The LGBTQ+ Community, Coming Out & Mental Health
An open-minded, colourful community, “LGBTQ+” is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning. Still, the community has many spectrums, including Asexual, Non-Binary, and more! True to the iconic pride flag, the LGBTQ+ community proves that the colours of our sexuality, gender and identity can be many shades of the rainbow.
Nowadays, we’re reassured to be ourselves, and the LGBTQ+ community has influenced much of this change. The LGBTQ+ group encourages members to pride themselves on individuality, self-expression, and the idea that love is love, no matter who you choose. This freedom of self and how you choose to identify has set thousands of people free from the shackles of what society used to deem “normal”. It is, for a lot of the community, the core of who they are. Built up of those who challenge the false notion of one “correct” sexuality, the LGBTQ+ community is inclusive, non-judgmental, and welcoming.
Rather than removing the labels that society deemed appropriate and socially acceptable, the LGBTQ+ communities printed their own. Now, there are options for who you choose to be, how you define yourself and who you choose to love. Some people happily decide to erase their labels, whereas others proudly hold onto them as part of their identity. Either way, the LGBTQ+ empowers its members to take their own paths and be themselves; it’s okay to show your colours. There are multiple platforms for LGBTQ+ members, both online and in-person, offering comfort and support whilst surrounded by like-minded people. This reminder that there is no “normal” sexuality or gender identity is core to the community. And it is a powerful message to the world.
Sometimes, it can be intimidating to let your true colours out, especially in areas where the messages of the LGBTQ+ community aren’t yet accepted. Unfortunately, not everyone is welcoming to the idea of being “different”. Fixated on how they perceive the world and their beliefs, many people sadly do not think kindly of LGBTQ+ members. As such, many LGBTQ+ members suffer from mental health issues. The Trevor Project, a national survey on LGBTQ youth mental health conducted in 2021, showed that over 60% of the LGBTQ youth suffered from anxiety or depression.
Coming out to yourself and your family and friends can feel daunting. And being different to your peers is equally as scary at times. But you’re not alone! The LGBTQ+ community is a bright prism of light, and there are many online UK based organizations available if you feel like you need support,
When your emotions feel larger than life, remember, there are people to help. Staying in the safety of your box is fine, and you should never feel pressured to show yourself to the world until you are ready. And, when you feel comfortable, you can come out in the biggest and best way possible to celebrate who you are! Surround yourself with the people that support and help you because you are worthy of being loved and appreciated. And be proud of who you are; it’s called Gay Pride for a reason!
So be bold, be bright, and be eccentric, but most of all, be unapologetic. The freedom of showing who you are both to yourself and the world is such a fantastic moment. And finally, never feel ashamed to let your colours show; pink, purple, or blue, they are all beautiful!
By Skylar Grace