2015 marked some key events in LGBTQ history. In a landmark court ruling, the United States finally passed laws ushering in nationwide marriage equality for all; the United Nations continued its fight for equality, releasing a report that noted progress while also highlighting where violence and discrimination were still taking place around the world; and discriminatory bans were lifted allowing trans-people to join the military and gay men to become scout leaders.
Yes, some things have changed for the better, but it’s 2016 now and some parts of the world are still digging their heals in. Abuse and discrimination remain commonplace, and not just for the LGBTQ community, we might add.
Many LGBTQ individuals have been fortunate enough to have support and encouragement throughout their lives, but there are some really pressing issues that still need to be addressed. We need to generate a discussion and make sure that anyone suffering knows where they can receive help.
Ahead of London pride this summer we have highlighted some key websites where you can receive help - whether you’re LGBTQ, in a crisis yourself or concerned about a friend, colleague or family member.
Dealing with Traumatic Family Situations
It can be hard to talk to your parents at the best of times, coming out to your family, or discussing your thoughts, views and feelings can be daunting. There are many charities and organisations set up to give you support. The LGBTQ switchboard are there to offer calming words when you need them most. http://switchboard.lgbt
Services for Children
You may know someone younger than you who is having a hard time. Gay & Lesbian Youth Services is a program that assists children aged 14 to 21. The service helps children to be proud of who they are. It promotes this positivity in a safe environment where children are encouraged to learn through peer interaction with the help of educational resources.
Dealing with Substance Abuse
In the LGBTQ community there is a higher incidence of addiction and substance abuse as the Psychology of Addictive Behaviours journal highlights.
Rehab facilities can offer somewhere safe and secure with staff on hand who are experts in dealing with all sorts of substance abuse. There are specific LGBTQ-friendly rehabs who can offer understanding of more specific issues that LGBTQ face. We recommend London Friend for instant advice and support http://londonfriend.org.uk/get-support/
Dealing with Physical or Emotional Abuse
If you or a loved one are suffering and need someone to talk to remember that there are people there to talk to. Choosing the right therapist can sometimes involve a process of trial and error, so compare reviews, ask friends and family members for a recommendation, and call for a phone consultation before making an appointment.
Most importantly, we need to keep pushing forward, keep the discussion open. Talking is the best therapy.