Activist, David Henry from the Queer Youth Network called the attack "utterly appalling and completely preventable". "We must unite all communities concerned to beat the scourge of youth violence universally once and for all". "It is vital that anti-homophobic bullying polices and initiatives which aim to prevent further tragic deaths re-evaluate how much of an impact they really have and how they can become more effective by updating their understanding of incredibly violent nature of Britain's youth culture" he added. Referring to the racially motivated killing of 18 year old A-level student Anthony Walker only yards from the spot where Michael Causer was attacked last Friday "Anthony Walker and Michael Causer" and their families were not only victims of Racism and Homophobia, they had their lives destroyed by something that is ravaging every aspect of our society. Sadly the events in Huyton over the past few days is proof that young People from our poorest, most marginalised sections of society are the victims regardless of the cause. It's also to remember that the perpetrators themselves along with their families."
Only a Matter of Time
Echoing the Queer Youth Network's calls, OutRage! activist Pauline Ellis who has worked as a Youth Worker for over 17 years across Merseyside and is now retired feels it was only a matter of time until a teenager was killed in such as violent homophobic attack and has called on the gay community to be more proactive in the war against hate. "It was going to happen sooner or later and I am stunned how the local media here in Liverpool have downplayed coverage of this story which I feel is due to the lack of a vocal LGBT community in Liverpool". "It's very easy for the increasingly comfortable and apathetic gay community to blame working class youths for this latest attack, but having partnership rights and a few extra equality laws is not an excuse to abandon the ongoing fight for gay liberation." "I understand there a number of high profile campaigns such as Stonewall's much publicised 'Education for All' that receive a great deal of public and private sector funding as well as income generated from delivering training to tackle the issue of homophobic bullying, but are they working?" their impact is still limited to a handful schools and tend to be dominated by London based organisations and politicians who have jumped on the Homophobic Bullying 'Bandwagon' for their own gain." she concluded.
Matter of Life or Death
David Henry added "Since the Education for All coalition began it's quest to champion the eradication of homophobic bullying on a national level it has made a significant amount of progress and no doubt many more young people have been spared a similar fate as a result. However more needs to be done as a coalition member I have called on Stonewall to extend their expertise and resources to the wider LGBT Youth Community and beyond to ensure people don't forget the name Michael Causer because yet another gay teen has been lost". The Queer Youth Network has also called on the services of those appearing in The Independant's annual "Pink List" of Britain's most influential gay people to visit Liverpool.
"I would like to see Sir Ian McKellen other high profile campaigners who opened people's eyes to intolerance in the past such as Michael Cashman, Angela Eagle and Lord Waheed Ali to reach out to working class communities and talk to young people in the street." "In the 1990's they bravely fought against the biggest concern facing LGBT Youth at the time - Section 28, a threat written on paper. People began to think twice about attacking us. Today's threat is written very clearly, in blood. Fighting violence carried out in the name of homophobia is now a matter of life or death." he concluded.
Jack Holroyde +44 (0)20 3070 1194
Notes to Editor
The Queer Youth Network is a national non-profit making organisation that is run by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Young People and is based in the United Kingdom.
We advocate on behalf of LGBT Young People through campaigning for greater visibility and equal rights, as well as providing general support and information to those who are just 'coming out' or who are suffering the effects of homophobia.
There are 10 QYN Regional Groups throughout the UK. The organisation is also responsible for the formation of a national voice for LGBT young people in Wales: LGBT Youth Wales. In Scotland it works closely with LGBT Youth Scotland, and GLYNI (Gay and Lesbian Youth Northern Ireland) who are affiliated member groups of which there are now over 200.
Liverpool Echo: Teen dies after homophobic attack
Facebook Group: Tribute to Michael Causer
National LGBT Youth Homepage: Queer Youth Network http://www.queeryouth.org.uk
WikiPedia: Queer Youth Network