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The Lockdown's Jarring Effects on the LGBTQ+ Community

and ways you can help

Mental health and wellbeingCurrent eventsSocial Issues
By VoiceBox ·

Shreya

Hi! I’m Shreya, an Indian gamer, baker, and a happy ‘ol writer! Being a professional writer has helped me know a lot about this world through amazing blog posts, social media, and of course, great friends. I love ARPGs and look forward to even owning a Nintendo Switch one day. For now, I can just bake cookies in the shapes of some Pokemon to live that dream!

We Need to Talk About 2020/2021 Lockdown's Jarring Effects on the LGBTQ+ Community

For some, the stay-at-home protocol might feel like a mini-vacation. It has proved a respite for some and a complete nightmare for others. Financial strains are thinning family values and pushing us LGBTQ+ youths into more vulnerable domestic environments.

The dire need for a physical support system to stand by, affirm and validate our identities has been stripped from many of the LGBTQ+ youths. For many of us our safety at home is in question. A 2018 Human Rights Campaign Foundation Youth Survey data showed that only about 24% of LGBTQ+ youths were completely themselves at home. In addition to that, 48% of the younger population who had resolved to come out to their parents were made to feel bad for being who they really are. 

This pandemic is making us realize that it is quite difficult for all LGBTQ+ youths to stay back in homes that shun them. Empathy, encouragement, and resilience are what we need during these trying times. For these, free counseling, online support groups, and safety protocol workshops can be really helpful.

How School Therapists are Playing Their Parts

Regular counselling sessions can help the LGBTQ+ youths be one with their true and comfortable identities. Simple inquiries like:

  • Can I help you?
  • Is there any type of support you might need now?
  • How are you doing today?
  • Did you eat?

can make us feel less lonely and isolated. Many people can’t meet with counselors in-person right now, so virtual validation is useful for many in the LGBTQ+ community. 

Can Friends Come Together to Help their LGBTQ+ Pals?

Absolutely. Every friend and ally is of great value. If you are keeping a safety tab on your friend who is queer and needs support, try sharing these feelings:

  • I am here for you
  • The times must be really hard for you, is there anything that can help you right now?
  • I hear you, I am listening, and I support you
  • You are loved and adored
  • Your safety is my priority

These few simple sayings can improve their days and help them stay strong even in the face of unsupportive households.

A Few Small Tricks to Cope

At times, to cope is to conquer. It can be hard for someone who is deeply overwhelmed. So, the following tips are to help you stay one with yourself when challenged with domestic problems.

  • Try to maintain 6-8 hours of sleeping schedule
  • See if you can download some apps to track your water intake, meditation, and physical activities
  • A meditation app can help you practice comfortable breathing exercises to combat extreme panic attacks
  • Try asking your friends to form a group with you on chat apps to keep daily tabs on each other

Coping mechanisms can save lives, build up self-worth, and help the LGBTQ+ youths destabilize the normalization of homophobic values. 

Support Systems and Online Resources

With schools and college groups locked off, virtual spaces have become the refuge for LGBTQ+ youths to connect and feel safe among their peers/supporters. Here are a few digital resources I have found that can help reach out to the LGBTQ+ community online. These are also sites that dispatch teams for emergency services for members in danger:

Solidarity and peer support are essential resources for the LGBTQ+ community, and during the pandemic, they are the pillars of strength for those struggling in dangerously unsupportive homes. We are in this together.

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