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Queer Youth Network

Queer Youth Network
Founded 1999, Manchester, United Kingdom
Focus LGBT, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual, intersex and questioning youth, activism
Area served
United Kingdom, Europe
Method Networking, Campaigning, Advocacy, Outreach, Community Media, TV and Radio

The Queer Youth Network (QYN) is a national non-profit-making organisation that is run by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people and is based in the United Kingdom. It has an aim to represent the needs and views of younger LGBT people by 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 experiencing homophobia.


  • Founding 1
  • Core work 2
  • National Queer Youth Conference 3
  • Regional work 4
  • Queer Youth Radio 5
  • Website Issues 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Queer Youth Network members from London and the South East marching down Whitehall as part of Pride London 2011.

Founded in 1999 by David Joseph Henry and CN Lester as a grass roots civil rights group, its formation was inspired by YouthSpeak and originally called the 'Queer Youth Alliance' until December 2006, and also ‘Queer Youth Overground’ for a short period between 1999 and 2001. In the beginning, the movement consisted of two member groups – Queer Youth Manchester (a local social support group based at the Hollywood Showbar in Manchester’s gay village) and Putney High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (the first of its kind in the UK). Henry and Lester got together to form a national alliance of LGBT Young People.

As many of the organisation’s original aims began to be achieved (e.g. abolition of Section 28 and equalising the age of consent for gay men), the group decided to focus on youth support, and representation to ensure homophobic legislation such as that brought about by the Conservative government of the 1980s should not be re-enacted.

The first president of the organisation was David Joseph Henry, who stepped down in August 2005 to make way for new president Greg Justice, with Katherine Parlour taking over as Vice President.

With the departure of Greg Justice and Katherine Parlour, the organisation re-grouped; after a period of no clear control in 2007, the organisation changed its name to the Queer Youth Network, and with David Henry,

The organisation has been awarded the accolade as "Youth Group of the Year" by Pink Paper readers in both 2009 and 2010.[1] The network's leaders were absolutely thrilled to have been voted "Best Youth Group" by Pink Paper readers and in response explained that 2009 will mark the 10th Anniversary of Britain's first national organisation for LGBT young people. The leaders also acknowledged that the award is a testament to all the members, volunteers and supporters who have worked hard to support the wellbeing of queer young people by campaigning for equality and liberation.

Core work

Instrumental in overturning Trans Youth Network.

After a brief period of inactivity, Queer Youth Network returned to campaigning in August 2007, with the appointment of [4]

Recent campaigns have included calling for action on homophobic and transphobic hate crime, in particular the murder of Manchester Pride after calling for the annual LGBT festival to be a free event. Leader David Joseph Henry claimed festival stewards attempted to censored their "Pride Not Profit" placards.[7] They later released a short film called "Manchester Shame" exploring arguments that Pride is no longer a community event. Shortly after the Chair of the Village Business Association, Phil Burke resigned from the board of Manchester Pride declaring "Manchester Pride purely a money-making operation" and is "run by dictators".[8]

Leading figures in the Network are active in politics. David Henry stood as a parliamentary candidate in the 2010 General Election against former minister Hazel Blears. Jack Holroyde stood down from his position in QYN to join the Liberal Democrats and is now a leading activist in north London.

National Queer Youth Conference

Queer Youth Alliance at Manchester EuroPride 2003 with gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

The National Queer Youth Conference is hosted annually by the Queer Youth Network, in 2003 it took place in London, 2004 saw it come to Birmingham, Manchester in 2005 and to Birmingham again in 2007. The event is the largest gathering of LGBT young people in Europe and is based upon similar events held in the United States.

Regional work

'Local Reps' lead 7 regional QYN Groups throughout 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.

Queer Youth London is one of the movement's most active groups and has been run by Hollie Brock for several years. As a fully youth-led collective, it holds regular monthly meets all over Greater London and the South East.

International branches of the network have also appeared in recent years including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and a Pan-African network. In Europe there are also groups covering the Benelux nations and Scandinavia.[9]

Queer Youth Radio

The Queer Youth Network launched Queer Youth Radio in the summer of 2006. Shows are put together by the group's members and youth groups across the UK who are invited to produce and star in their very own radio programmes. The station broadcasts a blend of new music and news as well as having its own Soap Opera called 'The Group'. Which follows the goings on at a gay youth group and tackles funny issues along with not so funny ones. The newest addition is Sandra, Queer Youth's very own drag queen who spins the decks with her uplifting tunes and sometimes coarse humour.

Website Issues

After the domain wasn't renewed for a week, the site returned with major issues.[10] You cannot sign in or sign up. The news feed is broken and pages cannot be viewed with out signing in. However a tweet from the Twitter account has shown that the website is being redone for 2015 for a "new generation" [11]

See also


  1. ^ "LGF News: national youth network scoops prestigious award". 
  2. ^ Letter to Metropolitan Police regarding Pride 2008: by Joanne McKillop (Trans Officer)
  3. ^ 'Asexual Coordinator for the Queer Youth Network - Asexual Visibility and Education Network''"'". 2013-11-30. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  4. ^ 'Trans group angry at stonewall nomination''"'". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  5. ^ LGBT youth activists wants action after death of teen following homophobic attack 5 August 2008
  6. ^ Gay Teen Murdered in Liverpool: LGBT Youth Groups Demand Action 8 June 2008.
  7. ^ Queer Group claims organisers tried to censor them at Manchester Pride 28 August 2008.
  8. ^ Manchester Pride: Purely a "commercial operation"
  9. ^ Queer Youth Networks around the World
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

  • Official website
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