in education? We would like to hear it and record it on the day for our “How We Got Here” project. There is also an opportunity on 11th May to tell your story of LGBT activism in education, contact us for details.

The conference closes in the evening with an exclusive concert by Tom Robinson.

The Conference is sponsored by ATL Teaching Union, and Manchester University’s Education Department.
For questions please email
Tickets can be purchased from:

Invitation to Schools Out Conference 10th May 2014

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Ellen Page – heralding a new era of possibility models?

As Ellen Page comes out, we ask, is this heralding in a new era for younger celebrities to come out and still have a mainstream career, or will the Ellen effect mirror the Ellen (De Generes) effect when her career stalled after coming out? Time will tell, but what is encouraging is young lesbians have another out possibility model in Hollywood, and that surely must show that a new wind is a-blowing!

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