In The South

Nine year old takes own life after homophobic bullying at school

Besi Besemar September 2, 2018

Last week, Jamel Myles a nine-year old boy living in Denver Colorado, took his own life after suffering homophobic bullying at school.

FOLLOWING an emotional broadcast on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show of an interview with his mother, Brighton based LGBT Youth Project, Allsorts have issued a statement honouring his memory and committing the organisation to continue to facilitate positive change for the LGBT+ communities.

A spokesperson for Allsorts Youth Project said: “We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jamel Myles, who ended his life last week as a result of homophobic bullying. Our hearts go out to Jamel’s family and friends and everyone effected by this tragedy.

“Jamel’s brave mum, Leia Rochelle Pierce, was incredible on the Victoria Derbyshire programme expressing her feelings that young people need to be told that “…they’re beautiful and they’re special and there’s nothing different about them that should be pointed out and make them feel anything other than loved..we are all different and it’s our differences that make us equal, because it’s the one thing we all have in common.”

Leia said: “He wanted to make a change in this world and he wanted to show people love. And he can’t speak right now so I am speaking words he said for everyone to hear, because a gentle kind soul just left this world because of something so cruel. And I want my son to know he made a change for the better.”

Allsorts couldn’t agree more. They were asked to contribute to the programme as they’ve been working with LGBTU children and young people for nearly 20 years. In the last ten years they’ve been working closely with schools in the Brighton & Hove area and beyond.

“To see our children and young people thrive in a positive, welcoming, warm and safe space. For some of our young people, Allsorts is a place to make friends and have fun and, for others, it can be a life line.”

Allsorts aim to improve the lives of LGBTU young people by providing specialist LGBTU youth services and through the training and education of the wider communities and professionals so all spaces can be better LGBTU safe spaces.

“Young LGBTU people deserve to feel safe and thrive at home, at school and in their communities.

“There is strong evidence that shows LGBTU children and young people are vulnerable to bullying and subsequent mental health issues, and we feel that positive education is key in making our world a safer place for everyone.”

Allsorts Youth Project is a partner in the Rainbow Flag Award, a Government Equality Office and Department for Education funded scheme that encourages a whole community approach to tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (HBT) in schools, focusing on the following areas:

  • Skilled Teachers
  • Supportive Governors & Parents
  • Effective Policies
  • Inclusive Curriculum
  • Pastoral Support
  • Pupil Voice

“I really enjoyed our workshop to do with LGBTU because it has made me realise being gay isn’t a choice, it is part of your identity! It has made me look at all aspects of life and how everyone should be treated the same. I think everyone should do this workshop!” Young person, 14

Allsorts also continues to deliver their own best-practice training, having achieved a reputation for spearheading positive cultural change since they were established nearly 20 years ago.

It is not enough to hope for change, we should all do what we can to be the change for LGBTU young people and beyond. Everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, suffers when minds and hearts aren’t open to diversity, acceptance and love.

For more information regarding Allsorts services for young people, click here: