Pixel Power: LGBTQ+ Young People Leading the Cyber Charge

Imagine a world where cyber security education is not just about rules and regulations but a canvas for creativity and self-expression. Well, in January 2024, that vision came to life when LGBT Youth Scotland teamed up with Creative Stirling and Cyber Security Scotland. Together, we set out to empower LGBTQ+ young people with the digital tools and knowledge to navigate the online world safely. 

 

Thanks to Cyber Security Scotland’s support, the project zoomed in on three crucial cyber security factors: strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and regular device updates. But here’s the twist: instead of lectures and pamphlets, they chose animation. Young minds, armed with iPads and Procreate, embarked on an artistic journey, exploring digital animation for the first time. Guided by local artist David Galletly, they turned bits and bytes into vibrant visuals that screamed cyber security awareness. 

 

Beyond the pixels, this project was a catalyst for personal growth. Participants not only learned about cyber security but also discovered their creative potential. For many, it was their first dive into digital artistry, sparking dreams of careers in the creative industries. 

Someone drawing on a tablet

"So, here's to the hidden heroes – the LGBTQ+ young people – who are not just navigating the online world but reshaping it, one pixel at a time".

But it didn’t stop there. This project became a hub of friendship and support. Young people from different backgrounds, including those outside LGBT Youth Scotland, came together, forming bonds that transcended screens. Even a homeschooled participant found a sense of belonging and connection – a testament to the project’s inclusivity. 

 

As the project wrapped up, its impact rippled beyond the digital realm. Inspired by their newfound skills and confidence, participants set their sights on further education and employment opportunities. Some even expressed aspirations of attending art college or pursuing careers in digital design. 

two pixelated aliens

In essence, this partnership between LGBT Youth Scotland, Creative Stirling, and Cyber Security Scotland wasn’t just about cyber security – it was about empowering young people and building a safer, more inclusive digital world. Through creativity, camaraderie, and community, they’re paving the way for a future where everyone can surf the web with confidence. 

 

So, here’s to the hidden heroes – the LGBTQ+ young people – who are not just navigating the online world but reshaping it, one pixel at a time. 

A blog by Digital Youth Work Officer, Alan Massie 

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