We are Family!
Publish Date: 17/12/2012
For some lesbian, gay and bisexual people, this focus on family can be difficult. Many of us will be looking forward to a Christmas surrounded by loving family members. But for others the festive season will be a lonely time, as they either spend time with family members who don’t accept their sexual orientation or are spending Christmas alone, distanced from disapproving relatives.
At The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, we believe family is what you make of it. We can’t choose the family we are born into, but we can choose the ‘family’ we make of friends, partners and the wider gay community. We are proud to be part of Greater Manchester’s LGBT ‘family’ and we aim to provide the support people need to make new connections within that ‘family’.
Chris, 50, moved from New Zealand to England 17 years ago. Only coming out a year ago with no family or social circle in the UK, she felt isolated. Chris accessed our befriending scheme to help her feel more confident in making friends. She explains:
“Before starting the befrienders scheme I was in crisis. I was suffering from depression and felt very isolated. I had no support network. I had tried to ‘come out’ to someone at work and had been received very negatively, that was tough.
“I believe the befriending programme saved me. It gave me the kind of life I wanted. There is no way I would be as stable and happy as I am without it.
“Some of us don’t have a family because of who we are, so friendships become so much more important. I’ve been embraced by my ‘gay family’ and they have made me feel like I belong.”
At The LGF we’re dedicated to providing services year-round, even on Christmas Day. So whether you’re spending Christmas on your own, with your relatives or with a family of your own making, remember that your family at The LGF are here if you need us.
For more information on our befriending scheme click here.
Our office at Number 5, Richmond Street will be open for pop-ins until 4pm on Christmas Eve. The building is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but our dedicated volunteers will be providing remote coverage for the Helpline, so there’ll be someone there to talk to if you need to – just call us on 0845 3 30 30 30. For full details of our opening times over the festive season click here.