How we found our Queer Families!
We talked to a couple of our members about their experiences of finding a sense of community and family amongst other LGBTQ+ people.
Queer Coffee Meet-Ups
Lautitia, Artist, Asexual
"As someone who feels romantic connections to people of any gender, but unable to feel sexual attraction to anyone, I have always struggled to find a group of people who fully understand me and who I can entirely relax around. I started going to some Queer coffee gatherings, meeting other queer women, bisexual women and even a few other asexual women: we’d talk about books we’d read and films we’d watched and this helped me feel more settled within my own identity. Now a lot of these people are my closest friends- I live with two of them and I’ve been on holiday and to festivals with them. They’re basically my family, I don’t know if i’d be the person I am today without them!"
Queer Footballers Society
Jaali, investment Banker, Gay
"I am a gay man of colour, and it’s always been near impossible to even think about coming out to my direct family and even close friends. I’ve had to find solace amongst queer groups and communities that have absolutely no interaction with my personal life- for fear of something getting back to my family. Thankfully, within these groups- including a queer footballers group I attend every weekend in South London, I have become friends with other black gay men and it has given me a real boost of confidence in myself. Yes, these men will definitely remain some of my best friends for a long time to come!! I'd love to explore some more queer societies and meet some more people, it's so nice to be able to find people who share similar experiences to me and understand what it feels like."
Queer Meditation Retreat
Roshin, Japanese translator, Trans
"Last year I went on a meditation retreat and they had a queer group. Such is how I found the first safe sharing space I have ever experienced. I was able to share openly about things I never have before. I was able to cry in front of people for the first time in my life - I rarely can even cry in front of myself. It gave me the strength, focus and support to look inside, un-repress and sit with my feelings from the past when I was scared and alone and worried about being outcast from my friends, family, society.
The combination of a supportive loving group and meditation allowed me to calm my mind that was always struggling to not look at those things - and allow really deep healing.
I was able to bring my "whole self" into a spiritual space and work through issues regarding my sexuality that I would usually have to hide in a religious setting. It allowed me to use spirituality for healing for queer trauma - which is what I most needed help with from spirituality and religion - something that it previously could not help me with due to its usual homophobic underlying."
Theatre, Drag and Cabaret Nights
Phoebe, Classics Academic and Drag performer, Gay
"For me the greatest sense of queer community is derived from the shared experience between performer and audience in live queer contexts: theatre/drag/cabaret. Not only has this shared experience reinforced my knowledge of the existence of my community through the exclusivity of the cultural connection shared by performer and audience established in this specific context, but I have also been helped in recognising my pain, recognising our capacity to heal and realising that this is experience we all share - shown to me by shared simultaneous reactions in real time incited in a single audience at a specific event."
University LGBTQ+ Soc Nights Out
Re’em, DPhil in Biochemistry and founder of Drag Night Haute Mess, Gay
"I first came into my sexuality when I started spending more time with queer people in university, initially in night clubs and then in more calm intimate settings. Being able to openly speak to queer people about my anxieties regarding coming out, sharing common experiences, and recognising my identity within the queer community made me realise what a large role queerness can and would play in my life beyond my choice of partners. My queer family has allowed me to be my authentic performatively queer self, safely and constructively analyse my relationship with gender, sexuality, my body, and my politics and through that achieve real comfort within myself."
Dinner & Drinks
Rafael, Fashion designer, Bisexual
"Even just by having dinner or drinks with a group of queer friends is where I find the greatest sense of community. It’s that feeling of being with people that understand you and have been through the same kind of struggles that helps create a strong bond and a feeling of safety, which is how I’d describe community."
What are your experiences of finding a safe queer community?
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