Coming out was one of the most difficult times in my life, it is important to me that when other young people come out they have access to the all support they need.
Understanding and support from family and friends is vital.
Many LBGT young people will have known or questioned their sexual or gender identity from a very young age.
The majority will continue to wait until they are adults to talk about this for fear of rejection and other serious negative consequences.
Even though the mainstream media continues to open up, some LGBT people never come out, sometimes because of cultural or religious reasons.
Staying in the closet undermines a young person’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
Because of this stress LGBTI youth still remain in the high-risk category for suicide and mental health. Our family members, teachers, and the rest of society need information about sexual orientation and gender identity to help provide support for our LGBT youth.
I would love LGBT young people to feel included and valued and have the confidence to stand up against homophobic bullying.
One of my main interest growing up was playing sports, A new international study – Out on the Fields – says 82% of lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes have witnessed or experienced homophobic actions in sports.
We still live in a country were sports people are reluctant to come out.
My aim is to work with organisations that provide resources and support so that LGBT people are free to be themselves in safe and healthy environments.
I think it’s important for us in the LGBT community to continue the work around celebrating diversity and extend it to combatting the negativity around age, race and body types and to create a space where everyone can feel safe, valued and accepted.
Many parents still feel uncertain when they learn that their child is LGBT.
They are unsure how to react. And they don’t know how to support their child.
Family rejection has a serious impact on LGBT young people’s health.
Fear motivates many parents and family members to try to protect their children by reacting negatively to their sexual or gender identity.
For example, I’ve been told to “Tone it down.” “Do you have to wear those clothes?” “Can’t you wait until you graduate to tell others you’re gay?” Youth often hear these comments as rejection.
I want families, schools and tertiary institutions, sporting codes to be held accountable for the safety and well-being of LGBT people in their care.
I say enough is enough, we need less rejection and more support and with that we can reduce the risk to LGBT youth.
Last Updated on Feb 9, 2016