Coronavirus is impacting everyone, placing strain on the physical and mental wellbeing of many, but the LGBTQ+ community is facing additional barriers.Social distancing not only forces partners to be apart but can increase a feeling of disconnection from the wider LGBTQ+ community. It’s also important to recognise that staying at home and spending more time with family is not easy for everyone, especially if families don’t accept you for who you are.
With this in mind, we wanted to share a list of LGBTQ+ resources and supportive ideas which we encourage you to use and share with your LGBTQ+ friends, family and colleagues.
Stay in touch with your support system
It’s important to stay in contact with people who can offer support outside of the home – taking time to keep in touch with friends and loved ones either in person (being mindful of social distancing guidelines) or over video calls, is vital.
Joining an online LGBTQ+ group can improve support systems. Below are a few options:
- Stonewall has compiled a list of QTIPOC organisations here
- MindOut is an online support charity for LGBTQ+ people facing mental health issues
- Terrence Higgins Trust is the leading HIV charity in the UK and has produced Coronavirus-specific advice for people living with HIV
- Regard is a national charity for LGBTQ+ people with disabilities
- Live Through This support LGBTQ+ people living with cancer and have online peer support services
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a network of local mutual aid groups supporting communities to look out for one another. Several areas, including London, have LGBTQ+ specific mutual aid groups. Queercare also has a form to connect vulnerable LGBTQ+ people with support getting food and medicine at this time
- Albert Kennedy Trust supports LGBTQ+ people aged 16-25 who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment
- Galop, the LGBTQ+ anti-violence charity has put together a pack to support transgender people
Fill time with LGBT+ friendly activities
It will be strange to celebrate Pride away from the community, but there are a host of online activities which will help you stay connected at home.
- forum+ are hosting virtual activities
- Black Out UK is a London based organisation for black queer men, running an app and virtual activities
- Outings in Art are an organisation for older LGBTQ+ people in London
- The Outside Project is the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ community shelter and they have opened a virtual hub
- Stonewall has an LGBTQ+ group/services finder which you can use to find local community groups
There are more activities listed on our Virtual Pride 2020 page.
General tips for spending time at home
- Prioritise alone time when and if you can – everyone needs space to relax sometimes
- If you’re working from home, try to create a work space with inspirational and motivational accessories. Remember to take regular breaks away from your screen
- Learn a new skill or try out a new exercise class, take a look at The Sessions at Home for ideas
- Get some fresh air when you can (in line with social distancing guidelines)
- Switch off – its normal to feel some anxiety with everything that’s happening right now but take a breather from the news and social media when you need it
If you are feeling alone or need to speak to someone the below resources are available to you.
- LGBTQ+ Switchboard helpline. Open 10am to 10pm daily. Telephone 0300 330 0630.
- Galop LGBTQ+ anti-violence helpline. Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. Telephone 0800 999 5428.
- Kooth.com can providing online mental health and wellbeing support for any young people (11-18) affected in your family
- Samaritans have a 24/7 helpline. Telephone 116 123