New Starters - El Lotz

Meet El, our LGBTQ+ Youth Worker, based in Calderdale!

Hey, I’m El – I use she/they pronouns and I’m Brunswick’s newest LGBTQ youth worker, based in Calderdale. I’ve worked with young people in youth & community settings and schools for the past 7 years. When I’m not working at youth clubs my time is usually spent roller-skating and playing roller derby for a local team - If you’ve never heard of the sport, check it out, it’s an amazing sport that is known for its queer inclusivity, all bodies no matter their shape, size or gender expression are welcome.

1. What does being LGBTQ+ mean to you?

Being LGBTQ+ can sometimes feel isolating and marginalising, my aim in life is to throw those words out of the window and create community around myself, to find others in the world who have shared experiences, who I can learn from, pass my knowledge on to and relate to. There is power within a community and there is power in each and every LGBTQ+ person for living their authentic lives. I’m so incredibly proud to identify as a lesbian, to use words like butch and non-binary to describe my gender expression.

2. Why do you think youth work is important?

The reason why I think youth work is so important, especially for the LGBTQ+ young people we work with, is that it offers a safe space to learn, build community and find a voice. Particularly if young people struggle with aspects of home and school life, it’s a sanctuary to get away from it all for a few hours each week.

3. What have you learnt about yourself from doing the work you do?

Some things I’ve learnt about myself along my career path is to not take life always so seriously - the most fun can be had when you let go and lean into the silly dancing, the messy arts and crafts or the odd karaoke session! It’s important to find your joy, whatever or wherever that is!