This guide has been written by young LGBT people within the Bradford District and in partnership with Yorkshire MESMAC.

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1 supporting young people from the LBGT community

2 Coming to terms with your sexual orientation should be an exciting time for all young people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual (LGBT). However, while being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual is not in itself a problem, a lack of support from family, friends and services young people access can make coming out and growing up confusing and isolating. This guide has been written by young LGBT people within the Bradford District and in partnership with Yorkshire MESMAC. This is information that they want us as housing providers to know in order for us to support young LGBT customers with services that take on board all their needs. Society assumes that everyone is straight. When we meet people we don t say Hi my name is!!!! and I am gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual. But as a member of the LGBT community we always have to assess whether being out will be safe! Bradford Lesbian and Gay Youth (BLAGY) Straight people never have to think about this but we do. We have to think about this every day and coming out to people in differing situations can often cause us anxiety and stress. We want you to understand this and support us to manage our tenancies. Bradford Lesbian and Gay Youth (BLAGY) 1

3 a few facts In research undertaken by Stonewall young people stated that they generally realise they are lesbian, gay or bisexual when they are 12 or 13 but many don t tell anyone until they are 16 or over. This is because they are worried others will react negatively. A negative reaction and fear of a negative reaction can be very damaging to a young person. The Government estimates that six percent of the population, that s around 3.6 million people, are lesbian, gay or bisexual - so there s a good chance that in a group of 30 at least two young people will be lesbian, gay or bisexual. It is not possible to guess a young person s sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay and bisexual young people come from every socio-economic background, they are of different ethnicities, faiths and each will have their own way of dressing, acting, talking and their own interests. People realise that they are lesbian, gay or bisexual at different stages in their lives. So even if a young person seems to have been heterosexual in the past, it doesn t mean they are heterosexual now, or will be heterosexual in the future. Similarly, one shouldn t assume that a young person who identifies as bisexual is just in a phase and will later become lesbian, gay or heterosexual. 2

4 how we will support our young LGBT customers 4 we will not assume that everyone is straight 4 you may not want to out yourself, but you may ask about the area you are moving in to 4 you will ask about whether the area is safe. We need to think about Anti-Social Behaviour and/or any Hate Crime incidents 4 you need to know if there have been incidents of homophobic and transphobic Hate Crime in the area, you need to feel confident you are not vulnerable 4 you may enquire about the area in general asking about who lives in the area or what goes on in the area 4 you want to live independently and feel safe but you do not want to be isolated 4 you want support around budgeting and need to know that we will support you to manage your tenancy and/or tell us who can help you 4 we will listen to you and not judge or assume 4 we will treat you with respect 3

5 if you need to talk to Incommunities Incommunities know that some young people will struggle to talk to their Neighbourhood Housing Officer or other people about being bullied or being subjected to homophobic or transphobic comments or abuse. We have set up a dedicated address for our LGBT customers to send us their concerns. This dedicated address will be managed by members of Incommunities staff LGBT group and we will make every attempt to support all our LGBT customers who send us information. If you wish to contact Incommunities for any advice or raise any issues, please 4

6 useful contacts BLAGY A Bradford group for LGBT and questioning young people aged 14 to 25. Sessions are young people led and include workshops, discussions, activities and outings. A safe space where young people can be themselves and seek appropriate support and information. (Wednesday evenings 6.00pm pm) tel: or , Sound LGBT A youth group for LGBT and questioning young people offering a safe confidential and supportive space to meet. Workers are available on an individual basis to discuss issues concerning sexuality and identity. Weekly meetings in Bradford and in Keighley for young people aged 13 to 19. Phone or text tel: or , facebook: soundyouthgroup Equity Partnership Plays an active role in supporting LGBT communities in Bradford. Free electronic news bulletin and up to date website with information and contacts for all LGBT groups. They manage the Equity Centre, Bradford s only LGBT community centre: home to several LGBT groups and services. Tel: , web: Yorkshire MESMAC Works with gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men to offer support and information to allow them to make informed choices about their sexual lives. Tel: , web: 5

7 helplines Bradford Friend Confidential help and advice for gay and bisexual people. Tel: (Mon and Wed 6.30pm pm) Hate Crime reporting Dial 101 from any area, web: London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard Information about local area support and help. Tel: (Daily 10am - 11pm), web: trans specific orgnaisations The Gender Trust The largest registered charity helping trans people and all those affected by gender identity issues. Web: Transtastic A Leeds based group specifically for Trans young people that meets monthly. For information or directions, call Lisa, the group s youth worker (who also runs the LGBT youth group Out 2 25) on tel: or Mermaids Family and individual support for teenagers and children with gender issues. Web: publications Shout Monthly northern LGB paper. Web: Pink News Online LGBT news. Web: Gay Times Monthly gay magazine. Web: Diva Monthly lesbian magazine. Web: websites Support group for LGBT Muslims. Web: 6

8 If you would like this information in any other format including large print, audio CD/tape, Braille or translated into another language please telephone v, CD/ Improving lives Incommunities w w w. i n c o m m u n i t i e s. c o. u k V1 06/14 Incommunities Group Limited is registered in England with Companies House No Registered address: The Quays, Victoria Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire BD17 7BN

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