Main | Thursday, March 27, 2008

Post Gay, Post Race, Post Gender

A 17 year-old gay kid in the UK has launched a site called Ditch The Label, which urges socially marginalized teenagers to discard the labels of race, sexuality, gender, and appearance.
The founder of DitchtheLabel is 17-year old student, activist and part-time model, Liam Hackett. He developed the site primarily aimed at marginalised teenagers looking to break free from social stereotypes based on race, sexuality or gender. The site aims to challenge negative stereotypes and provide a forum in which young people can share their experiences of prejudice and social labelling.

Based in Manchester, the prodigious teen first launched the website via Myspace in July 2007 and since then, the Myspace page has attracted more than 50,000 visits. Liam looked into developing a more permanent website that would allow a greater expansion of the campaign.

The new DitchtheLabel site was conceived after Liam secured a business grant from the local Chamber of Commerce, who recognised the site's appeal and potential.He was only the second person under 18 in in his region to obtain a business grant. Despite its early days, the website looks like it will become a flourishing internet resource for teenagers looking to break outside social stereotypes.
Hackett says, "The campaign hopes to change the negative stereotypes associated with labels of race, gender, sexuality, appearance and lifestyle and together, we believe that we can significantly reduce bullying and therefore, increasing self-confidence and feelings of self-worth to thousands of young people worldwide. I myself have been subjected to bullying due to my sexuality and I grew up believing that being gay was wrong and disgusting. Since leaving school and meeting new people, I've grown to understand that sexuality is as significant as the colour of your eyes and nobody really cares anymore."

If he were American, I'd wager that this kid will end up a Queer Theory/Gender Studies double-major at Berkeley or Smith. Wait, not Smith. They'd have to be Post Gender for that.

Labels: , ,

comments powered by Disqus