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Mersey Teenager wins LGBTQ+ Young Business Person of the Year at Gaydio Pride Awards

2 months ago

Mersey Teenager wins LGBTQ+ Young Business Person of the Year at Gaydio Pride Awards
Emily at the Gaydio Pride Awards 2024

A Knowsley teenager has won a Gaydio Pride Award.

Emily Waldron, 15, from Knowsley, was named LGBTQ+ Young Business Person of the Year at this year’s star-studded Gaydio Pride Awards which recognises and celebrates the efforts made to better LGBTQ+ lives in the UK.

She says: “I was absolutely shocked when I won because I had no idea it was going to be me, especially given the people I was up against.

“I was more than happy just to be there.”

Gaydio Pride Awards

But Emily adds: “I know how important these awards are and so I was delighted to be walking home with the title.”

The teen won the award, which was presented in front of guests including Strictly star and actor and singer Layton Williams, Big Brother’s Rhian Sugden, Paul Burrell and Dr Raj Singh, for her Instagram business @Emz_Crafts_ which creates merchandise from t-shirts to tote bags, mugs, socks and more, that relate to and support the LGBTQ+ community.

By her own admission Emily isn’t – or wasn’t – the most crafty person, but arts and crafts came to be a life-saver when she left school because of bullying because of who she was.

Emily, who came out as trans publicly when she was in year 5 at primary school, explains: “When I first identified as trans publicly I was really looked after by my school and helped quite a bit.

“It was when I went to high school that the bullying started. It wasn’t too bad in year 7, but in years 8 and 9 it became more physical and the name calling and the words used were more violent and threatening.

Gaydio Pride Awards

“I lost a lot of my friends.”

When Emily left school part-way through year 9, mum Emma began to home school her daughter, and used arts and crafts as a way of supporting her and helping to improve and address her low mental health and her wellbeing.

She excelled at learning the techniques needed to create the goods and gifts that she now sells on her Insta page.

And profits go towards transport costs so she can play football across the UK with TRUK United and feel less isolated and able to interact with her peers, and to attend protests and voice her opinions in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s important that more LGBTQ+ voices are heard,” says Emily. “What the government is doing now, for instance, to healthcare with the trans community and stopping transitioning until the age of 18 is horrible.

“It is trying to stop us living the lives we want to lead, and be who we are, and that’s wrong.”

Emily has advocated for Amnesty International and contributed to a book ‘Know your rights and claim them: A Guide for Youth’ co-written by Angelina Jolie, and she appeared on The One Show with the Hollywood actress talking about it.

“Making my voice heard and myself known is as important for me as my life is,” stresses Emily. “Creating change and improving tolerance is the only way I will be able to live my life, and to live my life just like anyone else.

“And I hope I am able to do that sooner, rather than later.”

She will continue @Emz_Crafts_ to enable her to try to create that change and while she hasn’t totally decided on what she wants to do as a career, Emily says it will probably be something in the sports arena.

“I have always wanted to own my own gym, and to make it inclusive, so that LGBTQ+ people will be able come and be sure that they can do what they want to do and leave with a smile on their face.

“To know that it will be a safe space for them.

“My dream is for the world to be a tolerant place, a place where people aren’t horrible towards one another, but who are kind to one another, no matter who they are.

“Hopefully winning the award will help my voice to be heard, and help it to be louder, so that can happen.”

Find out more about the Gaydio Pride Awards here.

Find out the latest in Liverpool here.



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