Voices of Just Like Us

Just Like Us staff and ambassadors, educators and LGBT+ young people make up the voices of Just Like Us

Tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is everybody's business

Last week, I asked a group of Year Seven students to close their eyes and raise their hand if they’d ever heard anything homophobic. I watched as hand after hand went up. "Now, open your eyes," I said. There was a ripple of audible surprise as they looked around. Almost every student had raised their hand. In reality, they shouldn’t have been surprised. Growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) remains unacceptably tough: 86% regularly hear homophobic remarks at school and 52% say that bullying has had an adverse effect on their plans for future education. More schools are realising that tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying matters. The Department for E

Parents may complain, but tackling prejudice is the right thing to do

I’m a librarian by trade, and there are certain things that all librarians learn by heart at school. How to shush people, of course, but more importantly how to advocate and raise the voices of those who are silenced, underrepresented and vulnerable. One key statement that all librarians live by is that every person deserves to see themselves in their library. I want every child I meet to be able to walk into my library and say “There I am” or “Oh, that’s me!” At Whitefield School, we have taken that idea and turned it outwards from the library, asking ourselves if our LGBTQ+ students see themselves in every aspect of their school. Can ALL of our students walk down the hall, sit through a le

Students explain why they're championing LGBT+ equality in School Diversity Week

When we were informed of School Diversity Week, we knew we had to take the opportunity to get involved. We though that, with this chance to raise awareness of the issues faced by LGBT+ youth, both in our school and across the country, we needed to do something great. During School Diversity Week, we held a cake sale which allowed for the whole school to get involved, and all the money raised went to Intercom, our local LGBT+ charity. On the last day of diversity week there was a whole school flash mob to celebrate and embrace our own diversity within school. Everyone got involved, even the teachers! We also worked on educating staff on how to approach a diverse classroom, which is just as im

YouTube star Riyadh Khalaf: ‘My experience in school was horrific’

“I’m working with Just Like Us because my experience in school was at times horrific. I went through bullying. I went through self-doubt.  I went through an unbelievable amount of anxiety that was almost unbearable.” He may be a YouTube and radio star now, but Riyadh Khalaf suffered as a child. Speaking to PinkNews after presenting LGBT+ charity Just Like Us’s School Star Awards, Riyadh said he wanted to spare others from his trauma. “I want to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore to any other kid,” he said. Founded in 2016, Just Like Us is a charity which empowers LGBT+ youths to be themselves early on, so they can lead happy and healthy lives. The organisation has bu

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