DIVERSITY: We’re proud to address issues

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With LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) Pride festivals happening in many of our biggest cities across the UK it’s fair to say things have come a long way in the 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Public attitudes towards LGBTQ people have improved over the last few years and we’re slowly seeing better representation of our country’s diversity, both in the media and in politics.

Over the summer thousands of people, including Barnardo’s service users, volunteers and staff, will parade through the streets to celebrate LGBTQ culture and the strides society has made in equality over the last five decades.

Even so, things are far from perfect.

For many children and young people, dealing with diversity issues and finding their own identity can be difficult.

For some, struggling to understand their feelings and how they fit in can lead to self-harm, suicidal thoughts and low self-esteem.

These factors can have a knock-on effect and even leave them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and poor educational achievement.

Barnardo’s works with a diverse cross-section of children, young people and families to provide services to support LGBTQ young people.

Our Positive Identities service works with schools, families, faith and wider communities helping LGBTQ young people.

While homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and attacks still exist we will still need Pride and I’m proud of the part Barnardo’s plays in addressing these issues.

Steve Oversby

Director, Barnardo’s East Region