A Fixer from County Durham, who endured years of homophobic bullying in school, has helped create a film to raise awareness about the serious impacts of bullying.
'Richard' (23) who wishes to remain anonymous, came out at the age of 15.
He says he felt as though he had no friends during school and didn’t receive the support he so badly needed.
With the help of Fixers, Richard and his team, who are LGBT, have created a short piece showing the long-term psychological harm bullying can have on victims.
‘I felt so lonely during school. I would get bullied by other students, which I didn’t think was right,’ he says.
‘I didn’t think it was fair, and eventually, I started self-harming. It was a very low moment in my life.’
Richard, who wants to give a voice to LGBT people everywhere, aims to take his film around local secondary schools to show students how drastic the effects of bullying can be.
The interlacing of different people's voices in the film promotes the central message that 'everyone is part of the same puzzle'.
The Fixer adds: ‘I really love the film. I think it’s perfect for what we are trying to achieve, which is greater understanding and an end to bullying.
‘Seeing something from the point of view of the victim is important.
‘This is why I’m so passionate about this project, because I know what it feels like.
‘We want to raise more awareness of what being LGBT means, because not enough is known about it in our community and this leads to abuse in most cases.'
Richard's advice to other victims of homophobic bullying is to speak out and tell someone about their problems. He believes bottling up emotions like he did only makes things worse.
'I'm so much happier in myself now, it's the real me and that's what I advise others like me to think like. Be proud of who you are.'
Watch the group’s Fixers film 'I Feel' at the top of this page.