After experiencing severe homophobic abuse which made him fear for his safety, James Sutcliffe (20) and his group of Fixers from Dewsbury in Yorkshire have started a campaign to challenge homophobia.
Their story was broadcast on ITV News Calendar in March 2010.
With the help of Fixers, James and his team have worked on a film featuring excerpts from a play they created to raise awareness of the impacts of homophobia.
The performance is based on the true story of James' friend who took his own life - a death that James believes was down to homophobic bullying.
Describing his own experiences of being bullied due to his sexuality, James says:
‘I was placed on anti-depressants because I was afraid to sleep. People used to bang on the door and I was scared they were going to break in.
‘I’m now living back in with my mum so it has affected me a lot.’
Fellow Fixer, Joe Squires-Mulcahy, says he self-harmed after having bricks thrown at him in an act of homophobic abuse. He adds:
‘The plan is to send this DVD out so people can see what a gay person being bullied is really like.
‘We’re trying to open people’s minds a lot more. I want homophobic bullying to be challenged and we want Fixers to help us challenge this problem.’
Their Fixers project will include a DVD and an information pack to be presented at schools and colleges.
The aim is to target young people and their parents to generate understanding among both generations.
Sally Kitson, a Youth Project Worker for LGBT youth, appears in the broadcast piece to support the campaign, saying:
‘It needs young people to stand up and say “I want to make a difference”, and I think this DVD is a way to help them achieve that.’
Watch their Fixers film 'Straight Out' below.