What might have been

Lesbian, gay and trans kids get a very raw deal. Children are positively??mediaeval??in the pleasure they take from taunting other children, especially ones that seem 'different' in some way. Grown-ups are often no better: the reason that so many homeless kids are LGBT is not because we're unstable as people, but because loving, ordinary parents would rather throw a child out to sleep rough than accept that they are different. The reason we suffer more mental illness than average society is not because being LGBT causes mental illness but because of the rejection and hate received at the hands of the organisations other people would turn to for help – churches, charities, even the state.??

When I was growing, the state, in the shape of the Tories, feared that people like me were "being taught" that we had an "inalienable right to be gay" and that this was wrong. They passed evil, homophobic legislation that they still haven't properly apologised for, banning the "promotion" (read: discussion) of homosexuality in schools. Hundreds of gay children took their lives in that period. And I've got news for Tories who still worry that people believe they have an??inalienable right to be gay: we do.

These attitudes are slowly changing. But very very slowly. Too slowly. A couple of organisations try to do practical things to change this. Diversity Role Models??is sending ordinary, happy LGBT people into schools – primary and secondary – to challenge homophobic behaviour and to offer a route out of hell from those homophobia affects, simply by standing in front of a class and saying: look at me – I'm you. I'm normal. I'm happy.

At the other end, cleaning up the damage society's attitudes can do, are the Albert Kennedy Trust. Albert was triple-cursed: gay; abandoned by his own family; and, at 16, as the state is wont to do, tipped out of a children's home to live on the streets. He died running away from the mob that was trying to give him a beating.

There but for the grace of fate goes any LGBT child. The video above is part of their "AKT NOW" campaign to remind us all, gay, straight and everything in between, that this happens and it must be stopped. The stars are all famous celebrities who happen to be gay and happen not to have had their lives ruined – or ended – senselessly because of it.

I defy you not to be moved.
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