Talk about going the distance. Joe McGurk, an assistant for a Glasgow MSP, is standing up to LGBTI school bullying in a big way.
McGurk, 22, will participate in a half marathon, skydive, and shave his head, as part of a fundraising effort. All in one day. He’s working with the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.
Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson founded TIE in 2015 with an aim to address issues of LGBTI inclusiveness within the Scottish education system.
They offer services like school assemblies, workplace seminars, and, furthermore, teacher training.
McGurk is doing all this on 14 October. Before then, he’s hoping to raise £500. You can donate here.
‘TIE is such an emotionally compelling and charged campaign and it is spearheaded by two of the most passionate campaigners I have ever met,’ he said in a statement. ‘As someone who was bullied for being “different”, the TIE campaign is something both I and my secondary school could have done with whilst growing up.’
According to their research, 90% of LGBTI people have experience homphobia, biphobia, or transphobia at school. 27% of LGBTI have attempted suicide due to bullying; 15% have tried more than once.
‘As we are unfunded, acts like this are the lifeblood of our campaign and we are very appreciative of efforts to support our work,’ a TIE spokesperson said.
‘Any funds raised by Joe will go towards funding our upcoming teacher training event in Aberdeen, where we will be equipping teachers with the skills to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and to make their classrooms more LGBTI inclusive. We wish Joe the best of luck.’
In February, a majority of the Scottish Parliament signed TIE’s campaign pledge. This made Scotland the first in Europe to explicitly support LGBTI inclusive education.