Amazin LeThi is a LGBT+ inclusion specialist in sport and is supporting Just Like Us' #YoungerMe campaign.
Growing up can be tough for everyone – especially if you happen to be LGBT+. When I was a child, I suffered a tremendous amount of discrimination and bullying which followed me into my teenage years because I was Asian and from the LGBT+ community.
For a long time, I struggled with my sexuality as I didn't have the words for how I felt inside nor did I know how to express my feelings as I never saw an LGBT+ or Asian LGBT+ person in the media or community.
I honestly thought I was the only Asian LGBT+ kid in the world, which led to feelings of isolation and I was unsure of who to speak to or trust.
Just Like Us' #YoungerMe campaign is all about raising awareness of the need for support for LGBT+ young people and inclusive education so that we can make long-term change.
It is brilliant that Just Like Us exists so we can help support young LGBT+ people by having brave conversations, providing positive role models and making education inclusive and safe.
I got involved in the #YoungerMe campaign because when I reflect back to when I was 6, 12 or as a teenager and not ever seeing any LGBT+ representation, I know that did make me feel isolated and alone.
It would have been so affirming to meet and see community members or role models where I could have seen a mirror image and reflection of myself through individuals' shared stories and experiences.
#YoungerMe spent far too much time feeling misunderstood, sad, alone and constantly worrying that being queer would mean having to always hide my identity from the world because I could never be openly out nor successful living as my authentic self.
I would not wish how I felt as a child upon anyone, and taking part in this campaign has made me appreciate how life-changing it would have been for me to have Just Like Us visit my school and see positive LGBT+ role models growing up.
We need to have open and honest conversations, and encourage and celebrate all forms of diversity for the ultimate purpose of true inclusion and acceptance of our differences in the communities we live in.
I’m a vocal advocate and supporter of the #YoungerMe campaign and Just Like Us because we need to have conversations around the reality of growing up as part of the LGBT+ community and for LGBT+ youth to see positive role models.