Supporting someone who's LGBT+
What does LGBT+ mean?
LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. We use the term LGBT+ as there are a wide range of different sexualities and gender identities.
How can I support someone I know who's LGBT+?
The best way to support an LGBT+ person is to show that you're relaxed about sexuality or gender identity and ensure they know that they are loved no matter what.
It’s important that you listen to your friend or family member and let them know that you’re there to support them. Although this may be confusing for you, it can be more confusing and even scary for someone to accept their sexuality or gender identity. Telling you is a brave step towards living the life they want to live, to be happy.
Should I tell friends and family?
Unless your friend or family member has explicitly asked you to tell members of the family, keep the trust in your relationship and don't tell anyone else. When they're ready to tell family and friends about their sexuality, they will, and if they'd rather not tell family members, that's their decision.
I'm a parent/carer of an LGBT+ child, where can I go to talk to parents/carers in the same situation as me?
Sometimes it can be difficult for parents to come to terms with their child's sexuality, especially if you have strong religious beliefs. You can find a list of parent support groups across the UK here.
Mermaids is a charity which supports trans young people and they have an online forum for parents and carers of gender diverse and/or transgender young people up to and including the age of 19. Find more details on this forum here.
How can I support an LGBT+ young person at school?
Homophobic and transphobic bullying has a profoundly damaging impact on young people’s school experience. If someone you know is being bullied because of their sexuality or gender identity, it is important that their school is made aware of this. All schools have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and supportive environment conducive to learning and to take action to prevent bullying. If this approach is not successful, it could be worth approaching the governing body or the Local Education Authority (LEA).
If you have questions about our LGBT groups, you can call us on 0300 123 0970 and we'll be happy to give you more information on our groups.
We've developed a guide for parents and carers of trans* young people. Click below to view it.