What does LGBT include?
- LGBTstands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
- Some other abbreviations are LGBTQ, LGBT+, LGBTQA, TBLG
- These also include people identifying as Queer or Questioning, and asexual or ally
- Homosexuality is a term where people are attracted to the same sex
Not everyone is as open and accepting of homosexuality, so you may be subject to bullying
- Homophobia is where someone dislikes or is prejudiced against homosexual people
- Some people don’t understand that it is normal, and will pick on you because you are simply different to them
- Bullying can take different forms, including name calling, whispers, threats, stares, nasty comments, violence
- Schools have a legal duty to ensure homophobic bullying is dealt with
- It can be scary to try and tell someone if you are being bullied, but you need to ask for help in order to stop it – this is not a sign of weakness
Remember you don’t have to put up with it
- Is where you tell people of your sexuality – it can be a scary experience as you may not know how people will react, but it’s completely your decision and no one else’s opinions matter – YOU DON’T NEEED TO COME OUT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO OR ARE NOT READY
- Everyone’s experiences of coming out are different – there is no guide of how to come out, and factors making it different are: your sexuality, your cultural background and your personal circumstances
- If you are ready to come out try approaching a trusted friend or relative first as this can help you feel more positive about it and can help you feel more confident in telling other people
- Don’t rush into telling someone if you are not ready, make sure to leave plenty of time so you can talk about it – maybe try and be in a setting where you feel confident and where you won’t be disturbed
- If you feel you may need support reach out to a charity who can help guide you through this, for example: LGBT foundation, Stonewall, Mind, LGF, EACH
- Most people will be positive about you coming out but be prepared to deal with people being negative as not everyone is as warm and accepting
Mental health issues
- Many LGBT people have mental health issues as a result of homophobic bullying and discrimination
- If you do feel as though you are struggling, talking to a therapist trained in LGBT may help as they are specialised in the issues that may be causing the mental health problems associated with it
- Getting help doesn’t make you weak, it can be lifesaving – it’s never too late to seek help, even if your problem doesn’t seem very big it can help
- Some reasons to get help may be:
- Feeling down, tired or lacking energy
- Thoughts of self-harm or thoughts of taking your life
- Lack of interest in things you normally enjoy
- Shutting yourself away
Sources: Stonewall and NHS Livewell
Don’t suffer in silence!
There are many places that can help and if you are struggling right now call the SAMARITANS on 116 123 – they are there to help and listen to whatever is going on.
Other places to get help can be your GP practice, support groups, trained therapists, friends and family.