Birmingham LGBT is working with Birmingham City Council on a campaign to support LGBT community members who have been impacted by Covid-19 and the social distancing measures in place. In order to do this, we need fully to understand the impact the virus has had on the LGBT community.
Many members of LGBT communities in the city feel isolated and experience barriers in accessing the advice and support they need. Others may be struggling with wellbeing issues such as lack of family support or living in the same household as family who do not accept their identity.
Has your mental health been affected, or that of someone you know?
Have you struggled with isolation?
Has your livelihood been affected?
Your input into our work will help to ensure we are reflecting the real-life experiences of our community.
Our starting point is a survey and guided focus groups, held online via Zoom, in a safe and confidential space with all findings anonymised. If you would like to get involved, and help the LGBT community in Birmingham, please get in touch.
We are holding an LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) focus group on: Friday 19th June, 12.30pm to 1.30pm. To register your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are holding a TNB (trans, non-binary) focus group on: Tuesday 23rd June, 12.30pm to 1.30pm. To register your interest, please email email@example.com
This post was brought to you by Bethanie Browne, our Trans Sexual Health Outreach Worker.
Right now, the world is in isolation, and life is becoming Groundhog Day – or Russian Doll, for those who are not well-versed in their 80s films, but have now watched everything Netflix has to offer. Most people are struggling with cabin fever – however, we know it is important to highlight the particular difficulties the LGBT community may be facing right now. If you’re at home with family/friends who do not understand or maybe even know your true identity and/or sexual orientation, we want to try and take the edge off this frustrating and stressful time you have unwillingly found yourself in.
A lot of people in the community seek companionship, casual soirees, and outdoor activities to satisfy sexual desires, as well as meet new people who have common interests. So, we have devised some top tips to ease that thirst, safely and without hooking up physically with other people.
How to manage isolation thirst…
Reintroduce yourself to your sex toys (or buy some!) Get them out, get them washed, and get them working. This is a great time to get to know yourself, and the benefits are amazing for future intimacy with sexual partners too. It is always good to know what you like and do not like.
Use your hook-up apps and sites for a bit of light and casual sexting. Many sites and apps are great because you can set up a profile where no one will know your personal contact details or whereabouts. This keeps you safe and your identity hidden if that is a concern.
Old school moves – phone and webcam sex. As always, as long as you’re safe with your personal information and engage in sex with people you trust, go for it! Pop some candles on, maybe some sexy music, and get to know your body with someone on the blower.
PORN! Although this can be a controversial subject at times, we have done a little research, and there is a great site called Four Chambers (link can be found below), where they have stills and cinema clips for free. It is a community-funded site that relies on donations. You can sign up, get full cinema clips, and donate some money – the donations go towards further artistic projects. https://afourchamberedheart
Use our social media platforms to talk to others and get ideas. We are here, supporting the community, but ultimately we’re not the experts and if you have better ideas then please share them on our social media platforms.
So, there you have it. These are our ideas and we hope they can help in some way during this peculiar time. There is nothing wrong with feeling frustrated right now, but it is important to manage our emotions and desires by finding safe alternatives during this outbreak.
Most importantly: stay at home, protect yourself and others, and support our NHS.
Birmingham LGBT’s sexual health outreach workers are still available on the phone, Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm. Please, call us, and know you’re are not alone in this.
Keep watching our channels where we will be providing more Isolation Information for the LGBT Nation!