Whether you're out or not, Christmas can be a really tough time if you're LGBT+. And 2020 is particularly difficult, with many of us cut off from support networks. Please know that you are not alone.
We asked our ambassadors, who are LGBT+ young people themselves, to share their tips on surviving Christmas, and below are some organisations you can speak to if you are struggling with mental health at this time. Tristan, Heather, Roan and Ramses are all Just Like Us ambassadors and have shared their advice on getting through this difficult time.
Please share this with anyone who you think may need to hear that they're not alone.
Your chosen family love you
I would say, if being with your family is tough, keep in regular contact with people who affirm you as an LGBT+ person. That could be via text, Zoom, or just a regular old phone call!
You’re still valid
Heather's survival tips:
Remember you don't have to fight every battle if you don't want to – if you don't have the energy or don't feel comfortable arguing about LGBT+ issues, it's OK to let things go to protect yourself.
It’s not your responsibility to act as a spokesperson, and not doing so doesn't make your identity any less valid or important.
Take time out if you need
Roan's tip for getting through the Christmas period:
Headphones and a good playlist or podcasts. It's OK to take a time out from people, including your family.
And if you’re trans...
Ramses' advice for fellow trans and gender-non-conforming young people:
If you're trans or non-binary and closeted, wear some subtle items that can make you feel validated even if they're not noticeable. It can be a small bracelet or necklace, or unisex jumpers, and so on.
Remember, you are not alone
If you need support, please do reach out:
Switchboard is a LGBT+ helpline and you can speak to them via phone, online messaging or email over the Christmas period – call 0300 330 0630.
LGBT Foundation is open every day over the festive period and the service is available by phone or email – call 0345 3 30 30 30.
Samaritans' helpline will remain open 24 hours a day and you can phone or email – call 116 123.