This month is LGBT+ Pride Month!
It’s a time to celebrate the LGBT+ community, and raise awareness and visibility of the issues and challenges facing the community.
The LGBT+ community encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, asexual, polysexual, genderqueer and gender variant people.
At Clockwork, we are passionate about equality and diversity, and we know that growing up LGBT+ is still often very difficult for young people, with negative impacts on mental health.
So, we have listed a few organisations that may be helpful for anyone struggling, or for anyone who would like to know more about the challenges young LGBT+ people face.
Switchboard – the LGBT+ helpline. https://switchboard.lgbt/
“We are a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing. We support people to explore the right options for themselves. We aspire to a society where all LGBT+ people are informed and empowered.”
Phone lines are open from 10am to 10pm every day: 0300 330 0630. There are around 160 trained volunteers who take calls at Switchboard, all of whom identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.
They get calls from LGBT+ people; from people who are considering issues around their sexuality or gender identity; and from family and friends of LGBT+ loved ones who would like some independent information, advice and support.
AllSorts Youth Project – https://www.allsortsyouth.org.uk/
“Allsorts Youth Project listens to, supports & connects children & young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or unsure (LGBTU) of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.”
They have a wealth of information and resources for LGBT+ young people. They offer youth groups, one-to-one emotional support and advocacy (practical support) for LGBT+ young people, as well as parents/carers support groups. These services are all available online during the covid-19 pandemic.
Stonewall Youth – https://www.youngstonewall.org.uk/
They have lots of helpful information on LGBT+ terminology and issues, including guides on the ‘coming out’ process and how to look after your health & wellbeing as a young LGBT+ person.
Mermaids – https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/
“Mermaids supports gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care.
Transgender and gender-variant children and teens need support and understanding, as well as the freedom to explore their gender identity. Whatever the outcome, Mermaids is committed to helping families navigate the challenges they may face.”
Mermaids have lots of helpful information and advice on their website. They also offer a telephone helpline and an online web chat for people seeking support, both of which are available 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday (phone 0344 334 0550 or visit https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/contact-us/).
And they offer a free 24/7 crisis text support service – text ‘Mermaids’ to 85258.