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Gravesend actor produces film about standing up to homophobic bullying

PUBLISHED: 17:23 15 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:59 16 June 2016

Carleigh-Ann Portelli wants to put a stop to homophobic prejudice by making a film

Carleigh-Ann Portelli wants to put a stop to homophobic prejudice by making a film

Archant

The film is based on her own experiences at school

A Gravesend actor has helped create a film alongside young people’s charity Fixers to highlight the effect of homophobic bullying in schools.

Based on her own experiences, Carleigh-Ann Porteli says she has faced years of prejudice after coming at the age of 16.

The 25-year-old said: “I’ve been called ‘dyke’ and spat at in the street. People throw verbal abuse around because they think it’s funny.

“It’s quite demeaning and makes others think they can do the same.”

Growing up, the actor, who runs Naked Frank Theatre, says she was bullied at school.

She said: “I was cornered by a group of students who told me to make out with a girl.

“They thought it was funny, but it really wasn’t - it was embarrassing.

“Thankfully my friends stepped in, but it was an awful experience. Nobody should have to prove their sexuality.”

The new film is available to watch on the Fixers website.

The charity has helped more than 18,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.

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