issues for BME lgb people

 

 

IDENTITY AND COMING OUT 

Indian Gay man, 20-29 years
I am not open about my sexuality at home with my parents or other members of my family, as the topic tends to be Taboo, something that is not spoken of. Although I have come out to my parents, they seem to be in denial.

Asian respondents also cited a lack of parental understanding of sexuality issues in general, as a reason for not coming out to their families.

Indian Lesbian, 20-29 years
My parents would not understand. I think they may know but I would not explicitly tell them, unless I had too.

REACTIONS TO COMING OUT

Those respondents that did come out to family, friends and colleagues generally found the reaction to be positive or neutral, but this was mainly because respondents tended to be open to people whom they judged would react in this way.

Caribbean Asian Lesbian, 30-39 years
When I came out to my parents there was lots of disbelief. Dad always thought I would get married, but is now resigned to it. Mum knows and accepts me for whom I am. 

Gay man of mixed heritage, 20-29 years
I tell people if I feel comfortable with them and if it is relevant to our acquaintance. I’ve never told anybody who reacted in a very negative way but I basically know how they will react before I tell them. 

African man, sexuality not specified, under 20 years
I don’t talk about sexuality. In past my mother used to pray for me – now she is happier because I am less flamboyant about my sexuality.

IDENTITY AND COMING OUT RECOMMENDATIONS

There is a need to set up external support mechanisms for the BLGB communities. The Naz Project co-ordinates a support group, KISS, for South Asian and Middle Eastern, lesbian and bisexual women. The group ran in Hammersmith and Fulham for a year before it went London wide in March 1999. The group has over 140 women on its mailing list and the monthly KISS meetings held at The Glass Bar attract on average between 35/40 women.

Asian female respondents spoke about why they enjoyed attending the KISS group, the benefits they received from attending and how the group could be developed further.

Pakistani Lesbian 20-29 years
It is comforting to know that KISS exists. 

Caribbean Asian Lesbian, 30-39 years
KISS is brilliant for meeting Asian women, feeling safe. It’s not cruisey/scene based and I can talk about issues. 

Indian female, sexuality not specified, 20-29 years
The KISS group is very important. But it is not funded; volunteers run it. It could do with telephone/volunteer led Counseling. Financial and formal support would help so that Asian women coming out could talk to Asian female counsellors. 

The above responses point to a need for support groups to be set up where LBGT BME people can explore and address the coming out. 

IDENTITY AND COMING OUT THE LOW DOWN

Experience and begin to come to terms with sexuality issues in relation to their families and friends.

Research should be undertaken to evaluate its impact.

Black Minority Ethnic (BME), BLGB and LGB organizations need to consider developing support groups for the BLGB communities. 

Links between schools and LGB youth workers/Organizations need to be developed. 

All senior teachers need to be committed to tackling homophobia in schools. 

LGB agencies/Schools need to look at how the Citizenship Curriculum can be used to explore homophobia and sexuality issues in schools.

RE – Edited by Black Members Rep Proud

Training material above and survey by GALLOP 

EDITED BY JAY IN 2012

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