With thousands set to take part in Pride Glasgow this Saturday, LGBT Youth Scotland, called upon Scots to participate in order to highlight this year’s theme which is education.
LGBT Youth Scotland, a leading charity that campaigns for equal rights and diversity for young LGBTI people, said that while there are many things to celebrate this weekend there are still many challenges and problems that need addressing.
LGBT people have been telling the charity that more progress is needed to ensure they can live full lives, feel safe, included and respected.
LGBT Youth Scotland’s Education Report (2012) revealed that 69% of all LGBT respondents had experienced homophobic or biphobic bullying in school, with 10% leaving school as a direct result.
Fergus McMillan (Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland) commented: “LGBT Youth Scotland, family and friends look forward to joining our supporters and allies at Pride to celebrate successes and bring the community together to push for continued collective action and progress.”
“While it is clear from LGBT young people’s experiences that education needs to be more inclusive of LGBT identities, it is worth recognising that some progress has been made.
LGBT Youth Scotland now works with teachers and schools across the country every week that are committed to improving education for LGBT young people.”
“This week alone, LGBT Youth Scotland celebrates the achievement of training 389 teachers and support assistants in Scottish schools, all in the first week of term. The education focus of Pride provides the opportunity to celebrate these successes, and for LGBT young people to speak out about the progress still needed.”
“There is certainly still work to be done and allies can play a vital part in making school a better place for LGBT young people to learn and feel safe, respected and included.”
Speaking about their first experience of a Pride event, one young person said:
“I went from being a shy little boy who hid who he was for so long, to skipping down the Royal Mile with a rainbow flag wrapped around my neck. I stopped caring what people thought of me. I took that confidence with me back to Inverness and I’ve never looked back since. There are always going to be people who try to pull you down but I know who I am now.”
Asked what Pride means to them, another young person commented:
“Pride is important to find community and see the diversity within it. It lets people be themselves for at least one day and it gives LGBT young people a chance to have their voices heard.”