A group of Derry teenagers are in the process of producing a film which looks at challenging negative stereotypes around members of the LGBT community.
The young people, under the supervision of Outer North Youth Support worker Marty McGranaghan have just completed a residential at the Carlingford Adventure Centre in Louth.
The ‘Debate as One’ project involves 16 young people aged between 13 and 16 who will produce a short film on stereotyping and the impact of bullying on members of the LGBT community.
“We’ve taken a real in-depth look at the effect of negative stereotyping,” explained the Galliagh based youth worker.
“For us, it wasn’t just a matter of looking at how members of the LGBT community are stereotyped but also how they can stereotype members of the straight community. It’s really about looking at how people label other people and ultimately how that labelling can be so isolating”, Martin added.
“When it turns into bullying it becomes more serious and that’s really what we’ve focused on in our short drama. In the group we’ve had working on it, we have members of the LGBT community and the straight community working together and listening to each others’ opinions. We wanted to create a space where people would feel comfortable about having open discussions and asking questions.
“We’ve structured a script with the idea of showing people the real consequences of bullying and discrimination. We have some great actors in the group and I think they’re delivering a really strong message. The real message is that it’s not acceptable to bully someone because of their sexuality. Thankfully times have changed and people are much more accepting but I think those of us working with young people have a responsibility to make sure that continues. We can’t just presume that issues around stereotyping don’t exist.”
The Debate as One project is funded by the Inclusion Fund with the Education authority.
For more information on how to become involved in this and a number of other projects involving introducing young people to the arts, contact Marty McGranaghan at Greater Shantallow Community Arts, 65 Galliagh Park or telephone 02871 357443.