The purpose of LGBT+ History Month is to raise awareness of, and help to combat prejudice against, the LGBT+ community while celebrating its achievements and diversity and making it more visible.
The LGBT+ community has made significant contributions to society, but unfortunately this community continues to be persecuted and discriminated against, rather than celebrated for their achievements.
The aim of LGBT+ History Month this year is to demonstrate how far the LGBT+ community has come, but also how far it has yet to go in its goals for equality.
Covid-19 and the LGBT+ community
We are all doing our best to stay safe and keep our mental and physical health in check and protect our wellbeing. Sadly, the LGBT+ community has been disproportionately affected by the current pandemic.
The LGBT Foundation outlined the following:
LGBT people, in particular older LGBT people, are more likely to be socially isolated and may lack contact or support.
Some trans and non-binary people have had their HRT suspended and surgeries or appointments cancelled due to emergency measures.
LGBT people can be more likely to experience domestic abuse, which has risen since social isolation measures were introduced. This might include being quarantined with LGBT- phobic families and a lack of access to discreet support.
LGBT people can be more likely to have poor mental health or issues with substance misuse. Many of these struggles may be worsened by having normal routines disrupted and lack of access to support.
LGBT+ people and mental health
It is important to reach out if you are struggling with your mental health. Issues such as depression or self-harm can affect anyone, but they are more common among people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBT).
This may be linked to people's experiences of discrimination, homophobia or transphobia, bullying, social isolation, or rejection because of their sexuality.
Other aspects such as age, religion, where they live, and ethnicity can add extra complications to an already difficult situation for anyone who identifies as LGBT+.
Talking with a therapist who is trained to work with LGBT+ people may help. If you're struggling to cope right now, contact Samaritans by visiting their website or call 116 123 (open 24 hours, every day) for support.
The NHS provides information around mental health struggles, which has been created specifically for the LGBT+ community.