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This guy went back to school to come out as gay and wants you to do the same

Joseph McCormick May 7, 2016

In an effort to promote a new diversity week for school, the founder of a new nonprofit went back to school to come out as gay.

The founder and director of Just Like Us, Tim Ramsey wrote for the Guardian that he never dared come out as gay when he was at his all-boys grammar school, but has since gone back to inspire others to be out and proud.

He has now launched the UK’s first nationwide School Diversity Week, 20-24 June, hoping to celebrate diversity in education in the UK.

More than 20,000 pupils and teachers will take to school for coordinated rainbow non-uniform days.

Ramsey hopes that the gesture will encourage tolerance, equality and diversity across UK schools.

He notes that the Stonewall Teachers and School Reports show how much needs to be done to reduce rates of self-harm, suicide and the large number who hear homophobic, biphobic and transphobic remarks.

Ramsey said: “We wanted to organise an event which sent a proactive message that being LGBT is something to celebrate. For me, it’s been inspirational hearing about the many amazing events the schools involved are planning, from workshops, film showings, sports events and even involving local celebrities in the day.

“It sends such an amazing message that it’s ok to be LGBT. We know that next year will be even bigger and better.”

Paul Brand, Patron and ITV Political Correspondent, added: “A message of acceptance on this scale has never been sent before in our schools, and it is fantastic that we’ve managed to secure the support of politicians from so many parties.

“Our school days craft who we become as adults, and we must defeat the anxiety and shame that too many LGBT pupils still experience in those formative years and carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Throughout the Diversity Week, schools are encouraged to tweet photos of their events.

The ‘#DressForDiversity’ hashtag will be used throughout the campaign.

Just Like Us is supported by the Department for Education, and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will speak at the charity’s launch on 14 June at the Palace of Westminster.

More: diversity week, just like us, tim ramsey

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