Students at the Grimsby Institute marked International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO Day) to raise awareness of those who consider themselves LGBT.
The aim was not only to celebrate the day but to educate people on the impact of bullying because of being LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender).
Vicky Hindle from Shoreline talked to the students about Shoreline’s responsibility for looking after LGBT residents.
Former hate crime co-ordinator Stephen Mirfin was also there to give a talk.
Student president at the Institute and chairman of Grimsby LGBT, Wayne Reece-Gorman, said: “Stephen has been hate crime commissioner for nearly ten years so it has been great for him to give a personal account of the challenges he faced in dealing with homophobia.
“It has also coincided with Mental Health Week last week and how your self esteem can be affected if you have been bullied because of your sexuality.
“Studies suggest 42 percent of LGBT people will access services with depression.
“And 52 per cent have considered suicide.
“It is important we know the impact of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.
“It’s 2015 and young people shouldn’t have to feel this way.”
Students Anna Dye and Harry Dixon, both 18, were filming the event as part of their Film and TV Production course.
Anna said: “I never realised how much of a problem homophobia still is.
“I have been brought up not to think anything of it and we have definitely learnt a lot today.”
Harry also said: “It’s really important to learn the history so that we can see how far we have come and we know what else needs to be done.
“We live in a world where everyone should be equal”.
Jo Raven, a learner mentor at the Institute, has set up The Alphabet Club support group.
She said: “We wanted to offer support to people aged 16-21 who may identify themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or as questioning.
“It’s somewhere they can come together and not feel so isolated and to promote acceptance.”
Aretha Kay, Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator at the Institute, said: “We are trying to bring our learners and community together in order to deepen our awareness of the issues in question on this international day.
“We have had it as a celebration but there is a serious point to it as well.”
Source: Grimsby Telegraph – http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/things-equal-marking-LGBT-awareness-day/story-26532068-detail/story.html