Challenges facing gay men in the UK

 

DSC_0015.JPGHere’s my latest blog for The Guardian where I discuss coming out as gay at university.

Previously, this was something I didn’t think I would ever do. The thought of being seen as “different” or not as someone who society sees as what you should be frightened me.

We know the LGBT community still faces considerable discrimination and a persistent struggle to be who they are – and crucially, be happy about that.

Mental health issues, substance addictions and alcohol addiction are much more common in the LGBT community than in the general population, as well rates of self-harm and suicide. This rises even further for those individuals who are transgender.

I hope my piece helps, even if only a little, to provide confidence to those struggling with their sexuality and/or gender identity that they can be who they are.

After the piece was published, I wrote on Twitter that “I could cry, run for the hills and roll in mud 600 times over – all without care.”

That is exactly how I felt, and made me realise how powerful the baggage hanging on my life was having on my mental health and my own body. Here are some images of my psoriasis, which I have struggled with since I was 11 – at one point covering 80 per cent of my body.

I hope with the strain I’ve now freed myself from that this helps to keep the psoriasis under control too.

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