Young Sale woman fighting homophobia

A YOUNG woman from Sale has spoken out publicly in support of the ‘My Year7 Self’ campaign by Minus18.

The campaign is a joint venture between Minus18 and the Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria Youth Program (GLHV).

Minus18 is the largest youth led network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Australia.

Managed and run entirely by young people, Minus18 reduces social isolation through inclusive events, resources and online networks.

The campaign highlights the discrimination and bullying that Australian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth face each day, and provokes insight and action on the negative effects this can have in the broader community.

It was developed by 20 young people, from planning, filming and designing to implementing, and explores the stories of seven straight young people, all who at one stage in their lives, have been enablers of homophobia.

Elyza Day of Sale took to YouTube, sharing her personal story and inviting others to give inspiring advice to their year seven selves in an effort to reduce homophobia in schools.

The YouTube video is a compilation of young adults speaking to their year seven selves and confronting homophobic behaviour head on.

It can be viewed at www.year7self.org.au

Elyza, 19, shared an experience where she mistakenly offended her transgender friend.

She also spoke strongly about the need for people to educate themselves using the right resources.

“There is a lot thrown around on forum chats, overseas sites, and from general opinion rather than health professionals,” she said.

“People need to be directed where to go to find the right information.”

Elyza continues the fight against homophobia by being a part of many advocacy groups and committees.

The campaign featuring Elyza has reached an audience of almost 70,000 viewers on YouTube.

The primary aim of the campaign is to reach and engage as many people as possible through the promotion of the Year 7 Self YouTube video, website and stories of young people, through social media and media outlets.

According to Minus 18 general manager, Micah Scott, there are many young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Australians dealing with issues of bullying, social exclusion and depression.

“This is about showing support for LGBT teens,” she said.

“We are all an important part of each other’s lives, regardless of our sexuality or gender identity.”