Empowering LGBTQ+ Young People through Creativity and Art

In the heart of Scotland’s Forth Valley, a vibrant collaboration with Creative Stirling is igniting positive change in the lives of LGBTQ+ young people by providing a space for them to try new things, meet new people and share their lived experiences, all whilst influencing change within their community.  
 
In October 2022, we launched our Lavender Lives project and young people were supported to create artworks based on their experiences growing up in their local community. Their creations became the centrepiece of the self-titled “Lavender Lives” exhibition that was held at the Creative Stirling venue in February 2024, marking a celebration of identity and resilience during LGBT History Month. It featured posters that the young people hand crafted with statements such as “Love is a Human Right!” and “Drag 4 All”.

 

Inspired by the success of the initial project, Creative Stirling secured funding from YouthLink Scotland to continue our partnership. Lavender Lives Part Two was born and we are excited to be able to continue providing a range of fun and creative learning activities for LGBTQIA+ young people in the Forth Valley area. Moreover, this phase offers an opportunity to explore the potential development of a Forth Valley Pride later this year that would reflect the ideas, passions, and interests expressed by the young people throughout the Lavender Lives project. 

A poster that says waiting lists shouldn't feel like a death sentence

"At its core, Lavender Lives is all about amplifying the voices and experiences of LGBTQIA+ young people, raising awareness, and driving positive change in our community".

One standout creation from our Lavender Lives project is the board game “COMIN’ OOT!”—a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of our young people. But the impact of Lavender Lives goes beyond the activities and creations themselves. It’s about giving young people a platform to share their voices, allowing them to grow in confidence and make new connections. As one participant reflected after a Comic Book workshop, “I feel an openness with myself.” Another shared, “It built my confidence, and I loved meeting new people” after a cake decorating session. These sentiments echo what the project set out to achieve.

A poster that says protect trans youth

At its core, Lavender Lives is all about amplifying the voices and experiences of LGBTQIA+ young people, raising awareness, and driving positive change in our community. With each workshop, each exhibition, and each interaction, we’re building a more inclusive and supportive environment – one in which every young person can flourish and thrive and live as their authentic selves. 
 
Join us as we celebrate the impact of Lavender Lives, embrace creativity, and empower LGBTQ+ young people to shine brightly in the Forth Valley and beyond. Together, we’re rewriting the narrative and building a future where everyone is celebrated for who they are.  

It is anticipated an exhibition of created works will be showcased at the Creative Stirling Venue, as part of Forth Valley Pride, in September 2024. 

A blog by Lou Carberry (Youth Worker for Forth Valley) and Samantha Green (Community Development Officer for Creative Stirling) 

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