How we can actively support each other in the LGBTQ+ community during lockdown

As the Irish Government considers further lockdown measures, Adam Cleaver also know as DYVR, shares some of the things we can do yo support each other during this time.

support lockdown

No matter how you identify, the last few months have been a challenge for most of us. From social distancing to job losses, we’ve all had to find a way to keep our heads above water, waiting for the powers that be to arrive at a meaningful solution to getting us back out in the world. The struggle is real for everyone, but there is a particular type of difficulty associated with those of us whose support network exists within the queer community. With so many of our support services and safe spaces unavailable in lockdown, it’s hard to know how to be visible in our eco-systems.

Of course, the queer community is no stranger to a world where there are no mirrors reflecting back at it – even though I grew up in a relatively liberal environment, it would still take me until my mid-20s, through years of emotional difficulty to finally be able to speak openly about my own interpretations of love and intimacy. When I finally found my queer family and the safe spaces they existed in, I held on tight. This was the first time I had ever touched base with my sexuality beyond the heterosexual narrative that I believed I was supposed to be living inside.

Without access to these spaces, I would have either been adrift, unable to find my people or worse, I may have never started exploring who I was, to begin with. The importance of these spaces cannot be understated – being in clubs, venues, bars and cafes where there are people just like you enjoying brief freedom to express themselves honestly are crucial to a young queer person’s development.

So in the grip of a pandemic, and unable to reach our community in the ways we are used to, where do we go? How do we find safety?

There are some things that I’ve been doing to reconnect with the community and not feel so isolated when restrictions are at their most demanding:

1. Get connected on social media

A close up of a hipster woman's hands holding a mobile phone

This might be an obvious one but there are so many resources on Instagram, Facebook and beyond that are working to connect people – there are so many but a couple of my favourite accounts are Alok Vaid-Menon who posts amazing book reports to their feed as well as having incredible live discussions with people in the queer community. Roza Nozari posts beautiful illustrations that talk about self-care and the art of loving yourself. Honestly, she is amazing.

2. Research what queer venues and charities are doing locally to you

Queer happenings march

Although the reach of these spaces has been minimised, there are some seriously creative people doing outreach work in a safe way, from socially distanced events to online forums and community discussions, it’s amazing how much people are doing to keep us together.

3. Remember that your friendship group is a community in itself

A smaller one of course, but we shouldn’t underestimate the power of organiaing small events for our immediate circle – lots of people are starting queer book clubs, film clubs, quizzes, game nights and silent discos all online and honestly they are a wonderful way to keep regular contact with the people we love.


4. Speak to someone if you need to

Two fingers with nail polish on squeeze a tiny rainbow coloured heart

There are a number of different resources depending on where you’re reading this from. LGBT Ireland provides support on their helpline including specific support for transgender people, there is an IM option as well.

I’m available to speak to personally @dyvrofficial where we’re currently creating ways for people in the community to connect online – please drop me a line any time.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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