Feeling different due to sexuality or gender identity can be difficult
What does LGBTQIA+ mean?
Sometimes people identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Other people don’t feel that they fit into traditional categories of gender and sexuality. LGBTQIA+ young people may face difficulties and experience challenges that are unique to this community. This can affect their health and well-being without the proper support.
This page looks at some of the issues affecting LGBTIA+ young people and positives of getting support to grow to be yourself and have fun.
Some issues that may affect you as an LGBTQIA+ young person
These may include:
- Reactions from family and friends
- Homelessness- getting kicked out of the home
- Difficulties understanding your sexuality or gender: Am I normal for feeling like this?
- Abuse and bullying at school/college/work
- Keeping things bottled up inside
- Difficulties coming out
- Discrimination, Homophobia, bullying and Hate Crimes
Some things to consider about ‘coming out’ as an LGBTQIA+
‘Coming out’ means telling someone you are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or curious. It is up to you IF you want to tell someone (or who you tell) but remember that some people may not understand and relationships may be permanently changed.
It may be difficult to start a conversation about your gender or sexuality but it can help you have a closer and more honest relationship with family and friends. It is up to you IF you want to tell someone (or who you tell) but remember that some people may not understand or be hostile.
Telling someone you trust may help you meet other young people who are going through the same thing. Being honest can increase your self esteem and a positive self-image. Your mental health will improve as you are not hiding who you are or worried about being found out.
Discrimination and bullying
Experiences of homophobic and transphobic discrimination and bullying can impact on your wellbeing, mental health and other factors (such as age, religion, where you live or ethnicity) can have an increased impact on your physical and mental health.
Did you know? Being LGBTQIA+ or having a disability, are called protected characteristics, and The Equality Act 2010 means the law protects people with protected characteristics from discrimination (being treated unfairly for being different).
Remember, you have the right to be treated fairly and with respect. Go to this page if you want to know more about your rights and how you can challenge discrimination.
Asking For Help
- You might not like asking but people who care about you will want to help
- Ask Trusted Friend, Parent/Carer Family member
- Professional - Youth Worker/Doctor/Social Worker
- Community Support Group
Believe in Yourself
- Focus on the Positive
- Understand & challenge negative/bad feelings
Take Time Out
Stress busting relaxation: Stop what you are doing, look out of the window, let your shoulders drop, stretch - allow your mind to calm down. Deep Breaths: think of a lovely place you have been to, keep taking deep breaths, take time to relax in this place.
Stresspot on MindMate is a fun way to look at stress.
Do Something You Enjoy
- Be active: still go for a walk everyday or run/cycle or do exercises at home
- Be creative: do drawing, painting, doodles, make masks, birthday cards, upcycle an old t-shirt/jacket,
- learn a new craft/activity
- Listen to music: something that is calming & makes you feel good
- Watch films, read a book or listen to audio books (App - Audible), magazine
- Take photos and make a collage out of the new and old ones
- Keep a journal/ diary/ blog
Look after Your Health
Stay Connected (and Safe)
- Stay in touch - Facetime/Google hangouts/Zoom
- Manage your time online - Facebook, Instagram, YouTube make it easy to track your time online whether your on iOS or Android
- Set a daily reminder to track your time online - set your ideal daily usage
- Speak to friends & family on the phone or text them
- Stay safe - Privacy is possible. Use 'social media site settings' to protect your info
- Block anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable
Questions about sexual orientation or gender
Young Minds have a great blog written by Charlotte a Young Minds activist
Stonewall have a page providing advice and help about coming out for LGBTQIA+young people
Want to find out more?
Support Group for LGBTQ+ Young People age 13 to 19 years supported by workers from the WMDC Youth Work Team. Information, Advice and Guidance: sTel: 01924 302665 and ask for a Stripes worker
Day or Night we’re here when life is difficult'. Tel:116 123 (free)
Turning Point - Talking Therapies
If you are 16 years or over and registered with a GP Surgery in Wakefield District you can access Turning Point Talking Therapies.
Tel: 01924 234860
Free, safe online support for Young People age 11 to 25 years
Free, confidential service where you can talk about anything online on the phone anytime. Tel: 0800 1111
Young Minds Crisis Messenger for 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.
If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
Info Service : 0800 50 2020
Helpline: 020 7593 1850
(Mon - Fri 9.30 to 5.30)
Support for Young People(YP) up to 19 years with Gender Issues & their families On Site YP Forum & Parents Forum Tel: 0844 334 0550 (9am to 9pm)
Panic attacks, OCD, phobias.
Helpline: 0844 967 4848 (10am - 10pm (charges apply)
Crisis No 01952 680835 (24 hour)
Info about drugs and substance abuse
Phone: 0800 776600 (24 hour)
Provides information around sexual health and relationships, C card, STI testing and pregnancy.
Information on booking a HIV/ STI test in Wakefield for 16+ and 1-2-1 phone support contact details.
Essential Support for under 25s. Check out the Gender and Sexuality sections.