In 2016, people are still abused; verbally, mentally or physically for being LGBTI. But it’s 2016 for goodness’ sake, your sexuality should matter as much as your eye colour.
Some people have blue eyes, some people have green eyes, some people are straight, some people are gay, SO WHAT?
When I won Mr Gay World back in 2014 I set out to give my anti bullying and homophobia awareness campaign a greater platform. When magazines were asking me what underwear I wore during the day or what my favourite sexual position was, I decided not to answer, I said to them that I would not do an interview unless I could talk about my goals for the future, which in 2014, was to bring my campaign to educational environments and within the school curriculum. And that is what I set out to do.
As a teacher who teaches children, I know that it’s okay to chat about being homosexual with kids and if you chat openly with children, to be honest the conversation moves on quickly to something like unicorns or Nutella. But as soon as you hide something from a child, then that hidden thing becomes forbidden and if it’s forbidden, then it’s taboo, and if it’s taboo then it’s wrong.
When I was growing up, ‘being gay’ was not discussed or talked out, unless it was to insult, such as ‘gay boy’ or ‘that’s so gay’. So because it was not talked about it was wrong.
I do not want children growing up with that in mind. To be gay is okay… so what?
In my talks with children, I chat to them about how they can protect themselves if they are bullied and I introduce them to the ‘real’ meaning of the word, ‘gay’ and that it means LOVE. Some families have a mammy and a daddy, some families have a mammy and a mammy, some families have two daddies… so what? ‘Gay’ means love. So the next time you say, ‘gay boy’ you’re really saying ‘love boy’. Now that doesn’t make sense, does it?
Some people have blue eyes, some people have green eyes, some people are straight, some people are gay.. so what?
I then get the children and teachers to paint their hands rainbows and take selfies. We then make rainbow hand prints and remember that we are all different, like all the colours of the rainbow. We are all separate colours and all different shades, but together we can make a pretty rainbow.
Having my anti bullying and homophobia campaign backed by UK Parliament, The British Police Force, and celebrated by people online and celebrity supporters helps me know that I am on the correct path. NHS (National Health Service) England have also shown a great deal of interest in the campaign and they are looking to officially support the campaign into schools in the near future.
There is still a long way to go with the campaign but I know I am on the correct track. If I can help even one person know that it is okay to be gay, or I can change even one individual’s mind about saying something negative to someone else about being LGBTI, then I have done my job.
Some people have blue eyes, some people have green eyes, some people are straight, some people are gay.. SO WHAT?