Pasha loved Crimea. He loved the sea, the sound of the crashing surf and the foam sizzling on the beach, the air tingling with salt. He loved the mountains dramatically jutting out of the verdant coast. When he looked at the landscape, he felt calm, all worries and problems melting away. This was the paradise he had sought his whole life, the place where he felt truly free and himself. But that paradise was now lost, perhaps forever...
We are kicking our kids out; we are turning our backs on them and rejecting the builders of the future mainly because we could not understand their sexual orientation or gender identity. Homelessness creates a state of vulnerability for these young people and makes them easy prey for malicious adults.
Just when you think you know pretty much everything there is to know about sex and your bedroom looks like you played supermarket sweep through Ann Summers, your girl throws that awkward curveball and whispers 'talk dirty to me,' in your ear. If this catches you off guard you can find yourself naked, mumbling 'I'm going to umm put my umm you know....
A large proportion of the homophobia that exists in society continues to stem from religious belief. Within this, the active condemnation of homosexuality is often justified as an expression of faith; a religious right where an individual is free to preach - what they perceive to be - the word of God.
Bisexuality is valid. It's not what I'm calling myself as I'm transitioning, it's not what people are labelled while they're deciding. It's a whole other category! Entering the very community you've been dying to belong to and having them reject you is enough to send a person straight back into the closet!
Take my last job for example. After just a year I found myself progressing, fast. Every promotion available and Boom... It was mine. Who gets first pick of holiday slots? Yours Truly. Do I fancy a week off for London Pride at short notice? Well you got it, lady, and have a luminous, fruity cocktail on us.
At the very end of Spirit Day, the entire school emptied onto the playground for a photograph to show our unity for all young LGBT people who have faced bullying, abuse or discrimination. And as our pupils jostled and argued over who would get to hold the rainbow flag, I knew that we had made a difference, and that things would never be the same again.