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Posted On: 25th Jun 2014

Confidence to Come Out

Fixer Sophie Riley
Sophie with fellow Fixers
Other members of the Fixers group

Having leant a supportive ear to friends dealing with the pressure of coming out, Sophie Riley is helping other young people who may be struggling to speak about their sexuality. 


Concerned that many her age fear they will face social rejection for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, the 16-year-old from Liverpool is showing how talking to someone you trust can make it easier.


‘It can be a very confusing time for a young person, feeling alone and not knowing what to do,’ explains Sophie.


‘I'm straight myself, but I know people who’ve been really concerned about coming out and have confided in me for support.


‘It’s a huge responsibility just listening to them because that person has trusted you with something very personal as they know you won’t judge them.


‘I want to let young people know they shouldn’t feel ashamed of who they are and understand that, whenever the time’s right, it’s okay to speak out.’


For her Fixers campaign, Sophie has helped produce a leaflet for young people who may be questioning their sexuality.


Using real-life stories, she and her team hope it will encourage others to embrace who they are and know there is support available to them.


Read their booklet 'Thinking About Coming Out?’ by clicking the image below.



‘It looks fantastic. We wanted it to be quite striking but also contain useful information for young people,’ adds Sophie.


‘I think reading other people’s accounts will hopefully make them understand that there are others going through similar experiences and it does get better.’


Sophie wants to take her leaflet into local schools to reassure those who may be on the verge of coming out, while also urging others to be more sympathetic of their circumstances.


‘Secondary school is a time when you’re trying to figure out who you are, so supporting pupils in this way would be very useful,’ she adds.


‘At the end of the day, your sexuality shouldn’t matter, it’s what kind of person you are.


‘The world would be a better place if more people saw it like that.’


If you are in need of support, visit the Get Connected website or call them for free on 0808 808 4994.


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Author: N. Farooq


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