Towards the end of 2010 four other young people and I became involved in video workshops in Sydney made possible by the combined effort of ReachOut and Twenty10. You can see the video at http://au.reachout.com/connect/blog/u-r-not-alone
In the workshops we talked about our experiences growing up and coming out, how these experiences have shaped our identities and what would’ve been and was helpful for us in combatting the impacts of homophobia. We also learnt how to capture our ideas with a camera and a microphone.
These workshops happened about the same time as the It Gets Better Project, a campaign where LGBT people filmed and broadcast themselves talking about their experiences growing up with the message that everything will get better in the end. The project started in response to the alarming rates of suicides in the United States related to homophobic bullying in high schools.
In these workshops we discussed the good and bad of this project and decided to make our own version called You Are Not Alone. Although we thought the project’s message was wonderful and positive, one criticism we had was its title — things don’t always get better, life is a rollercoaster ride, some days are bad, some days are good and things don’t magically fix themselves.
Even when you are older, in a happy relationship and completely comfortable with your sexuality, things can go wrong and people can still cause you grief.
We decided our message instead would be You Are Not Alone, in good times and in bad. SammiBear, Lisa, Richard and I decided to share our stories about coming out and living queer.
Obviously a place we have turned to when times got tough is Twenty10. You can visit their website and other services for Australian LGBTI young people at www.twenty10.org.au/services
Rebecca Reynolds usually writes Twenty10’s column for the Star, but she felt the words for talking about this project sounded much better coming directly from the source!\
By CASSIE H