School pupils share what life’s like growing up LGBT+ today

School pupils share what life’s like growing up LGBT+ today


The law on homosexuality changed in 1967 but fifty years on these youngsters say many still face discrimination because of
their sexuality. I think it’s still a really common experience
because before I came out I was reading about it online because it’s the only thing I had
because I didn’t have this kind of group. They were all horror stories: people had
to leave home, they had a bag packed for when they told their parents and they had to use
it, and I did the same thing. It was so scary. Quite a lot of people are accepting of me
but there are still people who are for some reason against it which I don’t get, but they’ll
come round, I guess. As part of efforts to end the stigma, 250,000 pupils across the country recently took part in activities to celebrating diversity and in the library at Royds Hall a section has been given over to LGBT literature. We’re very proud of that idea that it should
be normalised. When I was at school it was not allowed to
talk about it, there was Clause 28 in place, and people felt that they couldn’t have discussions
and it made a place where it was safe to bully people Whereas now, people know that whatever type of bullying is going on it stops, it’s not acceptable and the whole atmosphere in the
school is that we accept each other. But for pupils coming to terms with their
sexuality, it’s the support of friends that’s the real difference. All my friends are accepting, everyone in
the school always is accepting of me They just see me as Joey, they don’t see Joey as gay, they just see me as me. At the end of the day he’s gay and I accepted it. He’s still my best friend and he always will be. Fifty years after a former pupil helped changed the law, cause for the current generation to feel justifiably proud.

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