Please welcome our speakers for the 2016 UK Meet.
On Saturday: Shaun Dellenty | On Sunday: Liam Klenk
Founder of Inclusion for All
MAY 2016: We’re delighted to see Shaun picking up the Education Champion award.
From the IFA website: “The journey to this website began one day in May 1987, aged 17 when I walked out of state education with the full intention of taking my own life. Having known I was gay from an early age, years of ‘drip feed’ homophobic messages and bullying from some of those closest to me, some of the media, some of my peers, some of my teachers, some politicians and some faith leaders all contributed to me forming the conclusion that my very presence on planet Earth was unwanted, bogus, irrelevant and perhaps even evil. Sitting on the side of a bath tub that day with a rusted razor blade and a Martini bottle a chorus of internalised messages and voices urged me to end my life. Yet amongst the multitude of voices came a whisper of hope, a fleeting thought that if I made a choice to stay on this beautiful planet, perhaps one day there would come a time when people such as me, born more attracted to those of the same sex than the opposite, would find a time and place where we truly and authentically belonged.
So I made a choice to try and fight on, yet tragically many young people around the world are not so fortunate in finding this glimmer of hope…
…In 1968 I was born as an optimistic, happy and loving gay child onto this beautiful planet but years of homophobic bullying and the homophobic messages I internalised from my peers, adults, the media and some politicians and some people of faith made me hate myself, cut myself and want to end my life. I hold no anger, no judgement, but I want to try to ensure in my own small way and with my limited means that no child suffers in this way again in our schools. If this sounds like you now, please reach out for help and I beg of you, do not lose hope-there can and will be a better place for you and I want you there to see it.”
READ this article in full, including all Shaun’s work in the education system, HERE.
Shaun Dellenty is a Shortlisted Nominee for the Excellence in Diversity Award 2016.
If would like to offer support, to donate or to volunteer for IFA please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Be kind, be safe, be authentic, be proud, be you. Keep hopeful.
Love and respect – Shaun Dellenty Spring 2016.”
Author of Paralian – Not Just Transgender
Paralian is a frank, honest memoir that reveals and celebrates the life Liam Klenk has lived all over the globe, in a huge variety of different cultures. Paralian is about Liam living his life authentically. A life that is inspiring but without looking for sympathy or approval. From a difficult, sometimes traumatic childhood, through the realisation that he had been born into the wrong gender and into his search for a place to truly call home, Paralian is a brilliant odyssey of a memoir that shows just how much resiliance, dedication and courage can be shown in one life.
At five months old Liam was adopted from the orphanage that had been caring for him and ushered into an unusual life journey. He was introduced to the characters who would become both the currents that moved him and the rocks that supported him.
In the author’s own words: “At three years old, I began catching odd glances because I was born in a girl’s body yet began to introduce myself to people as a boy.”
Paralian tells the remarkable story of a life, truly and authentically and offers insight and wisdom from a fluid position. Water has been a major influence in Liam’s life – from working as a scuba diver to living by rivers and seas. Liam’s story has gems of inspiration, experience and reality that will be recognisable to members of the gay and trans community, but at its heart is a story of a man overcoming any and all obstacles that he comes up against.
Follow Liam from a small river in Germany to the biggest performance pool in the world, and learn about the way he’s dealt with the challenges life has thrown at him along the way.