Out in the Open was a 3-phases Training program for youth workers focused on improving the social inclusion and active participation of LGBT+ youth in society, by improving the competencies of youth workers in outdoor education.
Read below, what the Spanish team of participants is sharing about their experience during the 1st phase of the program and its Training Course, which brought together 21 youth workers, youth leaders, educators, mentors, and NGO staff from 7 European countries.
Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual is not always easy. Since a Young age, let’s say, since you’re an infant, people ask you in a facetiously way, if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Being a kid, is amusing. You keep on discovering life, you get in Touch with the world, and at the same time, it’s when, as a person, life teaches you that the future is yet to come and that being prepared is a must.
After some years, adolescence comes along, and by that time, bad, tough, and difficult experiences can teach you, or somehow hurt you. It is when, as almost a Young adult you will have to face by your own the responsibilities and the problems that will build you as a person.
During teenage years, hormones work at the speed of the light, and sexuality is a topic generally extended among this age. Teens start discovering their own body, and attractions, in different ways are expressed. Probably, by that time you will notice what is like having the first love, the first ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ and each other along will discover sex.
Well, this is something that can sound romantic, but imagine that in your case, you are not attracted to your opposite gender. What happens? Is it correct? Can it be shocking?
LGBT+ is a topic that, nowadays is popular to discuss about and to know others opinion can be not so overwhelming or not exactly what we were expecting.
OUT IN THE OPEN
It was during summer, in this case, August, that for some special reason, the stars decided to connect three different people from the Kingdom of Spain and inviting them to attend a long TC in Latvia about LGBT+ movement and discover along with a large group of Europeans this amazing topic in one of the Pearls of the Baltic Sea for a week.
This amazing, touching and emotional TC taught us many things about life, humanity, sociology and love. In a way, during the week, through many risk activities that obligated us to work as a group and collectively, expressing trust and help between us, was the way to reach the aim goal of every single activity. Using this method, was a way to understand that ‘the coming out’ is not always easy, and, that having somebody whom we trust is so necessary. Nevertheless, we should permit people to help us, and to give us support when we really need it. Out in the open, is more than learning about LGBT+, it’s about relations, affectivity, courage, emotions and feelings.
At the end of the week, we held some really interesting activities with high school students in a high school near Riga, where we talked openly about gays, lesbians, transsexuals, etc., and, honestly, we were impressed of how an ex former Soviet society is changing so fast and at the same time, how the new generations are so open about this topic. We loved it.
Back in our country, we will have to prepare also some activities in the same target group in order to practise the theorical part we learned.
The best is yet to come, in December we will be meeting again, before Christmas, but this time, in a different type of TC. Certainly will be an incredible week, getting prepared before holidays, feeling the special atmosphere that will lead us to the end of Out in the Open, where, trust us, the emotions will be out, to express, to feel, to share and to make us cry if needed. Yours truly, Elvira, Tamer, and Marcel.
Authors | Elvira, Tamer, Marcel
Photography | Elina Primaka
The project was funded by the Erasmus+ programme, through the National Agency of Latvia, Jaunatnes starptautisko programmu aģentūra. We co-organised it together with Piedzivojuma Gars organization.