Stuart Fleming is a member of LGBT Youth Scotland, Stuart was one of the candle lighters during Scotland’s national Holocaust Memorial Day event.
During the ceremony, six candles are lit to mark the 6 million Jews murdered in the holocaust; the Roma community; disabled people; those murdered because of their sexuality; those muredered in subsequent genocides, Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur and Bosnia; those suffering in current conflicts.
I was honoured to be given the opportunity to be part of the Holocaust Memorial Day, by being invited to light a candle for LGBT people who lost their lives during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
I was a founding member of LGBT Youth Scotland’s East Dunbartonshire group called Easties, there are two groups in East Dunbartonshire (Easties and Westies) which offer support for LGBT young people. I have received support from LGBT Youth Scotland on multiple occasions on a range of issues, from making friends to coming out.
After being a member at the group I was given the opportunity to become a peer educator which means I would go into different school in East Dunbartonshire and talk to students about homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. This was an amazing experience as I was given an opportunity to educate people on the impact that words and names can have on a person. I believe that education is key in tackling issues in society.
When I look back at the Holocaust I think it’s important that people are educated on the impact it had on people’s lives, to understand that we cannot allow it to happen again.
The theme this year is “how can life go on” which is such a strong theme especially in the LGBT community, as many young people struggle to believe that life can go on when considering coming out to family members and friends. However, through support from organisations such as LGBT Youth Scotland they manage to see that life does go on, which is an important message which should be shared.