At Just Like Us we often discuss the need to highlight that while we have come a long way, growing up LGBT+ is still unacceptably tough.
For LGBT+ young people going to school every day, not enough has changed. Three in four face bullying, and 85% still hear regularly hear homophobic remarks.
This winter, with coronavirus and Christmas, many LGBT+ young people will be cut off from vital support networks and left feeling incredibly isolated.
Time and time again, we’ve heard from the young people we work with that our ambassador programme has been a lifeline for them in finding community, gaining skills, embracing who they are, and feeling less alone.
I’m always so humbled to hear that Just Like Us has helped them realise that being LGBT+ is something to be celebrated – that’s a huge goal for us.
Therefore, on 9 December we’re launching a campaign called Younger Me that will create space for people to share what it was like for them growing up LGBT+ and how Just Like Us might have helped them too. The campaign will run from 9 to 31 December 2020.
We hope our Younger Me campaign will flood social media with positive images of LGBT+ communities, highlighting the need for inclusive education in schools and safe, community spaces for young people.
We are delighted to have the support of so many LGBT+ figures taking part in our Younger Me campaign – from Drag Race UK queens Divina De Campo, Scaredy Kat and Baga Chipz, to Shadow Minister for Schools Wes Streeting MP, athletes Michael Gunning and Amazin LeThi, and gay reverend Jide Macaulay.
Many LGBT+ employee networks, including at BlackRock, Travers Smith, Ascential and British Land, are also getting involved, and we’re so thankful for all your support.
How to take part
Use #YoungerMe and tell us what it was like for you growing up LGBT+ and how Just Like Us’ school talks, Pride Groups or Ambassador Programme would’ve helped you.
It doesn’t have to be a photo of you when you were younger – you can post a portrait, the graphic below or a photo of something that represents you growing up, like a Christmas tree, Hanukkiah or football shirt, for example.
Don’t forget to tag @JustLikeUsUK so we can share your post, too.
You can read more about the campaign at www.justlikeus.org/younger-me – thank you for supporting our work in helping LGBT+ young people to have more positive experiences in schools and colleges.