Young champion fundraiser Louis Johnson has been named as one of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Hundred Heroes.

Twelve-year-old Louis has so far raised more than £6,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital in support of children being cared for at the hospital.

Louis, who lives in Tettenhall Wood, said he was really excited to learn he had been named as one of the charity’s Hundred Heroes – which recognises individuals who support the charity.

Louis, who is a pupil at Smestow School, said: “I was really excited and happy to learn that I have been told I am one of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Hundred Heroes. I was completely over the moon.

“I have raised more than £6,000 for the charity now and so far have raised £600 for them through my upcoming walk.”

Serena Daw, public fundraising manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “We are thrilled to announce Louis as one of our Hundred Heroes. These awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate and thank our supporters for their extraordinary efforts over the past year, and Louis is fully deserving of this recognition.

“To date, Louis has raised over £6,000 for us and has been so passionate about supporting our sick kids. From tea parties to charity walks, he is always looking at new ways to fundraise. He truly is a hero – well done Louis.”

On Saturday Louis will be walking 15 miles in a fancy dress costume to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, from Tettenhall, in a bid to raise more funds for the charity. When he reaches the hospital, he will give teddy bears and colouring books to the young patients.

He will then return to Wolverhampton by train before collecting money in the city centre’s Queen Square.

In eight years of fundraising, since he was five years old, Louis has raised nearly £20,000 for a variety of local charities.

Louis has also been nominated for a Positive Role Model Award at the 2019 National Diversity Awards!

 

Source – www . Express and Star . com

Liverpool’s 2-1 Premier League Top of the table win against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was dedicated to the work of Kick It Out as the organisation marks its 25th anniversary this season.

For the past two-and-a-half decades, Kick It Out has been at the heart of the drive towards equality, inclusion and cohesion for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.

Formed as ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’ in 1993, the organisation – which works alongside partners including The FA, the Premier League, the English Football League, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the League Managers Association and the Football Supporters’ Federation – continues to fight all forms of discrimination in the game.

Kick It Out provides a clear, independent voice within the game to challenge discrimination and exclusion, as well as education for professional players, clubs, fans and grassroots organisations.

It also offers mentoring and guidance to help underrepresented groups participate in football and secure opportunities to develop a career in the game, and has established an equality framework for professional clubs to support the development of equality practices and policies and enabled more effective reporting and investigating of complaints of discriminatory abuse through its pioneering app.

The campaign for equality continues throughout the 2018-19 season and beyond, challenging discrimination and playing a part in shaping a fair and inclusive future for everyone who loves football.

“For all those at the game today who work for and represent Kick It Out, be it as full-time staff or volunteers, we are all incredibly grateful for the work you do in trying to make football better for everyone.

“When we wear the T-shirts, see the slogans on the LEDs and hear the public-address system announcements it’s important to remember this is just a small part of it and the effort we have made collectively must be constant.

“We all have a part to play and it’s important we do so.” – Jordan Henderson, Liverpool Captain.

Kick it out won the Community Organisation Award for Race at the 2018 National Diversity Awards in Liverpool!

Source – www . Liverpool Football Club . com

A new call for evidence is asking people for their views on what is working and where more needs to be done to transform care and support.

Autistic people, their families and those caring for them are being asked for their views on how care and support in England can be improved.

The call for evidence is part of the cross-government review of the national autism strategy, which will be refreshed and launched later this year. The strategy will be extended to cover children as well as adults, so services work better for autistic people of all ages.

Autistic people, family members, carers and professionals can all take part in the online survey. The government is asking people to provide their views on:

how autistic people feel within their local communities and whether members of the public understand their needs
whether autistic people, their families and carers receive the right support for all their needs at the right time
how much autistic people are supported to develop their skills and independence
where progress has been made, and where it still needs to be made
what the key priorities should be for the future
People now have an opportunity to express their views on what is working and where more needs to be done to transform care and support. This could include:

in school through support to access the curriculum
at hospital through timely diagnosis
within the community through respite care or support to enter the workplace
There will also be face-to-face sessions with groups of autistic people, including children and young people.

Supporting people on the autism spectrum or with learning disabilities is one of the 4 clinical priority areas in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said:

Autistic people must be at the heart of any improvements we make to their care and support. This is an opportunity to make a real difference to hundreds of thousands of lives. We want services from healthcare to education to work better for autistic people of all ages – it’s no coincidence that learning disability and autism are one of the clinical priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Please get involved and share your views so we can work harder than ever to improve care and support for autistic people, their families and carers.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act. This was a landmark in the battle to improve the lives of autistic adults and their families in England. In this blog, Arran Linton-Smith writes about his late diagnosis and the importance of preparing the next generation of autistic people for life and work.

I’m 63 now. But it’s only been in the last few years, following my diagnosis, that I’ve felt accepted and appreciated for who I am – particularly in the workplace.

I feel it’s now my duty to try to improve things for the next generation of autistic people – so that they don’t have to go through the years of confusion and uncertainty I and other autistic adults endured, and to make sure society and employers can benefit from their skills, tenacity and different way of viewing the world.

The Government’s upcoming review of the impact of the Autism Act is an opportunity to make this happen. That’s why I’m working with the National Autistic Society and a group of interested MPs and Lords – the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism – to find out more about the current state of care and support for autistic children and adults – and what needs to change.

Take this survey and tell the Government what they need to improve.

What the Autism Act means to me

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the Autism Act. It gave autism a national profile across England and has had a huge impact of autism awareness, making sure that all local authorities and NHS bodies at least consider autism for the first time. But the Act hasn’t been implemented as well as it should – just look at how long some people are having to wait for a diagnosis and the autism employment gap.

When the Act came into force ten years ago, I had no idea I was autistic. I always knew I was different but, like many of my autistic colleagues, I struggled at school and left without any basic qualifications. I was lucky to get employment soon after but my career has been very bumpy – I’ve lost jobs, been made redundant and have had to re-invent myself many times – including qualifying as a nurse, working on exciting construction projects on Ascension, the Falklands. And I even worked in Dr Who’s Tardis!

I thought that I could always interact with my colleagues but I struggled with the banter and often ended up being the butt of jokes. None of us understood that my brain simply works differently.

When everything changed

My turning point was my diagnosis in 2012. Initially, I really struggled to comprehend and accept this news. Everything was suddenly different. I had to completely re-evaluate who I was, how I was and what I was.

But the worst thing was that I wasn’t given any help at all – or even prepared for this period of soul-searching. I was given the diagnosis and then left, which meant I had to completely rebuild myself on my own. I sought out help from the National Autistic Society’s helpline and eventually sought out counselling from a friend who greatly helped me.

When I eventually did come to terms with my diagnosis I decided to firmly take ownership of it and become openly autistic. For me it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Although I was firmly advised against doing this by my own family, I eventually decided to disclose my autism at work. To my surprise everyone was so understanding and people started to realise that my different way of seeing things was a huge asset − I was able to spot problems and come up with solutions that weren’t even being considered. My team listened, we made some small adjustments, like excusing me from attending after-work functions which I found incredibly stressful. And together we were able to work even more successfully.

While I’m now in a good position and feel highly respected for who I am, what I am and the way I think, I know that many autistic people aren’t so lucky − they’re struggling to find work or to stay in work. There’s so much wasted talent.

What needs to change

There needs to be a fundamental shift in how our society views autism and autistic people – particularly from the government and decision makers. We should be embracing autistic people, seeing the huge contribution they can make to our society and workplaces, and committing to helping them to get there. This should be the aim of all autism strategies and it’s important to keep this end goal in sight when working to address the key barriers faced by autistic people:

long waits for diagnosis
lack of post-diagnostic support and advice
not enough understanding and support in schools and workplaces.
If we address these issues, we can help autistic people to take ownership of their autism and get support at as young an age as possible, so they can grow up knowing who they are and understanding their strengths and weaknesses too. Only in this way, can we help prepare them for life and work properly, equipping them with the resilience and skills they need to excel in this largely neurotypical world.

This is a two-way-process and means closing the neurotypical/autism employment gap – fostering understanding between autistic people and neurotypical people. This starts at school but continues at every stage of adult life, including setting up work experience for autistic students while they’re still in school and reducing the reliance on recruitment through the old fashioned job interview, which puts many autistic people at an instant disadvantage.

Any autism strategy, whether from the Government, NHS or local authorities, must recognise that each autistic person is different. We must get to know autistic people as individuals, rather than simply by their condition.
The Government’s upcoming review is a good opportunity to start making these changes, particularly as they’ve committed to extending the autism strategy to children for the first time.

I’ve seen first-hand the vast untapped potential of autistic people. I’m 63 now and want to make sure I spend my time doing all I can to help unleash this potential.

Further information and how you can get involved

We, at the National Autistic Society, are marking the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act throughout 2019 and campaigning to make sure the Government improves support for autistic children and adults.

Source – www . autism . org . uk

At the age of 20 I was diagnosed with ADHD. After a lifetime of zoning out at inappropriate times, losing purses and keys three times a week and trying to do twenty things at any one time (and ultimately finishing none of them) I finally had an explanation for why my brain works the way it does.

It is believed that 1.5 million adults have ADHD in the UK, although only 120,000 have been formally diagnosed, this is relatively unsurprising for a number of reasons.

ADHD is often framed as a childhood disorder. It affects school children who are loud, and boisterous is a narrative that is too often presented, leading people, myself included, to believe they can’t possibly have the disorder and consequently not seek diagnosis or treatment.

ADHD is present in three forms: the hyperactive form, the inattentive form and the joint form. Once again, the hyperactive symptoms are commonly highlighted in the media whilst the inattentive form is commonly overlooked. Women more frequently have the inattentive form of ADHD (although both women and men can have any form) and this could account for the gender imbalance in terms of diagnosis. On average, six times as many men are diagnosed with ADHD compared to women in the UK. Many researchers believe the actual difference is more likely to be very minor, a ratio of 1:1.6 in females to males with ADHD. As is evident from these statistics we can infer that many women, unfortunately, go undiagnosed.

It is known that ADHD is regularly misdiagnosed as mood disorders in women. Comorbidities are common in all people with ADHD and as women are more likely to have the inattentive form of ADHD, they are often diagnosed without note of the ADHD alongside it.

In the UK very little NHS funding goes towards ADHD diagnosis and treatment, in relation to other neurodiversity’s. I am currently on a waiting list for treatment that is three years long, after already waiting two years for a diagnosis; and I am not in one of the worst-off areas in the country. Tales of people waiting seven years for a diagnosis are not unusual and, as a result it is no wonder people do not get diagnosed with what is the most common behavioural disorder in the country.

At the 2018 National Diversity Awards the ADHD Foundation won our community organisation award for disability. My reasons above explain why organisations like this are so vital to the wellbeing of people who find themselves struggling with this disorder, and also why it is crucial to raise awareness and understanding of ADHD.

The ADHD Foundation works in partnership with individuals, families, doctors, teachers and other agencies to improve emotional well-being, educational attainment, behaviour and life chances through better understanding and self-management of ADHD. Alongside this they also provide training for GP’s, Teachers, Social Care agencies and other professionals, raising awareness to bring about positive change and inclusion in mental health, education and employment.

They run training courses and conferences to discuss how to support students with ADHD and also how to cope as an adult with ADHD. By providing information about what ADHD is, how it can be treated and how you can support people with ADHD, they create a more inclusive and accessible world for those with this neurological disease. They also have researchers working alongside them to explore treatment protocols for ADHD and how effective they are.

The work the ADHD foundation does makes life a little less hard for both children and adults like myself, and it is wonderful that the National Diversity Awards were able to highlight the exceptional work they carry out across Europe.

If you want to find out more about this fantastic organisation, and for further information on the services they offer you can visit their website at https://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/

Source – Robin Leak I Inclusive Companies

Louis Johnson, 12, from Tettenhall Wood, has been nominated in the positive role model (age) category in the national awards.

The prestigious awards recognises nominees in their respective fields of diversity, including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

In eight years of fundraising, since he was five years old, he has raised nearly £20,000 for local charities.

Last year alone, the Smestow School pupil raised nearly £6,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

In his nomination, Louis said: “Just being nominated means a lot, it is not about winning to me it is about others seeing what I do and awareness of charities I support.

“Just making a difference is all it takes.”

Last year Louis was named as one of two child ambassadors for the British Citizen Youth Awards. He also was awarded the Duncan Edwards Good Citizen Awards and a Certificate of Excellence from the Mayor of Wolverhampton.

His next fundraising challenge will see him undertake a 15-mile walk from Tettenhall to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and back, in fancy dress, on April 20. When he reaches the hospital, Louis will be donating teddy bears and colouring books to children being treated there.

Nominations and voting for the National Diversity Awards close on May 31 and a shortlist of nominees will be announced shortly after. An awards ceremony will take place in September.

To vote for Louis, visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/21022.

Source – www . Express and Star . com

Two West Yorkshire Police employees have been nominated in the national Control Room Awards 2019.

The awards are due to take place this Thursday (7 March) at the De Vere Orchard Hotel in Nottingham.

Chief Inspector Nick Rook has been nominated for the award for Services to the Public and police staff member Eddie McEvoy is nominated in the Special Recognition for Bravery and Courage category.

Chief Inspector Rook is one of only a handful of registered sight impaired officers in the UK and has previously been nominated in the National Diversity Awards and European Diversity Awards for his work as a role model for other disabled police employees.

He has been a serving police officer for 20 years but four years ago suffered health complications which resulted in him losing nearly all his sight in his right eye. Since then he has suffered complications with his left eye, also affecting his vision. He was determined to retain his current position in the Force Communications Department and is now using specialist equipment to ensure he can still work effectively.

Chief Inspector Rook returned to work as soon as he could after losing sight in his right eye and since then has assisted with rebranding and setting up the first operations centre for the National Police Air Service, designed a new shift pattern which reduced sickness levels and brought in a replacement command and control system which saved the Force thousands of pounds.

He is also an executive member of the West Yorkshire Police Disability Association, a role in which he engages with others and tries to break down disability barriers.

Chief Inspector Rook said: “It is humbling to receive such recognitions. What I am really pleased about, especially taking into account Eddie’s nomination, is that these awards shine the spotlight on the hard work my colleagues in Contact Management do every day behind the scenes.”

Police staff member Eddie McEvoy, who works as an Initial Contact Officer in the Force Communications Department, has been nominated for talking a potentially suicidal male off a bridge. He was off-duty at the time of the incident in January 2018.

Being an experienced call handler, Eddie was aware of the potential risks to himself of approaching an individual with mental health issues who was in crisis. However, he took the decision to stop at the scene, talked the male away from the barrier and walked with him off the bridge.

This is the second year in a row that Eddie has been nominated for a Control Room Award.

Senior Contact manager Tom Donohoe said: “The APD Control Room awards are an important way to recognise those staff who work tirelessly and with dedication and commitment, but are not always in the public eye.

“I am delighted that for the second year running West Yorkshire Police have been nominated. It’s great to be in company with unsung heroes from other police forces, the fire service and smbulance service.

“These awards are a great way to recognise all the work that these staff do, day in and day out.”

Source – West Yorkshire Police

Sajid Rashid BEM has won the ‘One to Watch’ award at the seventh annual British Muslim Awards.

A Burton-on-Trent philanthropist has won the ‘One to Watch’ award at the seventh annual British Muslim Awards.

Sajid Rashid BEM is regarded as one of Britain’s most inspirational figures scooping many of the UK’s top national accolades including The National Diversity Awards & JCI UK’s Ten Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) awards.

“It’s an honour and privilege to accept this award. Firstly I would like to thank the Lord almighty for

everything he has blessed me with and congratulations to all the finalists and winners, win or lose, in my eyes you are all winners. It people such as yourselves that put the ‘Great’ back into Great Britain,” said Sajid.

The awards were held at the Bradford Hotel with more than 300 of the most remarkable British Muslims shortlisted as finalists.

The awards were held to recognise a wide range of achievements from outstanding Muslim individuals across the UK who positively impact business, charity, sport, arts, culture, religious advocacy, education and medicine among others, and simultaneously and unknowingly battle negative stereotypes every day.

The awards endeavour to showcase the strength of the British Muslim community, the impact it has on culture and its achievements over the last year as well as highlighting the significant role Muslims play in contributing to a better Britain.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Oceanic Consulting said: “I’d like to congratulate all the winners and every finalist from the seventh British Muslim Awards 2019. Every year I think we’ve seen the best the British Muslim community has to offer but every year I’m blown away by just how special the talent is and just how hard people work to service their communities. I already look forward to seeing what next year has to offer; I have no doubt that the Muslim community will continue to thrive and act as leaders for future generations to come.”

Source – www . Derby Telegraph . co . uk

 

“I didn’t think people like me would be allowed into Canary Wharf, let alone work there!” When you know that children feel this way, how do you walk away?

Those are the words of Nilesh B. Dosa, a finance professional at EY (Ernst & Young) and founder of ‘icanyoucantoo’, an organisation focused on creating better future work prospects and outcomes for non-privileged youngsters, a topic which he resonates with from personal experience.

Nilesh’s parents are from Tanzania and India and he grew up in a one-bedroom council flat in Newham where he did his schooling. As is often the case with immigrant children, the passion shared by his family to make the most of the potential and opportunity before them, meant Nilesh graduated with a first-class degree in finance; completed his chartered accountancy training at a Big-4 firm; worked in banking and then joined EY in 2014.

So far, so good, and indeed it is not a hugely uncommon story compared to others who have battled against the odds of their upbringing to achieve great things. However, Nilesh was diagnosed at birth, with a neurodegenerative condition called Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) Disease. This meant, he grew up knowing that, whilst the symptoms hadn’t yet permeated his everyday life, he was a ticking time bomb who needed to fulfil his meaning, purpose, and potential to impact society.

Living With A Degenerative Disease 

CMT is a hereditary muscle-wasting condition which currently has no cure or medication. The condition, which has worsened over time, leads to patients suffering from constant pain and also experiencing ‘neurological fatigue’ – “days when getting out of bed genuinely feels impossible,” Nilesh explained to me.

“Whilst I was born with it, it’s only in the past three years, I’ve felt a significant deterioration in my condition, with both chronic pain and fatigue a daily feature”, he explains.

As a result of the deterioration in his physical health he also experienced a period of depression –  where he sought counselling and psychiatric support. This was due to a “multitude of reasons”, he explained, centred primarily with “worries about the future.”

“How quickly will my health deteriorate? Who will take care of my family and what legacy will I leave for them and the community? It was these big questions that, whilst not welcome at the time, caused a step change in his thinking that inevitably led to a more fulfilling path for his community.

“I have always been inherently dissatisfied – he explained. “I want to do as much as I can before my health begins to prevent me from making the impact that I desire! So, in January 2018, I took a 40% pay cut, went part-time at EY and created the capacity I needed to do more for the causes I love.”

I Can, You Can Too.

Nilesh has always had an overriding passion for supporting children and young people – an area he has volunteered in for almost the past two decades. Before creating ‘icanyoucantoo’ in 2016, he spent 10+ years volunteering with the global grassroots charity Swadhyay – empowering young people, through community-based projects, to foster social responsibility in their own lives. His aspiration had always been to facilitate social mobility and level the playing field for young people.

Having grown up in a deprived part of London himself, he understood first-hand the challenges faced by many children, young adults and their families. And so ‘icanyoucantoo’ was  born out of a frustration, a lived experience and a hunger to change things – because “it is unacceptable as it currently stands.”

Every child has a dream

“I fundamentally believe that every child has a dream – this is their birth right”, Nilesh tells me. However, as he explained, for too many, these don’t materialise not because of inability or inaptitude, but because of a postcode; an environment not conducive to aspiration, to achievement, to greatness.

“This is a modern-day tragedy!” he exclaims in a grandiose fashion that demonstrates how deeply his passion on the topic shines through. “These are limiting beliefs that I simply cannot accept. How do I look my own daughter, Mahi, in the eyes, knowing that this phenomenon exists on our doorstep!?”

Impacting Futures

Nilesh believes that not only what he is doing is different, but how he is doing it. From the very beginning his intention has been to create an initiative that was different to other corporate outreach programmes.

Traditionally, many companies deliver expert presentations on how to obtain a job at a top firm delivered by very slick, very inspiring speakers, but they don’t take it further – and this is where the real barrier lies. Nilesh explains “this programme isn’t about one-off presentations and interventions – we work withthe youngsters regularly and methodically to ensure that they imbibe the skills that will serve them in the future”.

“I am absolutely outcomes focussed”, he explains. The young and disenfranchised who once believed things like “I will never get to work at a company in Canary Wharf” are now working at EY, just like him. Others who were going to “find some 9-5 job” after college have gone on to university. “The children I work with, and their families, have become friends. I have been to their homes and shared a meal with their families and been to their place of worship and prayed with them”.

Outcomes

“So, what about outcomes thus far?” I ask, to the self-confessed outcome oriented community builder.

  • 30% of icanyoucantoo students have gained employment or secured an apprenticeship at a number of top-flight companies including EY, Deloitte, UBS, JP Morgan and Allen & Overy.
  • 70% of icanyoucantoo students have gone on to further education – studying accountancy, finance, law, medicine or the social sciences.
  • 100% of icanyoucantoo students fed back that their involvement in this initiative contributed to helping them decide what they wanted to do next.

Inspiring stuff indeed, and certainly a thought-provoking example of how others can serve their communities with a view to creating impact on the future careers of those around them.

Source – www . Forbes . com

Even if young LGBT+ people can’t see themselves represented in history, they will see themselves in the people fighting for their rights now. Their efforts should be celebrated.

For the youth of today to see young transgender characters on shows like Butterfly, a mainstream TV show with famous actors, is monumental. Not only does it serve as a powerful representation for trans youth fighting against the hostility towards their identities, but it also works as an important source of knowledge for the general public who might be unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations of the LGBT+ community.

It’s easy to forget that it’s taken years of campaigners working for better representation to bring a story like Butterfly to mainstream television.

Up until the 1990s and mid-2000s, transgender issues weren’t often seen on screen, and when they were, it was through portrayals by straight, cisgender actors like Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, or Felicity Huffman in Transamerica. It wasnˆt until Netflix’s Orange is the New Black launched in 2013 that we saw a real breakthrough for transgender culture, with Laverne Cox in the role of transgender prisoner Sophia Burset.

It’s important for minority communities such as ours to reflect on those breakthrough moments to appreciate how far we’ve come – and how much further we still need to go; because it’s only by looking back at our history that we can pave the way forward.

It’s been just over 50 years since same-sex activity between men was decriminalised in the UK, led by John Wolfenden; it’s been almost 50 years since the first Pride march in London, with campaigners like Peter Tatchell; 20 years since television shows with regular LGBT+ characters like Ellen, Friends and Will & Grace first appeared on our screens; 14 years since civil partnerships were introduced in the UK and six years since same-sex marriage became legal.

The UK is now one of the best countries in the world for LGBT+ equality.

However, despite our community’s progress and rich LGBT+ history, there are still many people who don’t see themselves represented in daily life.

Civil rights organisation The Human Rights Campaign recently awarded The Hunger Games’ actor Amandla Stenberg with a visibility award. Stenberg hit the nail on the head when she said in her acceptance speech that if she “had more representations of black gay women growing up” that she would have had more idea of what was possible and acceptable, and therefore would have “come to conclusions” around her sexuality earlier.

It’s clear that despite the many strides that have been made in the past, many young LGBT+ people are still struggling to come out today – especially people of colour, who are often marginalised from the mainstream discourses of LGBT+ equality.

That’s why celebrations like LGBT+ History Month, Pride Month, or queer-focused awards allow us to promote LGBT+ causes and raise awareness about the modern issues that affect the community, while celebrating our achievements and increasing the visibility of LGBT+ trailblazers who inspire the next generation of change-makers.

I’m proud that the nominees of the British LGBT Awards reflect that, with a wealth of intersectional role models to be found in this year’s shortlist for the 17 May ceremony.

Some of the diverse and groundbreaking stars nominated by the British public this year include: pansexual singer Janelle Monáe; gender fluid drag star Courtney Act; Amazon Prime series The Bold Type’s interracial lesbian couple featuring two women of colour; gender fluid model Cara Delevingne; “lesbian Jesus” singer Hayley Kiyoko; actress and political campaigner Cynthia Nixon; drag icon RuPaul; and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf.

While it’s clear that times are changing, it’s important that young LGBT+ people today and the generations to come know our community’s past, and use it as a foundation to give a voice to all of the beautiful intersectionalities within the LGBT+ community.

My hope is that even if LGBT+ youth can’t see themselves represented in history, they will see themselves in the people fighting for their rights today, and grow up knowing that they aren’t alone.

Source – The Independent . co . uk  

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