Consent by and for young LGBT+ people

In 2018, Galop’s work with LGBTQ+ young people was growing rapidly, and we knew that young people sometimes felt confused about consent. So in 2019, Galop asked Project Indigo if the group would be interested in coming together to make a film about consent aimed at LGBTQ+ young people. 

We are very proud to have initiated and contributed to the creation of “If It’s Not A Hell Yes, Then It's A Conversation” along with LGBTIQ+ Hackney-based youth group Project Indigo and the talented Lily Ash Sakula.

This film is the result of months of joint work, guided by young people. Against the misrepresentation of young queer people’s lives, relationships and concerns, there was no better idea than to amplify the voices of those directly concerned by these conversations.  

It was written, directed, animated and voiced by young LGBTIQ+ people.  It aims to be a message of hope and support for all young queer people in the UK, who can see and hear their concerns and questions about consent finally reflected.  We hope that this film will speak to young people, and help them reflect on their past, current and future relationships. 

If you are an LGBTQ+ young person, or you are thinking about your sexuality or gender identity, and something non-consensual has happened to you, whoever did it, you can contact us.

"As an ISVA service it was great to work with Project Indigo to open up discussions about consent with young LGBT+ people and share the message that sexual violence is not okay, it is not your fault and you can get help. 

- Young People’s ISVA 

Why is this film important? 

Young LGBTQ+ people can feel excluded from mainstream conversations about sex, relationships and consent. 

Due to the legacy of Section 28, which prevented the promotion of a "homosexual lifestyle" in schools and colleges, entire generations of LGBTQ+ young people never accessed formal relationship and sex education from their perspective. LGBTQ+ young people often still feel invisible within Relationship and Sexual Education (RSE) today. 

There are additional risks that are unique to young LGBTQ+ people such as threats to ‘out’ them, over-sexualisation of their sexual or gender identity, homophobia/biphobia/transphobia, and rejection from their families or communities. LGBTQ+ young people are at risk of experiencing sexual violence and sexual exploitation during their formative years while they explore their sexuality and gender identity.  

We believe that LGBTQ+ young people deserve information about consent and empowerment in relation to their relationships. They deserve to see themselves mirrored in information about consent and their perspectives and identities validated. That is why this film is important.  

Vagina tree - We believe you

Still from the short film

 How the project came about 

The project started in 2019 and through a series of workshops focused on consent, led by Galop’s specialist workers, group members explored the issues. This was followed by workshops, led by Lily Ash Sakula and supported by Project Indigo and Galop staff, through which group members expressed the issues in animation and text.  

The final film expresses the aspects of consent that the young people thought were important and which they wanted to share with other LGBTQ+ young people. Through the youth-led art direction of the video the young people were empowered to use their voice to tell young LGBTQ+ across the UK what they would have wanted to know when they were younger. The aim was to speak to the full LGBTQ+ community and not just the groups that are traditionally covered in mainstream media. 

If you're a young person

Young LGBTQI+ people can – very rightly so – feel excluded from mainstream conversations about sex, relationships and consent. We are hopeful that this film will speak to you, and help you reflect upon your own past, current and future relationships.  

"If you are a young LGBTIQ+ person watching our film, please remember that you have a right to you own boundaries and to your own identity. If you are still it all out, that's ok - you deserve space, support and time to do this. It's ok to say no, especially in a world that doesn't always respect the boundaries of LGBTIQ+ people."

- A member of Project Indigo

If you're a professional

If you are facilitating a group of LGBTIQ+ young people, and would like to use the film for one of your sessions, we recommend also reading the accompanying resources listed below.

If you would like to contact Galop’s Young People’s Service, please email advice@galop.org.uk (or use the online form to refer a young person). We are committed to raising LGBTQ+ young people’s voices to improve services and support for those who are experiencing abuse and welcome your feedback and thoughts about the project.