A Message For LGBT Young People
This is a message for all the LGBT young people out there.
Whether you have just come out, thinking of coming out, you're homeless, you're struggling with drugs or alcohol or coming to terms with who you are.
This is for you.
I know. You've been called some pretty hurtful things.
Fag. Dyke. Queer. Poof. Tranny. They're the ones I can say without offending my mum...
You feel down. You feel isolated. You feel alone. You feel separated from those closest to you.
And all you want to do is fit in. To be accepted. To be part of the group.
You have internalised those negative messages you received and the poor behaviour towards you - from your parents, grandparents, siblings, school mates, teachers, strangers even.
And now you feel shame, rejection, fear, guilt. You are unable to accept yourself.
That's the last thing you expected when you came out.
It's not your sexuality or gender that is the issue. The issue is being in a society that doesn't accept anything other than cisgendered or heterosexual.
There are a few things I want to say to you.
There's nothing wrong with you.
You are good enough.
You are perfect as you are and you don't need to change for anyone.
Be true to yourself and follow your heart.
Give people the space and the time to process who they thought you would be. They have expectations of you and who you will be in the future. You've had time to process who you are. Now, give those you have come out to the space and time to process too. In the meantime stay strong.
Remember, you are not alone. Of all the UKs homeless youth – one quarter are LGBT. That's around 11,250 LGBT young people on the streets. They have been forced out of their home or decided to flee – usually because of parental rejection or abuse in the family. If you are homeless, you are not alone. Speak to others that are homeless too. Look at ways to support each other if you can. And seek support. The Albert Kennedy Trust and Stonewall Housing are a good starting point.
You are never alone. There are many people out there, walking past you day after day, that would love to help you. Many don't know how to help you. Get clear in your mind what would really help you and then ask for what you want. Speak your truth.
Who people think you are, isn't who you really are. You are so much more than you even know.
Look for the beauty in the little things. The warmth of a smile from a stranger. The sun shining overhead. The sound of music in the distance. These are reminders that you are alive and experiencing life. Your experience of life can change in a heartbeat.
Hope. Hope opens your heart to miracles. Expect miracles. Always. When you expect miracles, anything is possible. Your thoughts create your reality. If you want to change your reality, change your thoughts. Keep them positive. Keep them happy. What you believe, you become. Believe you can improve your life – and you will.
It's not going to be alright. It is going to be much more than alright. You have this my friend.
Much love to you x
About Gina Battye
Described as "Britain's equivalent to Oprah Winfrey", Gina Battye is one of the world's hottest rising stars.Gina is the leading voice for LGBT self help.
She is an internationally sought after teacher, LGBT coach and award-winning LGBT speaker.
Gina is a highly regarded LGBT consultant, working with companies around the world on LGBT Inclusion Strategy.
Through her work as a regular columnist for leading LGBT magazines worldwide, TV show host, The Soul Work Meet Ups nationwide AND as a best-selling author, Gina is advising, mentoring and transforming the lives of thousands of LGBT individuals around the world.