A team of scouts is seeking heroes who can mentor protégés in the Sydney LGBTI community with the aim of helping gay men aged 18-25 better cope with the challenges of being out in the workplace and fitting in to less gay-friendly industries.

Gay Hero was launched earlier this year by ‘Head Hero’ by night and university tutor by day Mark Tayar to help create career and networking opportunities for young gay men.

“Mardi Gras is a time of the year where we focus on parties and entertaining ourselves but we’ve also got to think about effective ways we can help young members of our community,” Tayar said.

“After building a strong relationship of trust and friendship, mentors and protégés set clear workplace and social goals. Then the mentor keeps the protégés accountable for achieving these goals.

“Often though, it’s a two-way street with mentors learning much more from their protégés than expected.”

Mentors will be asked to meet with protégés between one and three times a month over a period of several months and organisers hope this will lead to lasting friendships.

Mentors will also use their networks and experience to help protégés start or advance their careers. The program has already recruited its first four mentors and is looking for more.

Mentors don’t have to be older either. Gay Hero hopes to also match young men with young men to mentor each other, and the organisation has a special program for gay Asian men.

“We have come a long way in our advocacy efforts but together we can really make sure there are more gay men in senior roles in the corporate world,” Tayar said.

“More LGBTI people in higher places can only be a good thing for our community and surely is a great way to bring about positive change.”

Gay Hero wants relationships between mentors and protégés to be purely platonic, so if you’re seeking romance, look somewhere else. All Gay Hero mentors will have their backgrounds checked by the Australian Federal Police.

INFO: If you are a gay man aged 18 – 25 and would like to be mentored, or you think you could be a good mentor, contact Gay Hero via http://gay-hero.org/

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