MIA

“To be able to speak to teachers about LGBT+ issues and to be able to support younger children with their sexuality is an amazing feeling for someone who had no one in school.”

When I was 14 coming out as gay was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do (and I’m currently in the middle of my A-levels and that tells you something).

As a 14 year old hormonal teen it was hard to pin point my emotions and how I was feeling, and at school I wasn’t exposed to any help that would make it easier to come to terms with the new person I was becoming and all of these new emotional feelings towards girls. I spent a lot of time googling things relating to sexual identity and the Internet became my best friend, but I can’t help thinking that if an organisation like Educate & Celebrate was predominant in my school in 2011, I would have had an easier time coming to terms with myself. That’s all it came down to someone to tell me what I was feeling was okay, my family were always so supportive but I needed validation from peers to know that I was going to be okay and these feelings were okay too.

I’m 19 now, and after 5 years of finding myself and becoming comfortable in my own skin, I can see the massive influence that Educate & Celebrate has on my school, a school which 5 years ago the words “lesbian, gay, bisexual and Transgender” were never uttered. The training that is provided by Educate & Celebrate, if it’s through talks with students, teacher training, or showcases allows people to realise that LGBT+ issues are important and relevant-  To be able to speak to teachers about LGBT+ issues and to be able to support younger children with their sexuality is an amazing feeling for someone who had no one in school.

Educate & Celebrate are so important for young people who used to be like me. Without their integrity, care and support, students who are struggling with their self expression and sexual identity will suffer.