Although much has been achieved concerning LGBTQIA+ rights, many from the community still face obstacles. Many still feel unable to confide in friends and family about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Today around half of gay, lesbian, and bi people say they cannot come out or talk about their gender identity to their entire family or social group.
Worryingly, around 51% of BAME LGBTQIA+ people say they come up against discrimination from the LGBTQIA+ community. Many LGBTQIA+ disabled people and those from religious groups also speak of discrimination from within the community.
With all this considered, is a sad fact that issues such as depression, suicide, self-harm, alcoholism, and drug addiction are more common within the LGBTQIA+ community than with any other in the UK.
However, we must stress that being LGBTQIA+ is not the cause of these issues. The issues stem from misunderstandings and prejudice that people from the community experience – outside and inside the community. LGBTQIA+ people can often be made to feel rejected by society and even by people within the community.
People from the LGBTQIA+ community face on an almost daily basis issue such as isolation, discrimination as well as homophobia and transphobia. People from the community face the fear of discrimination and rejection when coming out to friends and family. Many people from the community experience rejection and discrimination from family and friends, forcing them to isolate or look for acceptance elsewhere.
When looking for acceptance, many people from the LGBTQIA+ community become victims of abuse by people who prey on their vulnerabilities.
Sadly, LGBTQIA+ people are more vulnerable to poor mental health compared to other groups.
*Stonewall recently conducted a study which revealed some pretty scary statistics:
- Half of LGBTQIA+ individuals had experienced severe depression, and three out of five said they had high anxiety.
- One out of eight young people from the LGBTQIA+ community, aged 18-24, had attempted suicide.
- Around half of trans people had experienced suicidal thoughts.
* Taken from Mental Health UK (2022)
Accessing mental health support and other healthcare is an issue for LGBTQIA+ people. Many people from the community chose not to seek assistance due to fear of discrimination. Mental health professionals and healthcare professionals have a legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 to treat LGBTQIA+ people without discrimination – despite this, people from the community still avoid seeking professional help.
Hate crime is another issue faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. People within the community are more vulnerable to hate crimes than any other group. In particular, gay men, young teens and people from Black, Asian, and other ethnic groups are at risk to hate crimes.
All of us at Hope Therapy wish to offer a safe and confidential space for all people from the LGBTQIA+ community – all are welcome.
We want clients from the LGBTQIA+ community to view Hope Therapy as a place where they can talk openly and express their emotions in relation to their issues.
We want clients from the LGBTQIA+ community to view Hope Therapy as a place where they will be able to share their stories without fear of judgement or criticism.
Lucy is a qualified and highly compassionate Counsellor in Reading who has gained experience working with adults and young adults in various settings, including her private practice. She has an Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and holds a membership with the National Counselling Society.
Lucy has worked in an addiction service which brought her into contact with many of life’s challenges, which, along with her own private practice experience, has equipped her to support clients with Anger Management, Anxiety, Depression, Bereavement, Low Self Esteem as well as Addiction. She is particularly interested in supporting clients from the LGBTQIA+ community.