This pledge closed about 1 year ago
INTRODUCTION (PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO *COMING SOON*)
Homophobia - what is there to fear?
My name is Michael and I'm 18 years old. I live in England, UK and I'm gay. I have a boyfriend who I've recently met and become in a relationship with. We're very happy together! As I grew up, I slowly realized that being gay was part of me, who I am. It wasn't a choice and it certainly wasn't something that is a phase or can be changed.
When I reached the age of 16 I wanted to tell people around me that I was gay in order to be able to express who I really was. Of course, every human being has the right to be themselves right? I soon discovered that people around me, even my family and people whom I had considered to be my close friends were what many of us class as homophobic, which stems from the word homophobia. But what struck me when looking at this word is the word phobia. As you read above, a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear. What is their to be afraid of when it comes to LGBT people?
Through online communities and dating websites I slowly spoke to more and more people who were either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. The problem that every one of them faced was coming out to family and friends. The fear of their reaction and how they would treat them after coming out was often so extreme that it would cause depression and take over their lives. Out of the people whom I spoke to who are now over the age of 16, they waited until college or late to come out about their sexuality. This was because they felt coming out in school was simply too scary. They'd often witness bullying of others who'd come out or hear people make discriminatory comments towards other LGBT youth, which in turn would make them feel isolated and afraid of coming out even more.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
So what can I do and why should I sign the pledge?
Show the LGBT community that you're not homophobic and you respect them for being who they really are. Tell them you're not afraid of them and will not treat them differently due to their sexuality. By signing this pledge you're also showing you'll stand up against any discrimination you see taking place towards LGBT individuals, you'll promote and support rights of LGBT people in your place of work, community or school and will take part in activities during LGBT History Month!
What do you hope to achieve from this page?
It may be easy to think that a page like this will have little or no impact on discrimination towards the LGBT youth. However each person who signs the pledge will have thought about what this page is supporting and slowly, will help impact towards removing the issue.
Where can I find out more or get further support?
Why not check out the links below for inspiration and more support? This page is simply the beginning!