RCN Congress LGBT Network Monday 22 nd April 2013 Kieran Bohan LGBT Youth Coordinator GYRO
Support for children & young people aged 13-25 who are: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning and at risk in Merseyside GYRO – Gay Youth ‘R’ Out
UK’s longest running LGBT youth group Friend Merseyside Gay Youth Group began in 1976 on Colquitt Street Became GYRO in 1990s & moved to Bolton Street Became part of YPAS in 2005
Achievements Top 5 ‘Best Gay Youth Group’: Pink Paper Awards 2008-11 Launched ant-homophobia DVD ‘Are We There Yet? @ FACT in 2008 Trained more than 100 professionals
10 young people received NOCN accreditation to facilitate LGBT awareness sessions in schools & youth groups Peer Educators & Mentors
Working Together 10 young people visited an LGBT group in Warsaw and learned about Nazi persecution of minorities at Auschwitz concentration camp
A Good Year We raised £2000 to produce a calendar promoting positive images of LGBT young people
Pride In Our City We take part in Liverpool’ s annual LGBT Pride festival
Growing need 2008 – 2011: 195% increase in individuals supported 169% increase in contacts with them 2008-09: 797 contacts, 85 young people 2010-11: 2143 contacts, 240 young people Increase in enquiries from 13-16 year olds led to13-16 group in June 2010 2011-12: 1838 contacts with 280 young people 17% increase in individuals supported, 15% fewer contacts Reorganisation of groups in November 2012
Boys will be boys, girls will be girls… Homophobic and transphobic bullying are often based on sexist views. Children and young people seen to be ‘different’ from what is expected of their gender are more likely to experience homophobia or transphobia.
Consequences: bullying discrimination damage to self-esteem lower educational achievement increase in truancy mental distress eating disorders substance misuse homelessness increased risk of self- harm or suicide violent assault
Bullying and Hate Crime: Homophobia is: Second most prevalent form of bullying in secondary schools Stonewall Second most commonly reported type of hate crime in Liverpool Merseyside Police Hate crime = Any criminal offence, seen by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
Prejudice hurts… James Parkes Age 22 Attacked October 2009 Attackers aged between 14 & 17
…even if you aren’t LGBT Dom Crouch Age 15 Committed suicide May 2010 after bullying on a school trip
…and not just the victims Roger, father of Dom Stonewall Hero of the Year 03/11/11 Took his own life 28/11/11 ‘Devoted father couldn't bear to live without his son’
Homophobic Bullying 2 in 3 LGB young people experience bullying Rises to 3/4 in faith schools 3 out of 5 never report it If they do, 62% say nothing is done More than 1/2 feel unable to be themselves More than 1 in 3 do not feel safe or accepted Less than 1/4 are told homophobic bullying is wrong Where it is challenged, bullying is 60% less likely Stonewall
At Home With Hate Crime? 1/6 of LGBT victims of hate crime say the perpetrator lived locally 1/10 of LGBT people think there is a big problem with hate crime where they live 7% of LGBT people have had their home or property vandalised Only 4% reported incident to a housing association, 4% to a local authority Chartered Institute of Housing
Where does it end? Michae l Causer Age 18, Assaulted 25 th July 2008. Attackers aged 19.
I am what I am… Being LGBT doesn’t have to be a ‘problem’. GYRO aims to create a safe, supportive space for young people to be themselves, to promote their self-esteem and confidence.
How do we do it? Informal education Peer support Overcoming isolation Developing confidence Role models Group dynamics Health & social care Sign-posting & resources
Anti-Homophobic Bullying Strategy 2010-15: To download your copy: visit liverpool.gov.uk & search for ‘bullying’
facebook.com/gay.youth.r.o ut twitter.com/gyroliverpool youtube.com/gyroliverpool website: gyro.org.uk Thanks for listening