The importance of role models for any minority group can never be underestimated. It is essential to have someone to look up to, and learn from, as we forge a sense of identity. “If I have seen further,” as Isaac Newton wrote, “it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
The organisation Diversity Role Models was created to provide exactly that support in order to challenge homophobic bullying in schools and prevent attempted suicide. The sportswoman Claire Harvey, one of the heroes selected by Polari Magazine for LGBT History Month, 2012, is a Diversity Role Model, as is sportsman John Amaechi, and writer Stella Duffy.
From Fri 29th June to Fri 20th July 2012, Andrew Makin will be travelling by Bicycle through England, Wales & Scotland (Coast to Coast to Coast) to raise money for Diversity Role Models. He plans to raise £700 by riding 700 miles. “Please donate whatever you can,” Andrew writes on his Charity Giving page. “Every penny helps this amazing cause!”
Not only does Diversity Role Models help the young, it is changing the standing of all LGBT people for the better. By educating schoolchildren, and challenging the remnants of homophobia in popular culture, it breaks down barriers by showing LGBT individuals as real people.