Voices of Just Like Us

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

Summer LGBT+ reading and viewing

When I came out as gay aged 22, I had no LGBT+ role models. I’d grown up surrounded by exclusively heterosexual books, films and TV shows. That’s not to say these weren’t great stories, but they never included people quite like me. I went through a very isolating depression during and following my coming out, but there are several LGBT+ books, films, podcasts and youtubers who helped get me through this period. They helped me feel less alone in my struggles, and instilled hope in my mind that there was a future for gay Tom worth fighting for. The more I saw and read these, the more normal and the less shameful I felt. Here are a few of the books, films and podcasts that have helped me..." Fi

Volunteer to Empower

The roots of my volunteering lie in the toughest period of my life. I came out as gay at 22. In the midst of a suicidal depression, I began realising how detrimental hiding my sexuality and mental health struggles over the previous decade had been. I’d tried desperately to be a ‘normal’ straight man, afraid of who I really was. This prevented me ever learning to accept and become comfortable with my true self. I was storing mental health and self-esteem issues that have taken well into my twenties to come to process. Something that kept me going during this time was an idea, somewhere in the back of my mind, that if I made it through, I wouldn’t want my struggle to be in vain. Coming out the

Hundreds of thousands celebrate School Diversity Week 2018

Last week, hundreds of thousands of pupils and teachers in almost 350 constituencies took part in School Diversity Week 2018, the national celebration of LGBT+ equality in education. Launched with the support of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, School Diversity Week empowers teachers and pupils to organise events that raise awareness about the impact of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. This national celebration of LGBT+ equality in education falls in the year marking the thirtieth anniversary of Section 28 of the Local Government Act which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools. While the law was repealed in 2003, growing up r

Sir Vince Cable's message for School Diversity Week 2018

School Diversity Week is all about recognising the exceptional work of LGBT+ role models, volunteers and teachers across the country. They are championing equality issues in schools, and celebrating them through the School Star Awards. This week is all about making people aware of what it means to be a young LGBT+ person, and about making sure that LGBT+ people have the support they deserve from an early age. It’s also recognising that LGBT+ people are role models to all of us - one of my heroes and a local resident was Alan Turing, a gay man who pioneered code-breaking during the Second World War, but despite the contribution he made to this country, he faced persecution, discrimination bec

Jeremy Corbyn's message for School Diversity Week 2018

Growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans can still be extremely tough. Fears about your identity, feelings of isolation and bullying continue to affect LGBT young people’ wellbeing and their achievement at school. This must change. I’m proud to support the Just Like Us campaign and the teachers and pupils taking part in School Diversity Week 2018. Thirty years after Section 28 banned the discussion of homosexuality in schools and 18 years after it was repealed thanks to a hard-won campaign, no one should feel ashamed of who they are. No one should go to school fearful, fearful that they will be bullied because of their identity. By celebrating the week we can take a stand and end the remai

For far too many LGBT children, bullying and discrimination is still a regular and unhappy part of t

One of the things I enjoy most about being the Children’s Commissioner for England is meeting hundreds of children, from all parts of the country with all sorts of different backgrounds. Every child I talk to has a different story to tell, because every child’s life experience is different, and every child just wants to be themselves. When I speak to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people, many of them tell me that while they know society’s attitudes have changed in recent years, they still find it really hard growing up LGBT. Sadly, for far too many, bullying and discrimination is still a regular and unhappy part of their school life. I have heard from LGBT students abou

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