A music student at Matthew Boulton College headlined an event aimed at encouraging schools to become more LGTB+ (lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual) friendly. Jack Taylor performed at the Educate and Celebrate Midlands Showcase, which also tied in with LGBT history month.
“I performed a song called Strong, which is about being true to yourself,” said 18-year-old Jack, a second year student. “It was one of many songs at the event that described some of experiences of gay and transgender people and the way others react towards them.
“My college is a welcome and supportive environment, but some places can seem intimidating to others if they lack confidence. This is why it’s good to remind people that they shouldn’t be afraid to express who they are and how they feel.”
Jack’s song will be included on an EP to be released on the college’s Forerunner Records label later in this year.
“I enjoyed performing at the event and seeing students from other schools show their understanding of sexual equality and identity,” continued Jack. “It was an incredibly positive and uplifting event.”
Performing arts students from the college also helped coordinate the event, working as sound engineers, lighting technicians and runners.
The event was set up by Educate & Celebrate, a UK charity that helps to make schools and organisations LGBT+Friendly.
Seven schools participated in a competition to compose and perform a song at the Showcase about equality. The audience were encouraged to vote for their favourite, with the most popular song to be used as an equality anthem for Birmingham.
Elly Barnes, CEO of Educate and Celebrate said: “The event was phenomenal! We had a great turnout and a range of talent on show. The equality songs and plays show how accessible music and the arts can be in engaging students in changing hearts and minds for social justice.
“It was lovely to see the positivity and confidence the event gave the young people, who will now go and ensure their own schools and colleges are LGBT+Friendly.”