“The LGF saved my life” – Martin’s Story

Publish Date: 25/03/2014

A poster advertising The LGF's Helpline saved the life of a man who needed support after coming out and being rejected by his family and his Jewish community.

Martin, 50, was having a really hard time coming to terms with his sexuality, after being rejected by those closest to him. He was fearful about the response he would get when asking for help, but seeing a poster targeted at lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in his GP Practice gave him the confidence to ask for support, and the response changed his life. He said:

“I was struggling to come to terms with my sexuality and after being rejected by my family, I was fearful about talking to anyone else. As a middle-aged, formerly married family man of strictly Orthodox Jewish Faith, I was paranoid that I would get the same response from healthcare services as I did my family. Things were very dark and I was thinking of ending my life.

“It was just two weeks previous to my having suicidal thoughts, I remembered noticing my GP Practice had a poster promoting The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s helpline. I thought that if they are displaying the poster maybe this is somewhere I can talk about my sexuality with confidence, that I would not be met with disgust and further rejection.

“I nervously raised the topic with my GP and to my delight they were so supportive! They supported me through my coming out process. I felt a weight had been lifted! I felt so liberated! Every GP that I have met at the practice has been utterly fantastic; I feel so free!I now have the confidence to be out and proud. I feel so good; I feel like I am the person I should be, and I now have excellent mental health.

“I wouldn’t have had the confidence to speak to my GP without the poster being up. I am encouraging every GP Practice to have a poster displayed prominently: it could change the life of someone else like me. The LGF saved my life.”

To collect free LGB targeted resources for your GP Practice contact Pride in Practice Project Manager Kathy McGuirk: Kathy.McGuirk@lgf.org.uk or call 0845 3 30 30 30.

Pride in Practice is a service delivered by The Lesbian & Gay Foundation. Pride in Practice is a quality assurance support service, designed to strengthen a GP Practice’s relationship and understanding of their lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. For more information visit: www.lgf.org.uk/prideinpractice