Figuring It Out is a community group for young LGBTQ+ people in Southend aged 11-19 that meets once a month in the forum. As a group, our main focus is providing peer-to-peer support alongside promoting inclusivity and providing a safe space, regardless of your sexual or gender orientation. This is something the group considers incredibly important because of the detrimental affect that lacking a safe space can have. We want to let young people people be themselves, even if they can't always be that in the real world. The group was set up as a campaign by Southend Youth Council to help LGBTQ+ young people in Southend. This was due to feeling an overall lack of visibility in, and reluctance from, schools to discuss LGBTQ issues despite Section 28 being repealed in 2003.
Who runs it
The group is run and founded by Southend Youth Council's LGBTQ+ and equalities officer with support from other youth council members as well as Transpire Southend. The group was founded from a campaign to help LGBTQ+ young people in Southend after it was a large gap in groups for LGBTQ+ young people was identified. Along with the Youth Council we work with other groups such as Transpire Southend and Southend YMCA.
Who's it for
We are for any LGBTQ+ or questioning young people in Southend - especially if you’re in need of support, a safe space or just want to meet other LGBTQ+ young people. We welcome any allies to come along and show support as well. For parents and teachers we aim to provide resources to help you learn and understand more about the LGBTQ+ community so you can support your child whether their questioning or already know what they identify as. After all one of the easiest way to be an ally is to stay educated!
Figuring It Out was set up because the LGBTQ+ and equalities officer, they identified the need for LGBTQ+ support for young people in Southend. So ‘Figuring It Out’ was born, gathering its name from the song by SWMRS; the group is thus entitled as identity is fluid and something to always be figuring out. We recognised that some LGBTQ+ people have trouble and issues with figuring out their identity, so if we could provide support for the next generation of kids then they won’t have to go through the same issues that many LGBTQ+ youth face.