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Tanya Compas

Youth worker, Consultant and Creator

Tanya Compas - She/They

Youth Worker, Consultant and Creator



“During the lockdown, I joined TikTok and started seeing videos around ADHD, which I related to. I then saw a lot more Black women and people talk about the disorder on Twitter. From there, I started googling symptoms and got tested. ADHD is evident in every aspect of my life, both the good and the bad. The emotional side of it, particularly RSD, is the worst part. It feels like you have a bully living in your head that tells you you’re incapable and that everybody hates you. 

“I have my youth organisation Exist Loudly, which supports Black LGBTQ+ youth in the UK. I’ve always been a great youth worker because of my ADHD, but since my diagnosis and taking time to reflect, it’s turned me into an even better youth worker. Workplaces and employers need to understand and learn about ADHD as there is so much shame around it as well as finding accessible therapy or counselling.”

Taken from Tanya’s interview with Vogue

“My mind feels like it has 150 tabs open”: 6 people share what it’s like to live with ADHD | Vogue Singapore | Wellness


When did you decide to use your voice to advocate for LGBTQ+ young people, especially those from BAME backgrounds?

“I’ve been working with young people on and off from the age of 18. Each experience has moulded me into not only the youth worker I am today but the person I am. So often, [vulnerable young people] just need someone to advocate for them, to actively listen to them, to understand them – but most importantly to provide a safe space for them to explore their identity and just exist as themselves, without anybody… making them feel unsafe, unloved or unwanted based on their identity.”

Why does this cause feel so important to you?

“I grew up not knowing that black people could be queer, and believed that being LGBTQ+ was a ‘white people thing’. I don’t want other young people to think the same. Whether you are part of the community or not, we should all know that LGBTQ+ people exist outside of the realm of whiteness, and we should all learn how to advocate for, support and love young QPOC loudly, through the good times and the bad.” 


If you could sum up the ethos of your work in five words, what would they be?

“Passionate about creating spaces for joy.”

You’ve got 150 words in which to say whatever you want about the issue you support - go for it!

“Queer black young people deserve spaces in which they can exist loudly, without having to minimise parts of themselves in order to fit in or feel safe. Our differences are not a means of division, but accept that not every space is for you. Young QPOC deserves spaces for joy, too – not all activism needs to be trauma-based in order for it to be important. Sometimes, we just want to dance, to take photos, to eat a meal, to talk freely amongst ourselves, to build a community and to simply exist in it. If you work with a company, a brand or a corporation that has the access and the means to support a project like this, be an ally and utilise your networks to help make these services a reality.”

Taken from Tanya’s interview with Vogue

Activist Tanya Compas Is Creating “Spaces For Joy” For Young Queer People Of Colour | British Vogue


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