As part of our ‘From Now On’ campaign, we are continuing to meet activists from across the Liverpool City Region and find out how they are helping to make our region the most LGBT+ friendly in the UK.
This week, we talk to Codie Wright from Sefton, a staff counsellor and trainee sessional supervisor for NSPCC’s Childline service, which has a base at the NSPCC’s Hargreaves Centre in Liverpool. Since records began, the service has delivered over 125,000 counselling sessions with children and young people around gender and sexuality.
What is it that you do to improve the lives of the LGBT+ community in Liverpool City Region and beyond?
“I’m incredibly passionate about the lives of the LGBT+ community, especially children and young people and so this is something I campaign for both in and outside of work. I support children and young people who contact Childline who identify under the LGBT+ umbrella, ensuring that they feel empowered and accepted, that they understand the importance of things such as binder safety, and have a safe space to discuss their gender and sexuality, knowing they will never be judged or dismissed.”
Why do you do this? What are your/your organisation’s goals/objectives?
“I do this because I know that not every child or young person has a supportive and accepting family. At the same time, they may also not be ready to come out in any way, or even fully understand where they sit on the spectrum of gender and sexuality just yet, but need a space where they can share their thoughts and worries. At Childline we want every child and young person to feel safe and loved and to know they are accepted. For some young people it’s a case of just being somewhere they can celebrate their first relationship, or to talk through their gender dysphoria. For other young people, it’s helping them to get out of an unsafe, homophobic household and find somewhere that they can flourish.”
What are you working on at the moment and how does this support your aims?
“One of my most recent pieces of work around the LGBT+ youth, has been creating a board discussing gender identity. More and more young people are coming to talk to us about their gender, and it’s so important that we get it right, so I wanted to create a display that had common definitions on it, phrases counsellors could use, and important information that will help us better support our young people.”
Did you consciously decide to become an activist, or did you just find yourself as one?
“At university, like most people, I really found myself being drawn into activism, and as part of the Student Union’s LGBT+ Society, I got plenty of opportunity to get involved and found I loved it.”
When did you realise that you were an activist?
“I think on a small level I have always been fighting for the rights of people, animals and the planet, but I didn’t know it had a name until I started uni. Before that I just thought I was bossy and argumentative and cared too much.”
What does being an activist mean to you?
“For me it’s advocating and fighting for people who might not have the ability or platform to do it themselves. Working for change that benefits others.”
What can people do to bring activism into their everyday lives and do you have any tips?
“I think small acts of activism are just as important as big protests. For example, standing up when someone says something offensive and making a conscious effort to be inclusive with your language every day. I would encourage any budding activists to get involved in an organisation that shares their values – team work makes the dream work.”
Our theme this year “From Now On” is activism focused. As an activist, what do you pledge to change “from now on?”
“From now on, I will avoid using an apologetic tone, and feeling awkward, when I’m educating someone on why what they’ve said is not okay. I’ll say it with strength and pride.”
How can people get involved with Childline’s work?
“We are always looking for new volunteer counsellors! If you head over to the NSPCC Website, you can sign up to find out more about becoming a Childline Counsellor.”
If you’re interested in supporting Childline, please contact [email protected]