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AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

lgbt pride GIF by Geo Law

 

We are doing something completely different for this edition of Ask Me Almost Anything! This is your opportunity to get to know staff the ReachOut that share something in common with many of you. 

 

This month we are going to be talking about all things LGBTIQA+ and your questions will be answered by staff members that are part of the community. From our research team, leadership, digital and of course the community team. 

 

The topic is broad so feel free to ask what comes to mind. There is so much cover from trans and non-binary experiences, the idea of queerness, experiencing discrimination, coming out, what it means to be intersex, being bi, how to be a great ally and so, so much more. We're all super excited to share with you all and connect in a unique way. 

 

As always, submit your questions below and on the 23rd of March from 7pm-9pm I'll be sharing everyone's answers, as well as my own and chatting with you all LIVE.

 

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition


Me eagerly waiting for this! Smiley LOL

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

Lets Do This GIF by Cameo

 

It's almost time to start this first of it's kind AMAA! I'm just going to tag some people who liked this and some users that are online at the moment. If you're around and feel up to it, I would love to chat with you this fine evening. 

 

@Hozzles @Lost_Space_Explorer5 @jammanu @scared01 @WheresMySquishy @RuseMilison @MB95 @priyaaaa @BooksAndBooks @LucasStewart 

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

So excited for this AMAA! Smiley Happy

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

Hahaha! This has been me all day @Hozzles 

 

excited nickelodeon GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

Hi @WheresMySquishy !! thanks for joining us, so keen to get started. I'll give it a few more minutes to let some others join us Smiley Happy 

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

So, first up! I just wanted to remind everyone that this months AMAA is for our beautiful LGBTIQA+ community. We know that there are many of you here with us on the forum and tonight you'll find that there are many of us working for ReachOut. 

 

We thought what better way to get to know each other a little more than to be the guests for this months AMAA. We had a bunch of people from across the organisation put their hands up to answer the questions we got. I must say, today when I read through the responses I felt super emotional (in a good way) and so proud to be part of the LGBTIQA+ community and ReachOut. 

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

Post Love GIF by Twin_Made

 

The first question was such a great one. I got everyone who volunteered to answer it because we all have different experiences. Here are the responses we got from everyone: 

 

What advice would you give to your younger self, or an LGBTIQA+ young person?

 

The frequency with with you’ll say ‘I’m so glad I’m queer’ is quite astounding! Being queer will mean you find community wherever you go, will allow you to have a chosen family, and provide more glitz and glam than you thought possible. You will be genuinely thankful that you were born this gay, sorry,  way. 

 

- Annie, Content Team 

 

To my younger self I would say: Your queerness is a gift. It unlocks ways of living and being in the world that will bring you so much joy. You will wear pink and glitter and be taken seriously as a feminist. You will have loves and intimacies that don't fit into hetero boxes and that will feel like family on your own terms. You will have the tools to express who you are and you will be around people who understand, see you and love you for it.

 

- Katherine, Research Team 

 

pride love GIF by Libby VanderPloeg

 

Questioning your identity can be confusing, and might make you wonder if you are valid. Firstly, you are so valid. Secondly, a label (eg. bisexual or gay) can be something that you draw strength from, however, you may not closely identify with any label and that’s fine too. Being part of the LGBTIQA+ community means you have a beautiful opportunity to develop a chosen family for yourself and feel joy like nothing else.

 

- Sophie, Research Team 

 

I would say to myself: Be kind to yourself. You are valid and your experience is normal. You may feel confused and lonely now but you will figure it out and find people who love and support you for who you are. Internalised stigma is a thing, and the people you love are kinder than you think and at the end of the day those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter! You are going to live a life of joy and pride and you are going to shine. Literally. Because you will develop an obsession with glitter. It’s going to be ok x

 

- Hilary, Research Team 

 

I would want to reinforce the idea that there is nothing you need to do to prove you belong to this community. We are all welcome here and you don’t need to rush figuring things out. I have identified as a number of the different letters in the LGBTQIA+ alphabet soup at different times and that is ok! Everyone is entitled to their own journey and it’s no one else's business. You do you, you have got this.

 

@Hannah-RO, Community Team 

 

Such a great question, I actually have found that the things I would say to my younger self I still say today as it is still relevant. Celebrate who you are and be patient with the time it takes to work that out. There is no wrong way to understand your sexuality's, gender and identity. Don't think that just because you feel one way that you can’t change how you feel or identify differently from day to day. Know that who you are is enough and you don’t need to prove anything to anyone and that is also true within the queer community. Feel free to explore gender and sexuality however you want. Lastly being queer is freaking awesome and makes you unique, brave, empathetic and fabulous!! Love yourself because you are wonderful just as you are!

 

- @Claire-RO, Community Team

 

 I would tell myself - one day you’ll be living a life that seems like a dream right now. I know you feel awkward and scared of your identity. I promise one day you’ll move past those feelings and you’ll be so amazed by how supportive people will be. You will meet the most colourful, unique people in the world. You will celebrate yourself. You will fall in love. You will learn the meaning of pride.  There will be hard times but it will all be worth it. There will be moments that you will stop and marvel at how far you’ve come and how safe you feel in the queer spaces you will find yourself in. Enjoy the journey, it’s one of the best ones you’ll ever have.

 

@Bre-ROCommunity Team 

 

I would tell my younger self that while you will go through a confusing and confronting time you will come out of it stronger. You will find that you are part of a community that is determined to live life to the fullest and support each other. While the reactions from coming out will vary – you have less to worry about than you think, even if sometimes it takes time. And you’ll come to appreciate and love the saying ‘friends are the family you choose’. I’d tell any young person to be your true self, be ambitious, be bold and don’t let anyone hold you back in making your life everything you want it to be.   

 

- Ben, Leadership Team 

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

Hey hey I'm not too late for the party am I? Smiley Tongue (I almost forgot! Sorry!)

Re: AMAA: LGBTIQA+ ReachOut Edition

Awww I love this so much! Heart