Welcome to Stonewall Cymru’s website for young people. The site has lots of information about what we do; about a wide range of LGB issues and about how you can get involved with our work.
Stonewall Cymru is a charity working for equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people- at home, at work and at school.
LGB people are entitled to fair treatment in every part of their lives whether they are at school or college or university. They are entitled to fair treatment at work or in any other situation like visiting a hospital or a police station or even booking into a hotel.
We campaign to change laws and to change people’s attitudes. This is to make sure that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are treated like everyone else and that they are respected by everyone.
Stonewall was set up in 1989 to lobby against a law called Section 28. Section 28 made it unlawful for local authorities to ‘promote homosexuality’. This made local authorities think that they couldn’t do anything which made lesbian and gay people normal or positive.
Section 28 had a particularly damaging impact in schools. They thought they couldn’t do anything to prevent homophobic bullying because they thought they would be breaking the law. They thought they couldn’t say anything positive about being lesbian, gay or bisexual or even provide resources for gay pupils like books, or information about youth groups. This meant that any pupils who were LGB or thought they might be often found that they had no one to talk to, no one to stand up for them if they were being bullied and no access to helpful information.
A group of people came together and set up a campaign to get rid of Section 28, targeting both MPs and the public. They called the group Stonewall. The campaign got a lot of support and Stonewall campaigned for other things too. They achieved a lot of different successes and finally in 2003 Section 28 was repealed. It no longer existed. Unfortunately, after such a long period of time, schools didn’t have the information or confidence to start supporting their LGB students straight away and some schools thought they still couldn’t support LGB students. So Stonewall started working with schools to help them understand that they should support students, and how they should do it.
Section 28 isn’t the only law that Stonewall has helped to change. Over the last decade in particular Stonewall has led the changing of many laws to ensure that LGB people have equal rights to everyone else and to ensure that it is illegal for them to be treated unfairly in any area of their lives.
Although changing laws is very important, it isn’t the only thing needed to make sure LGB people are always treated fairly. Stonewall Cymru also works hard at changing the views that some people have about lesbian, gay and bisexual people. A lot of people still have either negative or stereotypical views about LGB people. This means they expect LGB people to look and/or act in certain ways. They can sometimes believe things about LGB people which may not be true. Some people have negative views about LGB people.
Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. This becomes a problem if someone’s negative views about LGB people means that they treat them differently, for example, if a doctor refuses to treat a lesbian. It might also include bullying or harassing someone – or even physically hurting them – because they are LGB.
To help change the way that some people think about LGB people Stonewall campaigns in three major ways:
1. At Home: Stonewall researches many different areas of LGB people’s lives to find out what is happening to them and what can be done to improve how they are treated. We use the information that we find to help people (both the public and important decision makers) to better understand the different challenges facing LGB people and how they can tackle those challenges. Click here to find out more about Stonewall’s research and how we use it.
2. At School: our flagship campaign has been working to tackle homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools since 2005. You might have seen our famous ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ slogan on a bus, tube, billboard or even in your own school! Or you may have seen our film ‘Fit’ which schools use to tackle homophobic bullying. Click here to find out more about our campaign in schools
3. At Work: Stonewall has a range of different ways of working with employers to ensure that they treat any lesbian, gay or bisexual members of staff in the same way that they treat everyone else- including supporting them if they are bullied and making sure they get the same benefits. Click here to find out more about our work with employers.
For full information about Stonewall Cymru does please visit the About Us section on our main website.