‘We feel strongly about the casual use of homophobic language. We’re concerned about the damaging impact this may have on someone who is thinking about coming out.’
Urging others their age not to use the word ‘gay’ to describe something in a negative way, Crawley Fixers Sam Trumpeter (18) and 16-year-old Casey want people to think before they speak.
Their story was broadcast on ITV News London on Monday 13th July.
‘I’m not gay myself, but I do have a lot of friends that are lesbian, gay or bisexual and I know how damaging words can be without people realising,’ explains Sam.
Casey adds: ‘I feel that my coming out process took longer than it should as a result of the use of negative language.
‘I was hearing words such as “faggot” and “queer”, which was quite hurtful. It made me question myself.’
With Fixers, the group helped create a film, which aims to reclaim the word ‘gay’ and its traditional, positive meaning.
Click here to watch the group's Fixers film 'What is Gay?
Alex Newton from Stonewall also appears in the TV piece, sharing his thoughts with Sam and Casey.
‘Homophobic language is unfortunately endemic among young people both in primary schools and secondary schools,' he says.
'It’s really key that teachers, parents and other community figures make clear that it’s wrong and needs to be tackled.
‘If you’re constantly hearing a part of your personal identity being equated with things that are rubbish and defective, that’s obviously going to make you feel bad.
‘It can have quite devastating consequences for a person’s self-esteem.’
You can watch Sam and Casey’s TV film here at the top of this page.
Help Fix It – Share this story!
Knowing how difficult it can be to come out, a group from Dunbartonshire are
sharing their experiences to help make it easier for others.