If you’re an LGBTI+ teen, there may be some concerns or worries you have about telling others or sharing your true self.
You’re not alone here, as BeLong To has found that over half (58%) of people who reach out to them are looking for advice or support on coming out.
The organisation experienced an 88% spike in demand for its vital services since the beginning of 2020.
Other things that young people seek support for from BeLong To includes being transgender (18%) and mental health challenges (14%).
On average a young person realises that they are part of the LGBTI+ community at the age of 12, and most people ‘come out’ when they are around 16, though this is totally different for every person. This time can be a period of stress and mental health risk because of fear and doubt.
October 11th is International Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate LGBTI+ people.
Speaking about the important day, Moninne Griffith, CEO of BeLonG To Youth Services said: “Coming out can allow individuals to live an open, authentic and fulfilling life as themselves, and reduces some of the stress and anxiety many people feel when they are hiding part of themselves, who they are or who they love.
Many LGBTI+ people say that coming out to family and friends feels like lifting a massive weight off their shoulders. Saying that we always remind LGBTI+ youth to consider whether they feel safe coming out and remember that they don’t need to tell anyone until they are ready. Coming out is a choice, not an obligation. At BeLonG To we are here to support young people who are questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
For support and information, you can visit BeLongTo.org