No, I haven’t got delusions of grandeur quite yet. I promise. I did want to tell you about something very exciting which I will be doing some training for today and then doing a lot more of in the future. A few weeks ago I was recommended for (by my lovely friend Leng) and then asked if I would become a Stonewall School’s Ambassador and Role Model and I instantly said yes. I have been wondering for a while what else, beside a book prize, I could do for the LGBT community and especially for younger LGBT people out there and this seems ideal.
If you are unaware what Stonewall is and does, here is a little bit of background. Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act. Section 28 was an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools; as well as stigmatising lesbian, gay and bi people it galvanised the LGBT community. The aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent such attacks on lesbians, gay and bi people from ever occurring again.
Stonewall’s mission is to be “here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone. We believe we’re stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain – in some of our greatest institutions – so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves. But our work is not finished yet. Not until everyone feels free to be who they are, wherever they are.” And I am thrilled to be part of that.
So today I will be sat listening and learning and gearing up to be able to go around schools in the north talking about my experiences as an LGBT gay man, what it was like growing up, what it is like now and what I hope for the future. I am very, very excited and frankly rather proud. I just thought I would share this with you all.