How can we support people to live freely in their sexuality?
Coming out – something that is still a big step, even in 2015. It’s become easier for young people to come out today than it was 25 years ago. And in terms of legal equality, those identifying as gay or transsexual have achieved significant gains. But even today, coming out can be challenging for young people, and often feels like a kind of stigma you’re forced to admit.
Generation25 wants to equalise the image of homosexuality and transsexuality in society. Young people like Falk are using projects and initiatives to campaign for young people to be able to freely discover and live their sexuality. The 27-year-old founded “queerblick” in Dortmund in 2009: a project for media work with gay and lesbian, bisexual and transsexual youth to tell, view and read their own stories – stories about themselves, their lives, and being “queer.”
Young people can upload and publish their own videos or images. It’s important that they tell stories from their own perspective.
The first “queerblick” video on YouTube was an instant hit and has now been viewed over 13,000 times. Since then, 24,000 people have subscribed to the “queerblick.tv” YouTube channel. A rapidly growing trend.
The #Deutschland25 discussion has also demonstrated just how important projects like “queerblick” are. 21-year-old Nath writes: “I think your project is a ray of hope for young people who would otherwise have no sense of direction.”
It quickly became clear when reading the comments that Generation25 espouses unwavering tolerance and uses its mind-boggling power to argue for self-determined, free love.
“People should be able to live freely. That’s not always easy... but it could be easier. If everyone lends a hand. Gay<3” (William, 14)
“You can’t condemn people for something that is totally normal and that they cannot control.” Michelle
“Love knows no age, no religion, no family background, no sexuality: Love is love and should be lived!” (Pierre, 23)
For Generation25, Falk’s commitment and that of his comrades-in-arms represents a significant and absolutely necessary step towards greater openness and acceptance of different sexual identities. The most amazing thing about the comments is that they are completely lacking in both uncertainty and judgment:
“By teaching children which values are important at an early age: tolerance, acceptance, and freedom!” (Philipp, 16)
“By NOT limiting people to their sexuality. To me, love is: two PEOPLE who love each other.” (Lilly, 17)
“Through educational projects in schools (e.g., SchLAu) to promote tolerance and acceptance of LGBTI* people.” (Tobias, 25)
The ease with which Generation25 treats this issue boosts courage considerably. These young people have become role models and opinion leaders. They are the engine of the future.
“Intolerance belongs to yesterday. Love and let love.” (Colleen, 17)
Many initiatives like this will help to make it easier for young people to come out. In addition, openness and acceptance are ideals that should not only be displayed for show during events such as Gay Pride. Changing views begins in the mind, with each individual. Just like Generation25 proposes, we can help young people through this difficult period in their lives, help them stand up for themselves and be accepted by their communities, just as they are, through this and other education projects.