LGBT Children Young People and Families Day – Why We Need It

January 29th, 2013 by

When I was growing up gay I wouldn’t have said there was an abundance of role models, and even the ones I did look up to (Maxxie on skins) were mainly because they were the only ones there. Now however its 2013 and the U.K is on the cusp of marriage equality, granting official recognition to the love of so many LGBT people around the country.But for all of this, I remember my favourite saying: “A is for….Activism”. The start of the alphabet and the first saying that matters me. It means being active, always knowing when someone needs you to lend them your voice in support, to be vigilant. That is why we need LGBT Children, Young People and Families Day in 2013 and to continue annually. Not just to remind everybody that there is always people out there who need someone to stand up for them, but to have a uniquely positive day to celebrate our accomplishments so far.

I say unique because it takes a lot to stand firmly for empowerment and togetherness. Everywhere in the world LGBT rights (or lack of) are extremely relative and vary drastically. But even in the U.K in 2013, we need to remind people that togetherness means accepting all children, all young people and all different types of families. For the past 5 months I’ve been collecting content and posting links, news stories, blogs, photos and status about positive representation for all LGBT for our Facebook page for LGBT CYPF. The one thing that I noticed was that it was hard. Trying to scour the web to find the positive and empowering messages that people like to see was hard, sometimes I had to bug my friends at YPV to help me find material. But in that, there is so much good, and so much empowerment. Buried beneath all of the negativity there is always stories that inspire. Let’s not forgot LGBT young people are savvy. I know from experience that they’ll do the same and go digging around the internet for that inspiring story, that message of togetherness. One family, a gay couple, I read about were stuck in adoption limbo for two years and wanted to adopt so much that they took in a pair of sisters with a day’s notice otherwise they’d be separated and put into care, not knowing anything about them, apart from that they needed a loving family. And in the end, everyday there was a post that a young people or an LGBT parent could read and smile about.

With all the planning for the big day it had me thinking about what kind of family I expected in the future. Talking to friends at the drop-in about whether kids would be a deal breaker in the relationship kind of betrays me as a home-maker and someone who can’t wait to start a family.I think sometimes it’s quite easy to get caught up in what it means to be young and LGBT, and forget that the issues we campaign for carry the same message for our older counterparts. That’s why the families section fits so perfectly into the day, we all experience life and grow up and start to think about starting our own families, whatever shape that takes. And its due time that we start expanding our minds to think of children, young people and families. That’s what inspired the idea for our ’10 Days of Togetherness’ online social media  countdown. Quotes that could inspire LGBT and allies from all walks of live and more importantly all ages.