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How can you stay safe (particularly over Christmas) as an LGBQ+ person?

JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,214 Part of The Furniture
Put your best tips below! I've shared some Mix resources on the subject too :)

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A guide to staying safe over Christmas as an LGBTQ+ person

If we're worried about how our friends and family might react to our gender or our sexuality while we're at home, then Christmas isn’t always the most relaxing time. It can be stressful if we're trying to hide our identity, or if we're trying to have a conversation about our identity with someone close to us.

Why might the festive season be difficult for the LGBTQ+ community?
  • We might not be out to our family yet so Christmas can feel like an overwhelming time.
  • We might be coming back from university, where we feel safe, to a place where we feel like we can’t really be ourselves.
  • We might not have a home to go to over the holidays.
  • We might get gender-specific cards and presents which don’t relate to how we identify.
  • We might not want to bring our partner home because we worry our family might not accept them or approve.
LGBTQ+ community spaces may be closed over the festive season, making it difficult to connect to our community.

Make some time for ourselves and practice self-kindness:
  • Do something creative like drawing or painting
  • Arrange a coffee or a call with friends
  • Read or listen to our favourite music or podcast
  • Go for a walk (it can be soothing to be near nature)
  • Take a nap if things feel too overwhelming
  • Cuddle and play with a pet

We may want to use the holidays as an opportunity to come out to family. We should be sure to do this when we feel ready and prepared for all potential outcomes. We could write a letter/email, or have a conversation with the person we're closest to first. There is no “correct way” to come out, so we should only do it when we're ready and in a way that we feel comfortable with.

One of The Mix’s young volunteers says:

“I’ve found that surrounding myself with people who are going through the same thing or who are allies of the LGBTQ+ community has been a massive help for me over these last few weeks. These people can be internet friends, or they can be close friends or family who you have told and who will support you....”

“...Being able to message these people through a bad day has helped me to not only process my own feelings but has also taught me that the people who have reacted in a difficult way may also just need time to process their own feelings.”

Remember that we’re not alone in feeling like this – we can stay in contact with our youth group or school friends via social media; this can be good place to explain how we’re feeling or talk it through with people who understand it.

It can really help to make a plan of what to do if we start to notice we’re not feeling great. This could include talking it through with someone.

Who to get in touch with if we’re feeling like we need some urgent help or are in crisis:
  • LGBT Switchboard have their helpline open daily 10am – 11pm on 0800 0119 100
  • Contact the Samaritans for free via mobile or landline on 116 123
  • Call Childline on 0800 111, for free on most landlines and mobile contracts
  • Chat to one of the LGBT+ youth workers on Proud Connections Live Chat via theproudtrust.org

All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
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