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Being part of the LGBT+ community in lockdown

Many young people find it hard to come out to their parents. Some parents aren't as 'gay friendly' as perhaps their children would like them to be, so lockdown has been a challenge for many young people as they've found themselves living at home with their parents once again and having to cope with, what can be, a very fractured living environment.

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Acceptance isn't always present within families

The Guardian has carried out a study amongst the LGBT+ community in the UK and found that lockdown has been a really tough time for many young people. When someone 'comes out' to their parents a whole range of emotions can occur. Some parents will be completely accepting and everyone is happy. However, some parents find it really hard to reconcile their own feelings with what their child is telling them. Some parents find it really hard to accept a child who identifies as LGBT+. Parental views can be interpreted in many ways. Some parents must just be out and out homophobes and whilst this isn't ideal, it is their viewpoint, whether we agree with it or not. Some parents may have never had any contact with anyone from the LGBT+ community and there could be some fear in how they react.

Society has changed so much in the last fifty years and this can be frightening for older people

Whilst I am not condoning homophobic views at all, I do think it's important to try and understand why some parents might have quite extreme views about the LGBT+ community. It isn't always as simple as being homophobic. Sometimes parents are fearful because they don't understand what is happening or what their child is telling them. Older people can sometimes feel afraid of how much the world is changing and that they no longer have a role in that world. To build bridges it could as simple as talking to parents and explaining that you're really not much different to them. The LGBT+ community can become parents, marry each other, buy a house together, etc so it's important that we all understand that we share more qualities than we have differences.

What if my parents won't accept me or my sexuality

So what happens if you speak to your parents and they still won't accept you? Hard as it may sound, sometimes in life we just have to accept those decisions and views. We may not agree with them, but that is life. We all disagree and agree with other people on a regular basis. Some of us have older parents who express a whole range of views which we don't agree with, but life dictates we have to make a choice. We can either tolerate those views and choose to spend time with our loved ones or we can make a choice not to accept those views and distance ourselves. We can't change any ones views, much as we'd like to sometimes

Where can I find support?

The good news is that there are a number of LGBT+ organisations that are there for you to provide support. Stonewall is one of the biggest charities dedicated to the LGBT+ community and it's a good starting point for other organisations. You can also call the LGBT helpline if you need emotional support and just need someone to talk to.

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