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Exploring children & young people's emergent gender & sexual identities

Explore how children and young people are transforming how they think, feel and experience gender and sexuality.

About this event

Gender and sexual identity are lenses through which all of us are constantly negotiating our place and meaning in the world, against a background of powerful binaries and stereotypes, most notably male/female and gay/straight. Yet, in recent years there has been a sea-change amongst teenagers and young adults, who are increasingly resisting traditional, binary gender identities and not defining themselves as heterosexual.

In this day-long session, we will explore our response to this generational shift by firstly focusing on ourselves – connecting to our own feelings, thoughts and experiences. We will also examine the reality of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer (LGBTQ+) and gender-fluid children and young peoples’ lives, including emergent gender and sexual identities, impact on attachment, discrimination, coping strategies and their implications for us in our professional practice.

I will offer up a space for small and whole group discussion, share contemporary research, media and resources as well as using the creative arts* to help our exploration and practice.

Book now, as places will be limited.

Please note that there will also be a taster session on Thursday 10 February 2022 7-9pm, you are welcome to attend both or either session.

*Before we meet, do also gather whatever art materials (paint, crayons, stickers, postcards, loo roll holders, toys, leaves - whatever you have, like or can get your hands on) as we will be creating during the session.

About Neil

Neil is an experienced integrative art psychotherapist, facilitator and youth worker with a longstanding interest in exploring gender and sexual identities.

Neil designs and holds creative spaces in which children, young people and adults – and the professionals who work with them – can explore their diverse experiences and identities, against the persistent impact of anti-LGBT prejudice, in safe and interactive ways. For professionals, this includes trainings, lectures, workshops and embodied performances working with therapist, counsellors, youth-, social- and mental health-workers and other professionals and organisations.

Neil’s background also includes 25 years’ experience as a researcher and queer community advocate, including founding Mosaic LGBT Young People’s Trust in northwest London and working as an LGBT advisor to the first two Mayors of London.

In 2017 Neil published ‘Young People: Not Straight, Not Narrow’ in the BACP University & College Journal after interviewing counsellors, therapists, academics and youth workers across the country. The article explores ongoing, emerging trends in gender and sexual identification among children and young people and offers advice for affirmative therapeutic practice.

Neil currently works 4 days/week as an integrative arts psychotherapist in private practice in London and teaches at the Institute for Arts & Therapy in Education (IATE).