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LONDON – One of the most difficult annual rituals for some members of the LGBTQ + community are probably the celebrations around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as many gay people have no families to return to their homes and , therefore, they can be very lonely.

Understanding this dilemma, a group of soft-hearted gay people have found a way for others to come together, albeit virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

PinkNewsUK reported that the results of a survey he conducted among his readers revealed that eight in ten readers have to hide who they really are during the holiday season.

English LGBTQ + rated post that more than 7,500 people responded to its survey, which was self-selected but provides insight into the impact this time of year has on LGBT + people. Readers shared devastating stories of being forced to sit in the cupboard at the dinner table, being given nicknames, and answering probing questions from loved ones about when they are going to ‘settle in’..

For LGBTQ + Londoners, there is a group that run informal get-togethers and get-togethers for queer women, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people – and they work hard to make sure queer people who don’t want to spend Christmas day alone and have support network to fall back on, PinkNewsUK reported.

“We Are Queer London” was created to fill that lonely holiday vacuum for queer women, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in Greater London. The group, thanks to its presence on social networks, in particular Instagram, organizes informal meetings and meetings.

Ky Richardson, one of the co-founders of We Are Queer London, said PinkNewsUK that it was “surprising” how quickly the initiative took off once they released about it.

“I spend Christmas alone most years myself, so I was like, ‘I would really like to have some company,’ said Richardson. They had the idea of ​​setting up a Google Doc that would allow queer people to “associate” and find other people to spend the holidays with.

COVID unfortunately stood in the way, but people did not stay dry.

“People were like, ‘I offer to host, it will be my mother and I and we have room for two people.’ Someone else would go on and say, “I’m looking for a place to go for Christmas lunch or a Boxing Day walk. [December 26] People would see what’s on offer and what people want, and then they would go online.

We of course encourage them to do their due diligence, just like you would if you met a stranger online. told the post.

While the current Omicron variant and the Delta variant remain a critical issue in the UK, the We Are Queer London group is adapting and remaining flexible, Richardson said.

“This [In-person meets] has slowed down because of the COVID numbers and we have actively, from a point of moral responsibility, stopped encouraging it, ”explained Richardson. “There’s always a group of about 30 people who will make last-minute plans on the day between them, and that group is usually made up of shift workers who don’t know what days they will have off. We hosted the Instagram group so they could say, “OK, I’m leaving today – is anyone here for a walk? “

The pandemic has thrown a barrier in their path, but the founders of the group are determined to ensure that the initiative continues to grow so that gay people can have the spaces they want and need.

“We’re basically looking for ways to pool our resources as a community to create more opportunities for usability and play, basically,” said Richardson. “It gives us an incredible opportunity to be inclusive in how we create a chosen family.”

But for now, the main focus is to make sure that there is a safe space, even virtual, to make sure that no gay person is left alone on Christmas.