What is LGBT+ History Month?
LGBT History Month takes place every February and is a chance to connect with the history of the LGBT community and reflect on how things are right now. It is an opportunity to celebrate culture and progress and look forward to how we can continue to support the community. 2022 is extra special as it is the 50th anniversary of the first pride march in the UK in 1972.
We at Carer Support Dorset are here to support all unpaid carers across the Dorset Council area, no matter who they are or who they love. This LGBT History Month we wanted to talk about the experiences of LGBT carers and the support available to you.
How might being LGBT change your experiences of caring?
Being part of the LGBT+ community and an unpaid carer can bring additional issues and challenges.
You might feel out of place in traditional support groups or be wary of coming out to people who might be able to support you. This is reflected in LGBT Foundation and Gaddum’s recent research where they found most LGBT carers talked about the need for more LGBT-specific carers support and visibility and other LGBT carers to talk to, with 43% wanting support that better understands their needs.
It can also still cause stress if you are worried about services being LGBT friendly. It may also be difficult for you to call others for support if you don’t feel able to disclose your relationship with them. Telling someone you are a carer might involve describing your relationship with the person you are caring for, which might mean coming out. It can take emotional energy each time you come out, and some carers may simply want to avoid situations where they are likely to feel the need to come out.
All these concerns are valid but can stop you reaching the support you need and might make you feel more isolated as a carer.
So what support is there?
Space Youth Project support young LGBT people across Dorset, and have a number of support groups and can offer one-to-one support. They also have a new mental health group with a smaller number of attendees, if you want a quieter more focused experience as well as a group for 20-25 year olds.
LGBT Foundation delivers advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities. They offer a helpline and email support about issues for the LGBT communities.
Call the Advice Support and Information on 0345 330 3030. Lines are open weekdays 9am–9pm. Weekends 10am–6pm. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dorset Mind’s MindOut support group is a safe, confidential and accepting space for LGBT people experiencing mental health issues. It offers recovery-based peer and staff support.
There are currently two weekly MindOut support groups: One in Bournemouth and one in Weymouth.
Have your say
We’d love to know how we can help you feel more supported as a LGBT carer, we are here to support and listen to you, whoever you are.
We are also keen to share all unpaid carers experiences on our website and in publicity including LGBT carers. If you would like to share your story of caring with us, we’d love to hear it. Email us at email@example.com or phone us at 0800 368 8349.