Being a part of the LGBTQ community can be very challenging. Coming out is extremely difficult as you never know who will be accepting and supportive and who will be hateful or abusive towards you. Each time you meet somebody new you have to think about whether they’re a safe person to come out to- to be yourself around.

A post by Charlotte summer on unite uk

Personally, I identify as non binary which means different things to each person. To me it means that I don’t feel attached to or represented by one gender- I feel a mixture of both. My feelings around gender change on a day to day basis. Some days are easier than others. Some days are so hard that I have to wear the biggest top I can find to hide my chest and getting changed or showering can often make me feel uncomfortable, depressed and like my body doesn’t represent what I feel on the inside. Coming out as non binary is always hard because it is often miss understood, labelled as attention seeking and people often make comments about how I’m just going along with it because it’s “the latest trend” when that is just not the case at all! I have been non binary my whole life- I just didn’t know how to put it into words or how to express my feelings. I find that they/them pronouns are what I feel more comfortable with and identify with most. I find that short hair makes me more confident and baggy shirts make me feel more masculine on the days when presenting as feminine feels uncomfortable.

A post from Matt Bernstein

Non binary people deserve respect and understanding. All we ask is that you take the time to educate yourselves if you don’t understand and also to use the correct pronouns.

I came out as gay when I was 16 years old. I had mixed experiences with coming out as gay. My close family were accepting and so were my friends. I found that some NHS staff could be quite homophobic towards me and treated me differently once they found out my sexuality. It lead me to being more closed off and less open about it and I really struggled to be proud of who I was for a long time.

More recently I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with other LGBTQ people and this helped me to be proud of who I am and to talk openly about being queer. I find the more comfortable I am with sharing my sexuality, the more comfortable other people are when I talk about it. The experience I had in my last NHS hospital admission for FND and NEAD really helped me to overcome my shame around my queerness and I’m really lucky to have had that positive experience.

Coming out is never easy but it does get easier over time. It is such a freeing feeling to be able to be yourself and not have to hide your identity anymore!

If somebody comes out to you, please be respectful and kind towards them because it takes a lot of strength and bravery. It shows that they trust you so please don’t break that trust. Most LGBTQ people imagine coming out for years before they actually do and they will most likely be anxious and worried about your reaction. Reassuring them and offering them a safe place to talk can be really helpful.

Be kind & be respectful 🏳️‍🌈

-Naomi 💜