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About the organisation
H&Q Productions was 2018 to produce the musical Here, Queer & Mentally Unclear, and our goal is not only to create brilliant and inspiring work, but also to educate the public through stories, song and empathetic engagement to improve society’s understanding of marginalized identities. Our core team are all LGBTQIA+ and neuro-divergent, we have an emphasis on highlighting trans and BIPoC stories, and we hold accessibility at the forefront of everything we do. Our work focuses on highlighting marginalized voices, and our practice is based in education through theatre, community building, and pushing artistic barriers while working collaboratively. By producing theatre in education workshops, and online resources, we work with an aim to directly impact and decrease the incidences of bullying, exclusion, and hate crimes in schools, businesses, hospitals, and society as a whole.

About the project
Here, Queer & Mentally Unclear Educational Workshops
Here, Queer & Mentally Unclear Educational Workshops is a 60 minute long theatrical workshop which educates on LGBTQIA+ identity and mental health. Our challenge is the rising hate crime towards LGBTQIA+ people. In 2017/18 sexual orientation hate crimes in the UK went up 27% from the previous year and transphobic hate crimes went up 32% (Home Office 2018: 12). And the situation for young people is daunting, with one in 7 trans people being physically attacked at school by teachers and/or students (Stonewall 2018 School Report). 91% of LGBTQIA+ people never report a hate crime or incident so we know these numbers are actually much higher.

The effects of hate crime are long lasting and people who experience hate crime are over twice as likely to face serious emotional impacts such as difficulty sleeping, anxiety, panic attacks or depression, compared with people who experience crime in general (Home Office 2018: 28). We are targeting schools because there is a normalization of anti-LGBTQIA+ stigma, bullying and violence. In the general population nearly 1 in 5 people believe’ LGBT was ‘immoral’ or ‘against their beliefs’’, and this rises to 1 in 4 among young people, showing a generational shift toward anti-LGBTIA+ prejudice. (Galop Hate Crime Report). We believe the best way to combat hate crime and prejudice is through education and compassion. Our workshops therefore take a compassionate approach to LGBTQIA+ education, with a focus on the importance of allyship.

The workshop tells stories of two young people, one who identifies as non-binary and bisexual, and one who identifies as a trans man. The two share verbatim stories intertwined with emotive songs. The theatrical dialogue is interspersed with educational information covering the LGBTQIA2+ acronym, gender identity, sexuality, bullying, mental health and wellbeing, allyship and signposting.