Voices of Just Like Us

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

"When I was younger, I never knew that being LGBT+ was possible"

When I was younger, I never knew that being LGBT+ was possible. I grew up hating skirts, loving music and anything sporty (well, anything except cross-country running). I’ve attended four different schools, and none of them told me about who LGBT+ people are. I was often confused when crushes were brought up and I didn’t understand why all the girls seemed to like the boys, and vice versa. When we were split up into boys and girls for class activities, it felt strange to me, but I didn’t question it too much as it was just what the teachers told us to do. I tried to “follow the rules” as much as possible, both socially and academically. I then moved to an all-girls school at the age of 13, w

It's still tough being an LGBT employee

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees have never had it so good at work. Or so you might think to look at the companies marching in London Pride and the growing number of LGBT+ networks and role models. But it’s only half the story. Being LGBT in the workplace can still be unacceptably tough, especially if it’s your first job. Getting your first job is always nerve-wracking; that's ok if you’re worried about a phone interview or assessment days, but not when it comes to whether being LGBT+ will affect your chances. It's a concern that could affect a growing number of potential employees. A YouGov poll in 2015 found that one in two young people aged 18-24 don’t identify as s

Education isn't just about facts - it's about growing as a person.

The LGBT+ community is one I pride myself on being a part of. I wanted nothing more than to bring to my school a greater, more loving LGBT+ presence and to give students the support, education, and self-esteem I did not have access to when at secondary school. School Diversity Week to me felt like a perfect way to demonstrate this, and so I helped to set up a Gay-Straight Alliance for Boswells secondary school students called SAGA – the Sexuality and Gender Alliance. SAGA is an inclusive group to discuss current LGBT+ issues within the media and acting as a safe haven for students, with sixth formers as pastoral mentors for Key Stage 4 students. The club has also delivered a presentation to

The shadow of Section 28

Thirty years ago Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 became law. This short clause - less than two hundred words - impacted upon the education of millions of British people. It prevented schools from “promoting” homosexuality or teaching “the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. No school or individual was ever prosecuted under the law. The Department for Education emphasised that Section 28 did “not prevent the objective discussion of homosexuality in the classroom, nor the counselling of pupils concerned about their sexuality”. Nevertheless, it served its purpose. The resulting fear and confusion silenced a generation of teachers on the subject of hom

Students can lead initiatives to champion LGBT+ equality in schools

We were all in year 10 when the Diversity Group began, a name chosen to ensure both protection by anonymity and inclusion. Another girl and I approached the Head Teacher with a letter and met for an interview to discuss its opening. Right from that moment we had 100% support. With our teacher's help, the meetings began, slowly at first while we work out our direction, but gaining momentum and members by the week. We share LGBT+ news stories, our personal stories and problems, songs that move us and ideas on how to move equality forward. We got louder and more confident and found strength in each other, and soon moved out of our cosy little room and into the wider school. That first assembly

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