Supporting LGBTQ+ carers

Many LGBTQ+ unpaid carers say they feel isolated, and struggle to access inclusive services.

LGBTQ+ carers can face specific challenges, including caring for family members who do not recognise, or have rejected, their LGBTQ+ identity, or younger LGBTQ+ carers having fewer opportunities to explore their identity.

It’s vital carers can get the support they need. We’ve released a good practice briefing to help organisations understand the specific challenges LGBTQ+ carers face and highlight examples of inclusive carer support programmes in the UK.

Read the briefing

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As far as I’m concerned, all I need to know is that someone is a carer. I have known a number of single men, who in recent years have come to events with another man, later introduced as their partner. When I’m on holiday in Crete I regularly meet a friend who is “gay”, a far nicer word than homosexual to me. He’s always welcome in our days out and get togethers, we’ve had many a laugh together and we keep in touch through facebook. He had some difficult years as his father came to terms with him, but as he said “I didn’t ask to be born like this”.

I fully support this. I can’t imagine how hard it is. I don’t think I am on the spectrum itself as such, but I know from experience that this is hard.

I have always been very gender neutral but more in an appearance and interests kind of way. I don’t identify as anything other than myself, but I know I’m a woman biologically. I don’t do the pronouns thing. However I do resonate with the whole thing. It’s not so much about what or who you’re romantically or sexually into, I think there are a lot of challenges with acceptance and tradition expecially when you’re living your life with someone who doesn’t accept you. I don’t think there is anything with more tradition attached to it than the role of a carer.

I have experienced challenges since I was a kid, as a kid I was more bothered about Pokémon cards than I was Barbies, make up and so on. I grew up with video games, movies, books, toy daleks, spaceships.

Mum grew up in a very traditional, yet abusive household. So you had to have girls toys, you had to watch soaps, if you didn’t you would grow up to be a ‘butch lesbian.’

Dad on the other hand was a lot more modern though he was very traditional in his approach to modern ways. I do still think he was ahead of his time.

I think he was a big kid himself and he loved to play with his kids toys, he always used to say that girls toys are always pink, involve looking pretty, or kitchens and household maintenance. Boys toys are cars, science sets and so on. That is definitely still true today. In fact it’s probably going back in time a little bit.

Since he died, the relationship with my mum faltered because she could not accept me for who I was. Everything in her eyes was still gendered to her. If I watched an episode of doctor who or red dwarf, to her and my aunt it must have meant I was gay. Has she never seen David Tennant, or Chris Barrie :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I will never ever be 100 per cent gay because of them. I am straight, but for some people sexuality can change.

The way I dress is also an issue for my mum. I’m someone who likes to be very neutral. For me it’s a straight checked shirt, it doesn’t matter if it’s from the men or women’s section as long as I like it. I wear jeans (women’s) and because of my massive clown feet I wear either vans or converse. Shoes have always been a massive issue or my mum since I live in canvas shoes, to her that only confirms her suspicions more. I’ve often said to her “alright mrs, can walk into any section of the shop and find a pair of shoes to fit you.” But us size 8/9s here are lucky if even the ugliest of shoes come in our size, at least converse and vans have our backs.”

Growing up I always hated the phrase, you should have been a boy. I have heard it at regular intervals even more so in the past two years after dads death.

I sympathise on the shoe front! Since my car accident, unable to walk for 5 years, my feet have spread to 9EEEE!