“IT doesn’t just get better, it gets boring,” is the message from comedian Rhys Nicholson in a new series of short films created to support young LGBTI people.

A collaboration between community health organisation ACON, and Australia’s leading online youth mental health service ReachOut.com, the five films in The Freedom Stories series provide a personal account of being young and LGBTI, including the experience of coming out.

ReachOut.com chief executive Jono Nicholas  said the films were all available online, making it easy for young people to access them.

The Freedom Stories are five powerful short films that showcase the strength and confidence of LGBT young people, providing support to other young people struggling with their sexuality or gender diversity,” he said.

“It’s very important for us to help generate stories specifically for LGBTI young people given they are at least four times as likely to attempt suicide as people outside of these communities.”

Five young people were paired with a range of young filmmakers to craft the stories.

The films range from the deeply-personal, such as Ashley’s story where she says “I wish I knew it was okay to be trans*,” to the humorous, such as Nicholson’s skit where he mentions all the more interesting things in life then being gay.

Roping in some of his celebrity mates, Nicholson (pictured above) coaxes ABC TV journalist and Star Observer columnist Monique Schafter to reveal her love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures and comedian Tom Ballard to talk about his all-consuming love of chess.

Nicholson said his inspiration was his own coming out experience where “nothing really changed” after he made his big announcement.

“This thing that I had agonised and stressed over for so long was suddenly just a mundane fact,” he said.

“So this is a video about that… with swearing and innuendo. Everyone likes swearing and innuendo right?”

ACON chief executive Nic Parkhill said: “By exposing what it’s like to grow up and come out as an LGBT person, we can improve knowledge of sexuality and reduce homophobia.”

The Freedom Stories can be found at ReachOut.com and ACON’s websites and on social media.

(Photo credit: Miles Heffernan; Star Observer)

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