Animation will help parents with LGBT teens

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An animated DVD aimed at aimed at parents with LGBT teenagers will be made by a Leeds studio with lottery funding.

Leeds Animation Network will produce and distribute Out to the Family, designed for individuals, families and groups to watch so that they can discuss, communicate and be aware of the issues related to teenagers who are LGBT or questioning their sexuality.

The Network will distribute 4000 copies of the 12-minute DVD free of charge to audiences throughout the country, including organisations who work with teenagers and families.

Work will start on the DVD after the Network researches and consults with parents and teenagers as well as organisations such as Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG), and the Consortium of LGBT voluntary and community organisations (LGBT Consortium).

Leeds Animation Network is a co-operative, a business owned by the people who use its services.

One of the members of the co-operative, Janis Goodman, said: “Out to the Family is a project we have wanted to produce for years. After several rejected applications to different funders we were very pleased to get lottery money.

“There is a myth that discrimination is a thing of the past but even while soap operas may feature gay and lesbian characters the reality for many young people involves homophobia and society-wide pressure to be straight.

“The DVD will act as an aid to improve communications between parents and their children who are or may be gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning.”

Leeds Animation Network has been in operation for 25 years, producing and distributing animated films that deal with social and educational issues. It received lottery funding after fierce competition where it had to prove the project’s social significance. Last year they produced Out At Work.

It explained the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation, Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, which outlawed discrimination.