WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEEL CONFUSED ABOUT SEXUALITY & GENDER?
Some of us identify as LGBTQIA+. This means we may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary, queer or questioning. Or we may define our gender and sexuality in other ways. Stonewall's glossary lists many more terms.
Anyone can experience a mental health problem. But those of us who identify as LGBTIQ+ are more likely to develop problems like:
- low self-esteem
- anxiety, including social anxiety
- eating problems
- misusing drugs and alcohol
- suicidal feelings
- other mental health problems.
Being LGBTQIA+ does not cause these problems. The reasons why those of us with LGBTQIA+ identities are more likely to get them are very complicated. But it is most likely to do with facing things like:
- homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
- stigma and discrimination
- difficult experiences of coming out
- social isolation, exclusion and rejection.
It's important to remember that embracing your LGBTQIA+ identity can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing. It might mean you have:
- increased confidence
- improved relationships with your friends and family
- a sense of community and belonging
- the freedom of self-expression and self-acceptance
- increased resilience.
What help and support is available?
It's important to remember that you deserve support and respect, whatever your identity or background. And you have legal rights to access healthcare without discrimination.
Our page on LGBTQIA+ mental health support covers lots of options. This includes tips on self-care, seeking help and specialist LGBTIQ+ services.
WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP?
Despite trying hard to do things yourself, we always need more help sometimes, remember that this is okay, that it is normal, and it is brave to admit as such. See below for some useful links to further support:
Kooth offers confidential online support for young people aged 11 to 18
Stonewall has a fantastic website full of advice and information to read through
The LGBT Foundation – For advice and support on all maters LGBTQ+, call 0345 330 30 30 or go to their website
Togetherall is a community of members who talk openly about their worries, helping each other by sharing what’s troubling them in a safe and anonymous environment with trained guides
Young minds is a fantastic website full of useful information on a range of issues