Cwmbran teen helps fight homophobic bullying
12:46pm Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
A CWMBRAN teenager is using his own experience of homophobic bullying to support others.
Scott McCarthy, 19, experienced years of homophobic bullying growing up, but now wants to provide support to young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Wales. He explained: "I was bullied from a very young age because I was different to most guys. I have always had a passion for theatre, dance and music.
"Coming out as gay to people then became even harder as I was scared the abuse, mostly verbal, would become worse."
He believes that there is currently not enough help available to LGBT people, so he has become one of the first people in Wales to work as a fixer.
Fixers is a movement of 16 to 25-year-olds who are supported to take action on issues they feel strongly about.
When Mr McCarthy was growing up he said that he felt increasingly alienated as he was bullied at school and on the social networking site Facebook.
His experiences have made him determined to prevent other young people from going through the same thing.
He added: "To make a difference to one person’s life would be great, but if we could change society, I think that would be fantastic."
Mr McCarthy, who is studying youth and community work at the University of Wales, Newport, not only wants to help those who are struggling personally, but also to educate others by breaking down stereotypes.
To do this he has produced his own Fixers film called PRYDE, which stands for Pride, Rights, You, Different, Equality, to be used as an educational resource.
In the long-term, he aims to set up a charity, also called PRYDE, to spread his message further.
Commenting on the arrival of Fixers in Wales, Children’s Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler said: "What I admire most about the scheme is how it provides young people the freedom to express themselves creatively and empowers them to smash the stereotypes that exist about their generation."
Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), funded by the Big Lottery Fund which awarded them £7.2 million in April 2012.
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