Leotie Whitelaw

"Forgiving yourself is really important. It was hard for me at the start to admit I was a feminist. I used to be very anti-feminist and anti-social justice generally but I think that a part of that came from wanting to fit in with the kids that were bullying me. I used to blame my personal issues on others who weren’t like me because I was having a difficult time with being myself. Realising it was okay to be different: mixed-race, disabled, a woman, really helped me to leave the idea of hating people behind. Perhaps the only way to be at peace with everyone around you is to accept yourself."

John Byrne Award