EVERY week in 2018 The National is giving a platform to a young Scot. This week, it’s 22-year-old Ricky Taylor of the Young Scots for Independence

IT’S June which can only mean one thing ... Pride Month!

Most people go through “that phase’, right? You’re a teenager, you start questioning your sexuality for various reason, and you’re absolutely terrified.

I’m what you would describe as “camp” – someone with a bit of extra flair. My campness began in my latter years at secondary school – I was the only male around four females during free periods, and I was the only male in my Health & Food Technology class. I found that being camp made hanging out with those four females much easier, but I then began to question my sexuality. I was forever asking myself “Am I disguising being gay by being camp?”

I’ve since found where I’m happy – I’m heterosexual but still very much camp.

The journey wasn’t easy, there was a lot of pressure. I live in the North East where, in certain communities, being anything other than heterosexual isn’t fully accepted. I am glad that the vast majority of people accept the diversity of modern-day society.

Aberdeen recently played host to the first ever Grampian Pride – over 5000 people from all walks of life descended on the Granite City to celebrate the LGBT+ community. If a very colourful parade down the city’s main thoroughfare and 5000 tickets for the Pride Village being sold out doesn’t send a message that we LOVE the LGBT+ community in the North East, then I don’t know what will. This event is exactly what the region needed, and I’m already looking forward to attending next year’s one.

As the organiser of the SNP’s Youth Wing, Young Scots for Independence (YSI), in the North East, I was determined for us to have a presence there.

Since forming the Scottish Government in 2007, the SNP have led the way in making Scotland one of the most LGBT+ friendly nations across the globe. Scotland has previously been rated the best country in Europe on LGBT+ equality by ILGA-Europe.

From passing historic same-sex marriage legislation, bringing forward legislation to pardon all gay and bisexual men who were convicted for same-sex sexual activity under historic homophobic laws, to being the first country in Europe to provide national government funding to a transgender rights project.

Even with Scotland leading the way on LGBT+ equality on an international level there is still much more that needs to be done, and it will be down to all of us working together that will achieve a full and just society.

There are many great LGBT+ organisations doing tremendous work for the LGBT+ community in Scotland. Supporting them groups and learning from them will make Scotland a better place for everyone to live in.

We should all live by the words of Ellen Page: “This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another.”