Alan Carr went Loud and Proud with young LGBT+ people in celebrity panel show for Pride.

“Growing up I knew I was different – it was hard back then in the 80’s and even though things have got better and people are more accepting, there’s still a lot of prejudice. I didn’t have things like social media to deal with either, so there’s a lot of extra pressure on young people today which makes it even more important to talk about these issues in an open forum.” – Alan Carr, speaking before the event

Comedian Alan Carr has hosted a frank and funny Facebook Live discussion with an audience of LGBT+ young people this evening to talk about the issues that affect them the most, as part of this year’s Pride in London Festival.

Joined by celebrity panellists Gok Wan, Adele Roberts, Charlie King and Paris Lees, Alan Carr presented Loud and Proud – a Comic Relief, Facebook and Pride in London collaboration. It featured young LGBT+ people from across the UK, who all came together to talk openly about some of the most pressing issues faced by the LGBT+ community.

The conversation, as we reported yesterday, flowed from ‘coming out’, to role models, bullying, and the future for equality – offering a unique glimpse into a community of voices that often go unheard.

The show is an honest, inspiring and at times funny look at how far society has come since the decriminalisation of homosexuality 50 years ago in England and Wales, yet serves as an important reminder that even though things have moved on enormously since then, there’s still a lot of work to be done to achieve equality for all LGBT+ people living in this country.

During the discussion bullying was a hot topic and they discussed how it can still affect them mentally today. Alan said:

“When someone says something to me I am zoomed straight back to that playground – whether it’s something on Twitter or someone shouting something in the street – I’m back there like an out of body experience.”

As the event drew to a close, the panellists each shared their hopes for the future of equality for the LGBT+ community. Leo Mateus, aged 22, who is supported by Comic Relief funded project Developing Initiatives for Support in the Community, said:

“I think it’s really important to educate people about what it means to be trans and LGBT+. There are lots of preconceived opinions and ideas – lots of stereotyping and bullying and I think it’s partly because of confusion. Even the supportive people in my life are still learning. It’s difficult at times to challenge problematic language and behaviours, but it’s definitely getting better. When things feel hard the support from other trans people is amazing. It’s such a close and loving community. That’s part of why I like Pride events so much. Everyone is there for a reason and it’s lovely.”

At the end of the discussion, Alan Carr announced new Comic Relief funding to help tackle some of the issues faced by young LGBT+ people head on in local communities. He said: “We should all do our bit to make life better for other people – you don’t have to stand on stage in front of lots of people to get your voice heard.  I feel very proud to tell everyone that Comic Relief has cash ready and waiting for young people wanting to make a difference in their LGBT community – just get online and apply.”

Comic Relief has teamed up with V•Inspired, who are offering 100 grants of up to £500 to young people from across the UK, aged 14-25, who want to help change lives in their community. Applications are now open* at comicrelief.com

Watch Alan Carr’s Loud and Proud panel show on the Comic Relief Facebook page

“The most important thing is to be vocal… You cannot turn a blind eye, you need to realise that you’re as powerful as anyone else and your voice needs to be heard and that hopefully will inspire the next generation to do what we’re doing now.” – Gok Wan

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