What can affect people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ+) and looking for help, is the fear of prejudice and ignorance. Although the argument of it not being 'natural' means nothing, it's often difficult for people to accept things they don't understand. That makes it even harder to find support and understanding. Whether you decide to come out or not, you can find support.
Get help and support if you are experiencing homophobic bullying. Have a look at our pages on understanding your sexuality in our relationship section. You might also be interesed in taking a look at our pages on understanding your gender identity in our health section.
"Don't feel pressured to identify. You can take your time to work it out" Young person at Outreach Youth, 2019
Outreach youth is a youth project for LGBTQ+ young people aged around 13 – 19 years across Suffolk. The sessions are just like other youth projects but with a particular focus. Outreach youth provides:
After visiting Outreach Youth and speaking to the young people there, they have shared their experiences with us so that we can talk about some of the issues on this page.
Sexual health issues for young people who are LGBTQ+ are broadly no different to straight men and women. The same message of prevention of sexually transmitted infections applies (STIs). Always wearing a condom when having sex will reduce the risk of becoming infected.
All clinics, doctors, school nurses and health professionals must legally give the same level of help and support regardless of your sexual preference. For more advice, take a look at our sexual health pages.
Telling your friends and family that you're lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning can be really difficult and upsetting if they don't seem to accept it.
When one young person came out to her family, her mum told her was probably 'just a phase’, comparing it to an old leather jacket she went through a phase of wearing in her youth!
This seems to be a fairly common response, particularly from parents. Luckily, there is information and support out there for the families of young people who are LGBTQ+, and advice on accepting your child's sexuality or gender identity. You could try directing your family to one of these websites if it seems like they're struggling:
"It get's better. It can take a while but it get's much easier" Dan at Outreach Youth, 2019
It can be difficult at first but have confidence that people will get over it and stop caring. It can help to look at it from their viewpoint, it's not something that they expected and it can help to be understanding of them, like you want them to be understanding to you.
Advice from young people at Outreach Youth:
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